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Arizona's religious freedom bill riles gay rights supporters

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  • MercyNLovelie USA, CA
    Feb. 26, 2014 6:38 a.m.

    @Furry1993

    You don't need to use all CAPS or a BTW qualifier to get me to hear you.

    "Taking pictures, baking a cake, providing flowers, etc., does not in any way constitute taking part in a ceremony." Um... yeah, it does. The photographer has to be there for the ceremony. The priest has to be there for the ceremony. The caterer has to be there for the ceremony. See the examples from my comment.

    Wedding cakes are so easy to get around I don't know why I should bother explaining, but - just put the two guys on top of the cake yourself. Why do politicians have to legislate this in order to get traditionalists and non-traditionalists to play nice?

    I feel for people on both sides of this coin - so I suggested a fair compromise. But if your "line of respect" is only for those who agree with you; well, then I'm happy to be on the other side of your "line." I know I can't please everyone... but at least I tried.

  • Mikhail ALPINE, UT
    Feb. 25, 2014 5:01 p.m.

    Happy Valley Heretic: "This nonsense about private business on private property, you own a "Privilege" that is all. Can you operate a business without a license from government at some or several levels?...
    Sounds a lot like "you didn't build that." The truth is, without business, and without the income it provides to people and to the government, there would be no government to which you could ask for protection from such "bigotry."
    I am having a hard time understanding who really is the "bigot" any more...

  • Values Voter LONG BEACH, CA
    Feb. 25, 2014 11:43 a.m.

    @MercyNLovelie

    You wrote:

    " It's a slap in the face to those traditionalists with deeply held religious beliefs about marriage. Frankly, traditionalists are being forced to reject their God or break the laws of their country."

    Here's the problem. In this context, what you call "traditionalist" business owners, routinely provide services to couples who run afoul of any number of biblical proscriptions.

    1.) Couples who live together - and have decided to get married.
    2.) Couples, either of whom is divorced and are now contemplating re-marriage.
    3.) Couples, either of whom specifically reject the idea of the existence of a supreme being.
    4.) Couples who plan to have an open marriage.
    5.) Couples, either of whom has a proven track record of being a deadbeat parent.
    6.) Couples where the husband plans to be a stay-at-home dad, while the wife will be the main bread-winner

    . . . and so on. note: this is only a partial list.

    So, looking over this list (and let's be clear, couple-groups listed above are provided services ALL the time), it starts to look like the "deeply held religious beliefs" prevent serving one group of people and not others. Hmmm . . . why would that be?

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Feb. 25, 2014 6:30 a.m.

    This is one LDS Republican who believes this bill in Arizona is a horrible bill and should be vetoed. It will do nothing in terms of religious freedom except create greater animosity and divisiveness.

    Ever heard the expression, "Cut your nose off to spite your face,"? Sounds like a good number of lawmakers in Arizona are doing just that. Let's just hope Governor Brewer isn't one of them.

  • Dixie Dan Saint George, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 2:25 p.m.

    I wonder how many Mormons, if any, opposed this bill?

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 1:57 p.m.

    Two for Flinching: "Photographers don't have to work nudist weddings, so long as they have that same policy for ALL nudist weddings."

    Photographers don't have to work Gay weddings so long as they have that same policy for ALL Gay weddings...

    Hmmm... Which should it be? And why is one different than the other?

  • Nanook of the North Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 24, 2014 1:14 p.m.

    "Religious liberty" doesn't mean you have the liberty to use your religion as a weapon. Remember, a few decades ago it was some people's "sincerely-held religious beliefs" that justified Jim Crow. And a couple of centuries ago it was other people's "sincerely-held religious beliefs" that led to Mormon persecution, up to and including rape and murder.

    This bill is a REALLY bad idea, and I hope Gov. Brewer vetoes it. If not, well, let's just say I'm looking forward to the first time some evangelical bigot refuses service to a Mormon.... (I'd love to think that none of my fellow Arizona Mormons are supporting this ignorant, unconstitutional, anti-liberty anti-freedom anti-brains bill, but I know I'd be incorrect.)

