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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    Default Arizona bill SB1062: Freedom or Oppression?

    Freedom or oppression? That's the question for Arizona's SB1062
    By Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN
    updated 8:01 AM EST, Wed February 26, 2014

    (CNN) -- Arizona's SB1062 has pulled off a sort of political magic trick, in that warring sides can read the bill's text and have not only different reactions, but completely opposite ones.
    While proponents of gay rights dub the bill oppressive, those in favor of the bill becoming law say it represents freedom.

    Freedom vs. oppression: That's the polar contrast Gov. Jan Brewer must consider as she sits down to "listen to both sides" this week ahead of her decision whether to sign or veto the bill that has divided her state and drawn national and commercial interests into the fray.
    Brewer has until Saturday to make her call, and her fellow Republicans in the state Legislature have suggested that a veto is likely.

    In short, SB1062 would amend the existing Religious Freedom Restoration Act, allowing business owners to deny service to gay and lesbian customers so long as proprietors were acting solely on their religious beliefs.

    The bill's advocates insist that those claiming SB1062 amounts to bigotry and discrimination have hijacked and misrepresented its aims ...

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/25/us/arizona-brewer-sb1062/

    The rhetoric used by CNN has changed on this, but the reporting on this has been very, very bad. IMO, it's sad that a debate on liberties and freedoms cannot be had. As far as I am concerned, this is a law about freedom, but it's a debate that we shouldn't be having in the first place. This is law existing where law doesn't need to exist.

  2. #2
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    I think this all stems from that case in New Mexico where a photographer was sued because she wouldn't take pictures of a gay wedding because of her beliefs. I think suing was wrong in that case, and I think this bill in reaction to that is wrong as well. I think a business owner shouldn't have to do things that are against their religion, but where does that end? On the one hand, a photographer saying they don't want to take photos of a homosexual marriage ceremony seems right to me, but saying they don't want to take photos of people because they are homosexuals doesn't seem right.

    Ultimately, I think we are at a point now, where people should be able to just vote with their wallets. It sounds wrong - but if a restaurant decides they don't want to serve black people, for whatever reason, maybe they should be able to. Can't imagine they'd be open for long afterward. Business is too competitive these days - I don't really think businesses are in position to be refusing too many dollars, and if you outright refuse to serve a sector of society, whether it be race or religion or sexual orientation, not only are you denying your business paying customers, but they are also customers who will get word out and have lots of supporters that will probably choose not to patronize your business as well. No lawsuit or special legislation needed.

    I don't really know what the answer is, but I don't feel that this law is it.

    Can't we all just get along?

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    This whole situation stems from a case where a gay couple wanted a baker to bake them a cake for their wedding,and the baker refused, even though that same baker had provided cakes to the couple in the past. The owner apologized and offered a referral for a different baker that would be happy to work with them.

    Instead of just taking their business elsewhere, the gay couple sued the baker and the owner had to close the bakery due to attorney's fees.

    There are cases every day where businesses refuse service to someone. Remember when a restaurant owner refused service to OJ Simpson? He received a standing ovation from his patrons. How about the waiter who refused service to table that complained about a special needs kid? In a more serious level, we have freedom of expression/religion exemptions for doctors who are asked to perform abortions. If someone doesn't want to offer their service to you, you shouldn't have any right to demand their labor.

    With the baker situation, whose rights were being violated? The gay couple who was refused service, or the baker whose freedom of expression/religion was called into question?
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

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    what a sad statement on society that laws like this even need to be looked at.

  5. #5
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    What thread was all this discussed in already? I'd like to go back and reread it all.

  6. #6
    Good Enough wombattt's Avatar
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    So Arizona wants to have an Anti-Gay Jim Crow law....great

    I hope calmer heads prevail here and this gets Veto'd
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  7. #7
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    It's not really close to a Jim Crow law, but what almost none of the media reported is that it is already legal to refuse service to gays/LGBT community in Arizona and rougly 30 other states. They do not have protected status and those public accommodations do not apply because the federal government doesn't recognize sexual orientation as a protected status either.

  8. #8
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    To sum this up in one word: stupid.
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  9. #9
    Good Enough pickslide's Avatar
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    It is already legal to deny services based on your religious beliefs. So laws like this are actually redundant and are really just grandstanding in response to the marriage equality movement.

    I certainly don't want to see true, sytematic discrimination against gay people. But I also don't think we can live in a free country and have the government cracking down on each individual business transaction that takes place. A business owner has the right to adhere to his religious convictions, even if you and I find it distateful.

    What if, for instance, a small family-owned business specialized in gay weddings and receptions and told a hetero couple they don't really do straight weddings. Should they be forced to do it? I think that's anti-liberty.

    On the other hand, the very purpose of government is to defend the rights of individuals, and if gay people are being systematically denied services, the government is right to intervene.

