Arizona legislature passes bill legitimizing discrimination against homosexuals

9:08 am in Uncategorized by Masoninblue

Saturday, February 22, 2014

When the going gets tough, the hypocritical and willfully ignorant right-wing-hate-machine in Arizona gets weird.

Standing the First Amendment on its head the Arizona legislature has passed a bill legitimizing discrimination by businesses against homosexuals.
Arizona - The Grand Canyon State Welcomes You
If signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer, the law would permit business owners with sincerely held religious beliefs to refuse service to homosexuals. It also would create a legal defense for any business, church or person to assert in any action brought by the government or an individual claiming discrimination, and it would authorize the business, church or person to seek an injunction prohibiting the government or an individual from claiming discrimination (1) once they show that their actions are based on a sincere religious belief and (2) the claim places a burden on the free exercise of their religious beliefs.

The First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

These fools do not understand the difference between between belief and action. In 1879 Chief Justice Waite of the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) wrote in Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145 (1879),

Freedom of religion means freedom to hold an opinion or belief, but not to take action in violation of social duties or subversive to good order.

/snip/

[to rule otherwise], would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect permit every citizen to become a law unto himself. Government would exist only in name under such circumstances.

The Court used human sacrifice as an example of a religious practice that the law can prohibit.

Wiki provides a good summary of developments since the SCOTUS decided Reynolds.

In Cantwell v. State of Connecticut the Court held that the free exercise of religion is one of the “liberties” protected by the due process clause of the 14th Amendment and thus applied it to the states. The freedom to believe is absolute, but the freedom to act is not absolute.

In Sherbert v. Verner (1963), the Supreme Court required states to meet the “strict scrutiny” standard when refusing to accommodate religiously motivated conduct. This meant that a government needed to have a “compelling interest” regarding such a refusal. The case involved Adele Sherbert, who was denied unemployment benefits by South Carolina because she refused to work on Saturdays, something forbidden by her Seventh-day Adventist faith. In Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972), the Court ruled that a law that “unduly burdens the practice of religion” without a compelling interest, even though it might be “neutral on its face,” would be unconstitutional.

The need for a compelling interest was narrowed in Employment Division v. Smith (1990), which held no such interest was required under the Free Exercise Clause regarding a law that does not target a particular religious practice. In Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah (1993), the Supreme Court ruled Hialeah had passed an ordinance banning ritual slaughter, a practice central to the Santería religion, while providing exceptions for some practices such as the kosher slaughter. Since the ordinance was not “generally applicable,” the Court ruled that it needed to have a compelling interest, which it failed to have, and so was declared unconstitutional.

In 1993, the Congress passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which sought to restore the compelling interest requirement applied in Sherbert and Yoder. In City of Boerne v. Flores (1997), the Court struck down the provisions of the Act that forced state and local governments to provide protections exceeding those required by the First Amendment on the grounds that while the Congress could enforce the Supreme Court’s interpretation of a constitutional right, the Congress could not impose its own interpretation on states and localities. According to the court’s ruling in Gonzales v. UDV (2006), RFRA remains applicable to federal laws and so those laws must still have a “compelling interest”.

[citations omitted]

The Arizona legislature can cite to no compelling state interest to support or justify this proposed law legitimizing discrimination against homosexuals other than discrimination for the sake of discrimination.

Next steps these fools will take, if Governor Brewer signs this POS bill into law, probably will be to pass bills legitimizing slavery and the human sacrifice of homosexuals, illegal immigrants, minorities and the mentally ill as activities that cannot be prohibited by the Free Exercise of Religion Clause.

I don’t know about y’all, but I have had enough of these disgusting racist and homophobic fools.

Time to call them out for what they are, mock them relentlessly and boycott Arizona until the voters replace them with representatives who respect the rights of all people regardless of race, gender, sexual preference and religious belief.

A good beginning, if Governor Brewer signs the bill into law would be to petition the NFL to move next year’s Superbowl from Arizona to another location outside of Arizona and boycott Arizona and the Superbowl, if the NFL refuses to do so.

cross posted from Frederick Leatherman Law Blog
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