  • county mom Monroe, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 12:33 p.m.

    I never said I hate anyone.
    Interesting?

    I just asked why?

    I have lived outside of the state of Utah and have met those who really and truly hate Mormons. Not sure why, but they do. My life style has no effect on theirs. I would never do business with them. I wouldn't even think to try to force them to.

    I know that no matter where you live, no matter what service you need, you can find those who have no problem with your way of life.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 11:57 a.m.

    @MercyNLovelie 6:00 a.m.

    Taking pictures, baking a cake, providing flowers, etc., does not in any way constitute taking part in a ceremony. Doing those things is nothing more or less than providing a product for remuneration. It has no true personal or relgious element. One's religious sensibilities are not (or SHOULD not) be implicated in any way (certainly not rising to the level of "rejecting their God") any more than what a flight attendant who is LDS would rationally feel when serving an alcoholic drink to a passenger on the plane on which s/he is working.

    YOU should draw the line of respect, and reject prejudice in your interaction with others. If you do not believe in homosexual interaction, then don't do it. If you don't believe in homosexual marriage, don't have one. Just don't try to use the guise of religion to camoflage prejudice and discrimination.

    BTW -- I'm a straight woman in her 60s. I has been married to my husband (also straight) for over 44 years. We are Temple-sealsed and fully active members of the LDS Church. We believe in loving our neighbors as ouselves, and try to show it.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    Feb. 24, 2014 7:28 a.m.

    No medical caregiver should ever be required to participate in providing an abortion...ever.

  • MercyNLovelie USA, CA
    Feb. 24, 2014 6:00 a.m.

    The line is actually quite simple. There's a distinction between gay marriage and gay people. These services are marriage services. You don't force a traditional priest to marry gays, you don't force a traditional photographer to take their wedding pictures, and you don't force a traditional baker to bake their wedding cake. It's a slap in the face to those traditionalists with deeply held religious beliefs about marriage. Frankly, traditionalists are being forced to reject their God or break the laws of their country.

    No problem serving gays in restaurants, hospitals, housing, etc. But marriage services? Draw the line. Politicians - draw that line of respect, please. It's really not that hard!

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 6:27 p.m.

    Being a Libertarian, I believe that all businesses should be able to discriminate based on sex, religion, race, national origin, etc… Our society has chosen another path. Religious business owners shouldn't be given "special rights" to discriminate against groups when atheists are not given such rights.

    Since the law doesn't restrict the discrimination to only be aimed against gays, I can't wait for a non-LDS business to refuse to serve an LDS. How will the DN react? Will it claim it to be a victory for religious freedom or condemn it? The DN's reaction shouldn't be based on who the victim or the perp is. The statue of justice holding the scales and sword is blindfolded for a reason.

    Jcobabe
    I will certainly be watching carefully to see just how many "NO GAYS ALLOWED" signs are posted by business owners in Arizona.
    KJK
    Wouldn't it be nice the law REQUIRED businesses to post in their windows and advertisements which groups they didn't serve. They shouldn't hide it. It's like politicians not wanting their individual votes on legislation made public. Let all stand up for their choices.

  • Bob K portland, OR
    Feb. 23, 2014 5:44 p.m.

    sprywolf
    Salt Lake City, UT
    "This walks a fine line. While no on should be discriminated against for the way they live their life. I also believe that people should not be forced to do something they don't feel comfortable with."

    - For example" if I worked in a business, and a mormon came in, I should not be forced to wait on them, because of Prop 8.

    - Following your logic: people will be turned away or insulted because "they look Gay", "they are dressed like a mormon", or "I hate talking to fat people"
    -----------------------

    Happy Valley Heretic
    Orem, UT
    "county mom said: 'I guess the question should be,why would you want to do business with someone who hates you and your way of life?' "

    How about:
    This is America, and no citizen deserves to be wary about where he shops, not knowing who will insult him and refuse service?
    ----------------------

    To set up fear of public accomodation situations sounds like Russia to me

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 5:41 p.m.

    @Two For Flinching!