    How you define "systematically" is probematic, I know...

    TK

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    I understand exactly why Arizona is doing this, but the opposition has been so successful in driving the narrative of this law, that the Governor should and will veto this--she vetoed this once before, actually.

    I'm a libertarian, and I have the unpopular opinion that public accommodation laws are an overreach. The irony is that public accommodation laws violate the exact same liberties that Jim Crow laws did, just in reverse. This law has nothing to do with Jim Crow. Jim Crow laws and Black codes enforced segregation. It made integration illegal. Most people probably forget (or don't know) that the East Louisiana Railroad was against Louisiana's Separate Car Act and was "in" on the whole set up to create a test case.

    I think putting a sign in the window that you won't serve gays is repugnant and ignorant, but ignorance and repugnancy shouldn't be illegal. I also don't think a gay business owner should be forced to do business with people who hate them--say, the Westboro Baptist Church. If people believe the government should force a Christian photographer to be part of a gay wedding ceremony, fine. But I hope they're just as vocal when a gay business is similarly forced to do business with the Westboro Baptist Church.

    For the life of me I cannot understand why a couple would want to force a photographer that hates them and hates what they are doing to photograph their wedding ceremony. That's like a Black couple forcing a White supremecist to do the same thing. What's the point, especially when you consider that typing in "New Mexico" and "photographer" at GayWeddings.com gives you over 40 results of gay friendly wedding photographers. So this is a victory for...what, exactly?

    You have a right to be an jerk, but you don't have a right to a wedding cake. I'm sure we'd all like there to be more wedding cakes than jerks, but running into jerks is part of living in a free society. The only reason this law exists is because of what happened in New Mexico. What happened in New Mexico never should have happened and neither should this, but New Mexico happened and now here we are--government where there shouldn't be any.

  11. #11
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovemachine97(Version 2) View Post
    I understand exactly why Arizona is doing this, but the opposition has been so successful in driving the narrative of this law, that the Governor should and will veto this--she vetoed this once before, actually.


    BIPARTISAN LAW PROFS WARN JAN BREWER: SB1062 'EGREGIOUSLY MISREPRESENTED'

    On February 25th a group of eleven renowned law professors from around the country sent a letter to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R) warning that SB1062—the bill "which amends Arizona's Religious Freedom Restoration Act" (RFRA)—has been "egregiously misrepresented by many of its critics." 

    The mix of eleven professors consists of Republicans and Democrats, religious and non-religious, "some...[who] oppose same-sex marriage [and] some... who support it." Their letter was obtained exclusively by Breitbart News ahead of its public release.

    Their letter focuses on the important role RFRA plays in "[enacting] a uniform standard to be interpreted and applied to individual cases." And the professors said such a "standard makes sense" as "we should not punish people for practicing their religions unless we have very good reason."

    SB1062 amends Arizona's RFRA in two ways: 

    1. "It provides that people are covered when state or local government requires them to violate their religion in the conduct of their business."

    2. "It would provide that people are covered when sued by a private citizen invoking state or local law to demand that they violate their religion."


    Countering misrepresentations, the professors pointed out that "SB1062 does not say that businesses can discriminate for religious reasons."

    In concluding, they urged Gov. Brewer to be sure SB1062 is "accurately considered," so that in passing judgment on it she is not "misled by uniformed critics." 

    The eleven signatories:

    Prof. Douglas Laycock, University of Virginia School of Law

    Prof. Helen M. Alvare, George Mason University School of Law

    Prof. Carl H. Esbeck, University of Missouri School of Law

    Prof. Christopher C. Lund, Wayne State University Law School

    Prof. Gregory C. Sisk, University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)

    Prof. Mary Ann Glendon, Harvard Law School

    Prof. Michael W. McConnell, Stanford Law School

    Prof. Thomas C. Berg, University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)

    Prof. Richard W. Garnett, Notre Dame Law School

    Prof. Mark S. Scarberry, Pepperdine University School of Law

    Robert Fretwell Wilson, University of Illinois College of Law
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  12. #12
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bklynboy68 View Post
    BIPARTISAN LAW PROFS WARN JAN BREWER: SB1062 'EGREGIOUSLY MISREPRESENTED'

    On February 25th a group of eleven renowned law professors from around the country sent a letter to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R) warning that SB1062—the bill "which amends Arizona's Religious Freedom Restoration Act" (RFRA)—has been "egregiously misrepresented by many of its critics." 

    The mix of eleven professors consists of Republicans and Democrats, religious and non-religious, "some...[who] oppose same-sex marriage [and] some... who support it." Their letter was obtained exclusively by Breitbart News ahead of its public release.

    Their letter focuses on the important role RFRA plays in "[enacting] a uniform standard to be interpreted and applied to individual cases." And the professors said such a "standard makes sense" as "we should not punish people for practicing their religions unless we have very good reason."

