A modicum of sanity found its way into the Arizona politics yesterday when Governor Jan brewer vetoed SB 1062, the state’s controversial antigay legislation.
The governor held a rare news conference to announce her decision saying: “Senate Bill 1062…could divide Arizonans in ways we cannot even imagine…As governor I have protected religious freedoms whenever there is a specific and present concern that exists in our state. I have not heard of one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated.”
It took several days and intense pressure from the business community to bring the governor to her senses; but in the end she got this one right.
Religious advocates criticized the governor’s action. They said the intent of the bill was misunderstood; characterizing the bill as an effort to “guarantee that all Arizonans would be free to live and work according to their faith.”
That is a lie! Religious advocates should recognize a lie when they see one.
Too often people in this country use religion as a weapon against those whose with whom they disagree…a convenient excuse to marginalize or discriminate against those they fear or whose behavior or customs they do not understand. In this country such discriminatory practices are illegal.
If a homosexual lifestyle offends your religious beliefs then you have the right to refrain from participating in that lifestyle. But you do not have the right to force others to change their behavior simply because it offends your religious sensibilities.
SB 1062 is nothing more than a poor attempt to re-open the floodgates of discrimination and bigotry without fear of reprisal.
SB 1062 was not about having the freedom to exercise ones religious beliefs. It was about discrimination and bigotry… pure and simple.
Governor Brewer got this one right.
Now she needs to find a way to repeal the state’s discriminatory anti-immigration law.