    If they were buying an existing cake off the shelf that may be true, when you demand someone's personal and special labor and service in support of something they are against it is not.

    Living your religion is part of every aspect of your life. It is part of everything you are and everything you do.

    You never stop being Mormon, or a catholic, or a jew, or a muslim, or an a baptist, or any religion or belief system, even an atheist, when you go to go work, or to school, go shopping, or even when you politic.

    You can not separate being something that is part of every aspect of your life.

    The government forcing an institutional belief system is against the first amendment, makes many second class citizens, and into forced servitude, and is most vile.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 3:27 p.m.

    @ the truth

    Making a cake has nothing to do with practicing your religion. Absolutely nothing.

    Behaving straight is also a choice. Being gay/straight is not. You're advocating for discrimination just because people are different than you; and that is wrong.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 2:41 p.m.

    county mom said: "I guess the question should be,why would you want to do business with someone who hates you and your way of life? "

    Thanks for your honesty. Most of your fellow commenters try and justify there hate as some kind of religious tenet or freedom, but it really is just hate.

    This nonsense about private business on private property, you own a "Privilege" that is all.
    Can you operate a business without a license from government at some or several levels?
    Do you pay property taxes on real property connected to said business?
    Are you subject to inspections for safety and health?
    Do you operate across state or national borders without permission?
    Can you discriminate against others simple because of bigotry and hate wrapped in some distorted view of religion not even described in one owns scriptures? Thankfully NO.

  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    Feb. 23, 2014 1:22 p.m.

    Why is it that a bill that is designed to protect an individual's right to exercise their religion according to the dictates of their own conscience, ie, "relgious freedom" is instead reported in virtually every mainstream media venue as simply "anti-gay"?

    That screams media bias loud and clear.

  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    Feb. 23, 2014 1:13 p.m.

    Why is it that individuals who craft a bill that is designed to protect their God-given right to exercise their religion according to their conscience, it is instead reported in the mainstream media as merely being "anti-gay"? Why is it not reported as being "pro-religion"?

    I tried posting a comment twice on this story.

    Once, I had the word "they" in all caps. There's no italics option on these posts so when you try to emphasize a word, even as benign as "they", it's taken as shouting and rude. Really?

    The next time I uncapitalized "they" and it was still rejected.

    Why? Why is it that when a poster writes that homosexual activity is immoral it is denied?

    Think these comments don't pertain to this story? Think again.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 1:08 p.m.

    Apparently for gays and gay supporters, bigotry AGAINST religious people is OK, and forced servitude of religious people is OK; is that what we are to understand?

    I believe this law is good and strikes a good balance in protecting religion and religious people.

    Is institutionalized bigotry against religious people OK?

    Is practicing your religion a fundamental right?

    Is it less fundamental than practicing homosexuality?

    People have the right to practice their religion in the public square.

    A business license does not require you to give your constitutional right to practice your religion.

    Behaving gay is a choice and can not in any way be made equivalent with skin color or ethnicity.
    While one may be of a race or sexual persuasion, however everyone can choose how they behave or act.

    You should not get rights based on those choices.

    This law does offer protection for CONSTITUTIONALLY guaranteed rights.

  • EstoPerpetua Holden, MA
    Feb. 23, 2014 11:07 a.m.

    American rights are inalienable and must not be forced on others because that is an alienable action. If one organization attempts to make laws based its sole beliefs whether it be religious beliefs, political beliefs, etc. and these laws do not provide equality for all Americans, it is committing an alienable action. For example: When same-sex couples get married, it does not affect heterosexual couples marriages. Non-religious businesses, schools, hospitals etc. should welcome all law abiding American citizens. All Americans should be considerate of religious institutions beliefs and not attempt to force or harass them, and vice versa.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Feb. 23, 2014 5:20 a.m.

    It would be nice if religions were at least as moral as the secular world.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 9:25 p.m.

    @ LovelyDeseret

    If you can't fulfill all the requirements of a job then you simply shouldn't do it. If pork eating is a requirement, then a devout Jewish man would be wise to not apply....