    SB1062 amends Arizona's RFRA in two ways: 

    1. "It provides that people are covered when state or local government requires them to violate their religion in the conduct of their business."

    2. "It would provide that people are covered when sued by a private citizen invoking state or local law to demand that they violate their religion."


    Countering misrepresentations, the professors pointed out that "SB1062 does not say that businesses can discriminate for religious reasons."

    In concluding, they urged Gov. Brewer to be sure SB1062 is "accurately considered," so that in passing judgment on it she is not "misled by uniformed critics." 

    The eleven signatories:

    Prof. Douglas Laycock, University of Virginia School of Law

    Prof. Helen M. Alvare, George Mason University School of Law

    Prof. Carl H. Esbeck, University of Missouri School of Law

    Prof. Christopher C. Lund, Wayne State University Law School

    Prof. Gregory C. Sisk, University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)

    Prof. Mary Ann Glendon, Harvard Law School

    Prof. Michael W. McConnell, Stanford Law School

    Prof. Thomas C. Berg, University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)

    Prof. Richard W. Garnett, Notre Dame Law School

    Prof. Mark S. Scarberry, Pepperdine University School of Law

    Robert Fretwell Wilson, University of Illinois College of Law
    Exactly.

    It's not an anti-gay bill because gays already do not have protected status in Arizona.

    Here's what happened. Clinton signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 1993. It passed unanimously in the House and 97-3 in the Senate. In a subsequent SCOTUS test, the law was deemed unconstitutional as applied to the states, so many states passed it themselves, including New Mexico and Arizona, so about half the states and the federal government are bound to it.

    The law basically says that government shall not put a substantial burden on exercising one's religious freedom, except in cases of compelling government interest in the least restrictive way.

    State versions say the same thing. But in the New Mexico lesbian ceremony/Christian photographer case, the New Mexico Supreme Court exercised a loophole in the law. Since it says that no "government agency" can burden one's freedom of religion, the court ruled that the government must be a party in a lawsuit for the law to apply. Since the lawsuit was between the lesbian couple and the photographer, the New Mexico court ruled in favor of the lesbian couple.

    Arizona, in the wake of the decision, decided to change the wording of their version of the law. The law can be viewed here (http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/51leg/2r/bills/sb1062p.htm) and the changes that SB1062 would make are in blue.

    Basically, "government" is changed to "state action," and "person" is changed from "person includes religious institution" to "person includes ANY INDIVIDUAL, ASSOCIATION, PARTNERSHIP, CORPORATION, CHURCH, RELIGIOUS ASSEMBLY OR INSTITUTION, ESTATE, TRUST, FOUNDATION OR OTHER LEGAL ENTITY."

    What the law essentially does is, in a similar situation to New Mexico, allow the photographer to use as a defense that, since the state would be forcing her to serve the wedding, the law applies to her even if the state is not a party to the lawsuit. It still excludes compelling government influence, so don't believe the hype--homophobic paramedics cannot suddenly refuse to work on gay patients.

    The thing about the law that no one talks about is that it could be used in reverse. A compelling argument could be made that it is redundant and unneccessary, but in a reverse case, this law would apply. In other words, if a gay man owns a printing business, he could use the same law in denying service to the Westboro Baptist Church if they asked him to print flyers and signs for a protest. As it stands now, since the loophole exercised by the New Mexico Supreme Court, he would be forced to print the signs.
    Last edited by lovemachine97(Version 2); 02.26.14 at 04:14 PM.

  13. #13
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    I am sure people who don't want to serve gays based upon religious grounds are also just as stringent when it comes to adulterers, fornicators, idolators and the rest, correct?

    Just want to make sure that it truly is religious conscience and not just plain ole bigotry.
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    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave's Dreidel View Post
    I am sure people who don't want to serve gays based upon religious grounds are also just as stringent when it comes to adulterers, fornicators, idolators and the rest, correct?

    Just want to make sure that it truly is religious conscience and not just plain ole bigotry.
    I'm pretty sure if a couple came in there and said, "Hi, we're swingers and we're having a gangbang party celebrating our lifestyle and we'd like you to bake us a cake", these same people would turn them away based on their religious conscience.
     "He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

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    "My beef is people thinking Bon Jovi is good cuz they sold lots of records to housewives." -tango

    "But being number one doesn’t really mean jack fuck all. We sold twice as many records as other records that year (1984) that landed in the Number One position." ~Eddie Van Halen

  15. #15
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    C'mon dude, I doubt gay guys are walking in saying "hi, can I have some ice cream? I am going to go home and put it on his balls and make a sundae!"

    People act like they are going down on each other on the street. They are not.

    My point was that most people who purchase any product from them at any time are sinners, so why just pick out one class of sinners? Because they don't like them, plain and simple, it has zero to do with religious conscience.
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

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