    Same thing about working on the Sabbath. This paper is produced 7 days per week, that requires some LDS people to work of the Sabbath. It's not a violation of rights, it's just fulfilling the requirements of a paying job.

    Photographers don't have to work nudist weddings, so long as they have that same policy for ALL nudist weddings.

    A restaurant has complete control over what is served on their menu.

    In short, everything you said is completely incorrect.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 9:12 p.m.

    @ a_voice_of_reason

    Simple. Making a cake or taking pictures does nothing to violate your religious beliefs. You aren't being asked to participate. You are being asked to provide a service (the reason you decided to open a business in the first place). Your religion tells you to love thy neighbor.

  • county mom Monroe, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 4:55 p.m.

    I guess the question should be,why would you want to do business with someone who hates you and your way of life?

    Why not support those who support you?

    There are thousands of businesses who have no problem with differing life styles.
    They would be happy for your business.

    Why try to force someone to make a cake, take your pictures, rent you an apartment or fix your car?

    I know from past experience, they will not do a good job and talk bad about you if they do end up taking your business. If your car does not run right, you are the jerk, you are at fault.

  • Stephen Daedalus Arvada, CO
    Feb. 22, 2014 4:40 p.m.

    @Joe: "what specific clause in the Constitution gives you or anybody else the right to tell me how to run my private business."

    == U.S. Constitution, Art. I, Sec. 8, Cl. 3: Congress has the power to "regulate Commerce…among the several States…". In the case, Heart of Atlanta Motel Inc. v. United States (1964), SCOTUS held that the federal gov’t could require private businesses to serve the protected classes covered by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, under the power granted by the Commerce Clause.

    == Utah Constitution: Art.XII, Sec.12; Art.XII, Sec.20; Art.XVI

    Related to this discussion, from SCOTUS: "When followers of a particular sect enter into commercial activity as a matter of choice, the limits they accept on their own conduct as a matter of conscience and faith are not to be superimposed on the statutory schemes which are binding on others in that activity." United States v Lee (1982) and "We have never held that an individual's religious beliefs excuse him from compliance with an otherwise valid law prohibiting conduct that the State is free to regulate." Employ. Div v Smith (1990).

  • shesaidohkay Utopia, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 4:00 p.m.

    Thank you Arizona for beating us to this one and sparing us the national "attention". We needed the break. What's the score in you vs us in becoming the new Florida??? Thank you to those of you who see it for the hateful bigotry that it is- you restore my faith in humanity :)

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Feb. 22, 2014 3:37 p.m.

    Sprywolf, are you serious? People shouldn't have to do things in the course of their employment that they are uncomfortable with?

    A teacher is "uncomfortable" with a gay student in their class--so the student gets kicked out?

    A teacher is "uncomfortable" with a Mormon student in their class---should we make the student leave?

    A Jehovah's Witness photographer or musician or florist thinks that Mormons are an evil sect--should he be able to decline the wedding gig because it makes him "uncomfortable"?

    It makes me "uncomfortable" to pay property taxes when the church down the block doesn't. It offends my sense of fairness. Do I get a pass?

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 3:32 p.m.

    @a_voice_of_reason & Viva la Migra;

    Unless you're being forced to have a gay marriage, you are NOT being forced to do anything against your "religion". There is NOT ONE scripture - anywhere - that says you shouldn't do business with homosexuals or other sinners. NOT ONE.

    Any claim of "religious conscience", then, is NOT supported by your scriptures.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Feb. 22, 2014 2:49 p.m.

    The people opposed to this bill have ignored reality. The reality is the issues in question have always involved attempts to force others to participate in ceremonies they object to for deeply held religious reasons. This bill is not going to lead to people being denied service in restaurants, and claims that it will are totally false and out of touch with reality.

  • JeepersCreepers Ogden, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 1:22 p.m.

    It would seem to me that it would be a golden opportunity for business owners to take advantage of the situation. If other businesses are refusing to accept business from certain groups of clientele then open a business catering to that under serviced group. All of this lamenting about the "collective not servicing the individual" is an opportunity. If you don't like something, go fix it yourself. Quit waiting around. Quit trying to force others to fix it for you. Open your own business and accept the windfall of profits yourself.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Feb. 22, 2014 12:40 p.m.

    @Res Novae - "what the government provides to businesses goes to the very core of each and every business transaction: the ability to enforce the very contractual obligations necessary to do business. Every business in the country relies on that government power as the foundation of free enterprise."

    You make a very good point: the government enforces sales contracts when it comes to credit purchases, and the government creates the currency and coins used for cash purchases. However, bartering could go on very well without government. Our government fascilitates commerce, but it also relies on commerce to more easily levy taxes.

    Government has the power to regulate businesses, and that includes anti-discrimination laws. It is better for people to learn good principles and govern themselves. "Taking your brother to law" is discouraged in the New Testament.

  • Cleetorn Fuaamotu, Tonga
    Feb. 22, 2014 11:45 a.m.

    Jared from CT, take a bow! You hit the nail on the head!

  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    Feb. 22, 2014 11:32 a.m.

    As an Arizona Citizen I contacted each of my representatives and demanded they vote yes on this law.
    Without it, a Jewish taste tester would be forced to eat pork.
    Without it, a Seventh-Day Adventist could be forced to work on Saturdays.
    Without it, a Muslim female photographer could be forced to take pictures at a nudist wedding.
    Without it, a Hindu restaurant owner could be forced to serve beef.
    Without it, anyone with religious beliefs could be forced to sacrifice them so that someone else can take advantage of their services.
    Arizona is doing the right thing for freedom's sake.

  • HeresAThought Queen Creek, AZ
    Feb. 22, 2014 11:22 a.m.

    @esto Just because this law gives business owners the power to defend themselves rather than force them to choose between their faith and their business doesn't mean they will immediately use it to discriminate against someone. You'll see that the bill would require a burden of proof on the business owner to establish that they are actively practicing their faith. The thought behind this bill seems to be a way to protect a business owner from state penalties or worse in the event they choose not violate their personal beliefs. After all, no one would ask a gay person to violate their sexual preference in the name of running a business.

    Most of our laws are based upon or can be traced back to the original 10 commandments. And unless someone has entered your home without permission and held you at knife point while you were forced to read scripture, nothing is being forced on you. My freedom to practice my religion according to my conscience does not equate to forcing you to accept said religion. You are as free as the wind to believe what you will.

  • Janet Ontario, OR
    Feb. 22, 2014 11:06 a.m.

    "Religious" indignation has always been fuel for persecution, even toward Mormons. I remember "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" on business doors. Such signs were a more subtle form of the "white only" signs in the South. The Southern states, where my ancestors lived for many generations, are referred to as "The Bible Belt" because of the religiosity there. It was, in part, deeply ingrained "religious" conviction that kept segregation alive and oppressive for so long. The Memphis of Martin Luther King's time bragged that it had "more churches than gas stations." Arizona has a history of discrimination. At one time, the KKK was a presence there, even among Phoenix city fathers. The city directory in 1920 stated: "Phoenix is a modern town of 40,000 people and the best kind of people, too. A very small percentage of Mexicans, Negroes or foreigners." If it had been an issue at the time, I'm 100% positive "or homosexuals" would have been added. There has to be a more civil way of protecting the right to worship according to our consciences than to use "freedom of religion" as an excuse for legal discrimination.

  • Viva la Migra American Fork, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 11:05 a.m.

    I think there should be some sort of balance between the rights of the people wanting a service performed and a business owner who has strong convictions based on their own religious or moral beliefs. There seems to be a trend popular with gay rights activists where they target Christian-based business owners with stated policies against participating in gay wedding ceremonies, and suing them for discrimination. In Colorado the legislature is talking about raising the fine from $150 to $3000 every time a business turns down a gay wedding request.

    How long is it going to take them to start targeting religions for not performing a gay marriage?

    If this continues unchecked, what would stop a pornographer from trying to sue a Christian owned video editing company for refusing to edit his films? Or an atheist from suing a Mormon owned web development company for refusing to create an anti-Christian website that attacks his own faith?

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 11:02 a.m.

    Would anyone please show me where in the constitution you have the right to be serviced by my business. Everyone here says it is unconstitutional, but discrimination laws are not part of the constitution. They are laws which limit the righy of free assembly under the First Amendment. The problem is that everyone now wants the government to force other people to acvept what they do, but notto accept the rights of third parties to do something else. I can boycot yor business if I do not like your religious beliefs, but you still have to serve me.

    A couple of years ago a doctor was successfully sued in California for refusing to do invitro fertilization for a lesbian couple. He even referred them to another doctor who would.

    Can the government force a doctor to commit an abortion if he is the only one in town. Do I have to rent my hotel room to a prostitute to a prostitute if prostitution is legal? Do I have to selling farming equipment to a pot farm in Colorado. If the government can force you to provide services which violate you conscience, you are not free.

  • a_voice_of_reason Woods Cross, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 10:54 a.m.

    I agree with many that feel this legislation is pointed and on its surface seems to attack gays & lesbians. However, I would respectfully ask, how then do we protect religious individuals from being forced to act in violation of their personal beliefs if the first amendment isn't sufficient protection as we've seen in the cases cited by the republicans in this article? In my opinion the first amendment should be sufficient and the law should be unnecessary, but if a religious photographer can be forced to take photos at a gay wedding because they provide that service to heterosexual couples it would seem necessary to do something. While many fear the law says "gays aren't welcome in Arizona" recent court decisions seem to be saying "religion isn't welcome in public." How do we make both welcome?

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 10:25 a.m.

    @HeresAThought;

    Your business opened it's doors to the public. ALL the public; ergo, it is no longer private.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 9:45 a.m.

    @jcobebe

    No doubt there will be few if any signs as those that choose to engage in such discrimination are to big of cowards and will try to keep their refusal to serve people out of the headlines. Hopefully those that are refused services do not allow them to hide in the shadows.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 9:40 a.m.

    @Jared from CT
    "What about the homosexual that chooses not to shop at an establishment such as Chick-Fil-A? Isn't that discrimination by the homosexual against a group that doesn't share the same beliefs?"

    There's no mandate to buy chicken...

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Feb. 22, 2014 9:37 a.m.

    "The government provides NOTHING of its own self"

    No, Jared from CT, what the government provides to businesses goes to the very core of each and every business transaction: the ability to enforce the very contractual obligations necessary to do business. Every business in the country relies on that government power as the foundation of free enterprise.

    Those businesses providing accomodation to the general public and which practice discrimination having no rational basis (health, safety, etc) should in turn lose the lawful protections afforded to them by the legal system.

  • KSC Sandy, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 9:19 a.m.

    Hurrah for Arizona! It appears that only Arizona has the guts to stand against the bullying of the LGBT agenda.
    That agenda has long since abandoned live-and-let-live, no, the real LGBT agenda is to FORCE ENDORSEMENT.
    Our constitutionally guaranteed Freedom of Religion means that I do not have to choose between what I know, and what the shout-down, protest, boycott, lawsuit, LGBT thugs want to compel me to do. Other states could learn from Arizona on how to protect their citizens.

  • EstoPerpetua Holden, MA
    Feb. 22, 2014 8:49 a.m.

    Many gay and straight people are disappointed to see others pushing hateful discriminating laws against Americans. Laws are civil, not religious, and intelligent human beings need to stop forcing their individual religious freedoms on all Americans.

  • HeresAThought Queen Creek, AZ
    Feb. 22, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    @ranch - your home is private, and so is your business, hence why it's called "private property"; it's why loitering isn't allowed, and why you as an owner can call the police when a patron or loiterer is causing a disturbance. Public property includes parcels, buildings and other establishments which are open to the public because they are maintained by public funds, aka taxes.

  • HeresAThought Queen Creek, AZ
    Feb. 22, 2014 8:31 a.m.

    For a long time I was in staunch opposition to Obamacare. After actually reading some of its proposed actions, and hearing the opinions of supporters and opponents, I changed my mind. I decided it was better to pass bad legislation and allow it to fail on its own merit. You win twice when it does: the Nancy Pelosi's are less likely to be voted into office, and the public will start becoming more interested in politics and their own future.

    The extreme negativity surrounding this bill (I am from AZ btw) is par for the course. If residents and non-residents are confident this will permit discrimination, say nothing. The bill will speak for itself in 6 months, and could get repealed after the mid-terms. My money is on it staying a bill, and here's the reason: No business owner would commit suicide by refusing service to a person based on an assumption of sexual preference. That's just bad business, and word of mouth is great for advertising (see Amy's Baking Company). Give the bill a chance to fall on its face if it truly fosters hate. You might be surprised when it doesn't.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Feb. 22, 2014 8:23 a.m.

    "The government provides NOTHING of its own self"

    No, Jared from CT, what the government provides to businesses goes to the very core of each and every business transaction: the ability to enforce the very contractual obligations necessary to do business. Every business in the country relies on that government power as the foundation of free enterprise.

    Those businesses providing accomodation to the general public and which practice discrimination having no rational basis (health, safety, etc) should in turn lose the lawful protections afforded to them by the legal system.

  • Willem Los Angeles, CA
    Feb. 22, 2014 4:17 a.m.

    This is how the Nazi party handled Jews in Germany not too long ago!

  • jcobabe Provo, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 4:09 a.m.

    One of the "doom" predictions by opponents is the assertion that discrimination will now run rampant. I will certainly be watching carefully to see just how many "NO GAYS ALLOWED" signs are posted by business owners in Arizona. I have no doubt that it will be noted by the news media, should any such thing ever take place. I suspect there will probably not be a significant increase in the number of such signs posted.

    This legislation could be reasonably classified as "bad law", or more accurately characterized as superfluous, as long as the context of current events is ignored. But in that light, it is just a symptom of backlash against judicial activism and compromises to the Constitutional rights of the majority, catering to special interests. Absent that, no such legislation should ever be wanted or necessary.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 2:46 a.m.

    @ joe5

    So if you own a private business, say a food service place, should you have the right to not allow African American customers to sit at your lunch counter? You can run your business however you want, we are just saying that discrimination is wrong. Using religion to justify it is even worse....

  • Jared from CT SOUTHBURY, CT
    Feb. 21, 2014 10:56 p.m.

    This is very simple. Private individuals and businesses have a fundamental inalienable right to choose who they associate with and do business with.

    What about the homosexual that chooses not to shop at an establishment such as Chick-Fil-A? Isn't that discrimination by the homosexual against a group that doesn't share the same beliefs?

    Why should a private business be denied the choice of who to sell to when a private individual is allowed to choose indiscriminately who to buy from?

    Don't give me this crap about taxes and infrastructure, etc., that the business owner benefits from. ALL citizens benefit from those things. And, it isn't the government that provides them, it's the citizens and businesses that provide them, via taxes. (The government provides NOTHING of its own self.)

    The only entities that should be legally prohibited from "discrimination" are government entities. Unfortunately, in today's society, the chief discriminator is the government, discriminating against traditional religious beliefs, while pushing non-traditional religious beliefs such as homosexuality on the public at large.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 10:34 p.m.

    @Meckofahess
    " straight citizens would certainly be more sensitive to their concerns and issues."

    Half of straight people in this nation support same-sex marriage. I'm sure most of them including myself don't care for being lumped into the group you're classifying.

    "Moreover, law suits intended to cause business owners to lose their livelihoods because they have religious convictions only serves to polarize society and cause turmoil for everyone."

    That's like saying we weren't racially polarized until black people got upset that they had to sit in the back.

    @Owl
    " If selling Plan B birth control pills is the question, it depends on whether you are the only pharmacy in town or one of many"

    The issue is not a business providing a service to nobody, it's about businesses providing a service to some but not all.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 10:28 p.m.

    Willem: Do you know what the Constitution says? I asked a question earlier that nobody has answered yet. Since you claim to be a patriot who doesn't ignore the Constitution, please tell me what specific clause in the Constitution gives you or anybody else the right to tell me how to run my private business.

  • Willem Los Angeles, CA
    Feb. 21, 2014 9:42 p.m.

    -legislation like this clearly demonstrates they are neither patriots (patriots don't ignore the Constitution) or christians (Jesus preached tolerance, not hate).
    I'll be canceling my upcoming Grand Canyon trip due to the state's disgusting bigotry. Bummer.

  • nycut New York, NY
    Feb. 21, 2014 8:59 p.m.

    @gmlewis

    IWe agree: there are ways for people not to make a big deal about differences, and treating people with respect is the best idea.

    Fairness in employment, housing and public accommodations matters in a country that values equality. If a business offers goods and services to the public--that needs to mean all the public, not just the groups the owner deems morally acceptable.

    As with the job loss you believe was based on your religion, many people find themselves treated unfairly because someone didn't "like their kind": too old, too Mormon, too gay. It's injustice every time.

    There are many ways for businesses to attract and repel the clientele they prefer. BUT. The baseline needs to be legal equality.

    Will gay people sue when disapproving bakers won't bake cakes? Some will. And it should be their right to sue, as it was your right if you thought you had a case against your former employer for religious discrimination. A fine may be a cost of doing business their way.

    But when faced with hostility, most do what you did: go somewhere else and get on with it, knowing they could sue if they wanted to.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 8:25 p.m.

    @Meckofahess says:

    "Lets hope the Governor signs the legislation."

    -- Actually, I'm hoping the same thing, that way it'll go to court and be overturned, preventing other, similar abominations from being passed.

    @D. Call;

    It isn't "in favor of religious liberty", it's in favor of discrimination.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 8:25 p.m.

    @Fred Vader;

    Do you refuse to photograph for *all* go-go-dancer parties, or only for certain go-go-parties? When you treat all the same, there isn't a problem.

    BeSmart says:
    Cheyenne, WY

    "But any private business owner should have a right to refuse service."

    -- Not without a VALID reason (i.e., disruptive, improperly dressed, inebriated, etc.). "Religious beliefs" are not a valid reason.

    "but a business OWNER loses his rights of refusal because he has to serve someone he is against? "

    -- The business owner KNEW the law BEFORE opening his doors (or at least he should have). If he can't/won't obey non-discrimination laws, he does not deserve to be in business.

    gmlewis says:

    "Let LGBT folks learn not to flont their predilictions,..."

    Do you hold hands with your spouse in public? Do you put pictures of your family on your desk? You are "flaunting" your "predilections". You're a hypocrite to expect LGBT people to refrain from doing what you do without a second thought.

  • GZE SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 7:14 p.m.

    This is the end of this story as it appears on MSN:

    After hearing that the legislation was approved, Rocco DiGrazia, owner of Rocco's Little Chicago Pizzeria in Tucson, put up a sign on a window Thursday night that reads "We reserve the right to refuse service to Arizona legislators."

    It's the best part!

  • OnlyInUtah Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 6:18 p.m.

    We already agree it's okay to refuse to give service to people who don't wear shirts or shoes, so I don't see the problem in this. I do believe that a business owner has the right to decide who he will and who he won't do business with.

    I'm tired of the government pushing the gay agenda down everyone's throat and I'm happy to see Arizona take a stand.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 6:00 p.m.

    What constitutional clause gives any of you the right to tell me how to run my private business?

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 5:51 p.m.

    open minded: "...there are only 2 kinds of people in this world- those who are God's children and those who aren't."

    Are we not ALL God's children? Maybe I better check my genealogy...

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 5:51 p.m.

    It is not ethically sustainability to deny critical or scarce services on the basis of ones religious beliefs. If selling Plan B birth control pills is the question, it depends on whether you are the only pharmacy in town or one of many. but readily or universally available items such as photographs and cakes? Can the corner baker refuse to decorate a cake with swastikas to commemorate Hitler's birthday?

  • open minded Lehi, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 5:17 p.m.

    This is NOT a religious thing in any way. I want proof of how refusing service to someone who is gay is a Religious belief. Where in any religion on the planet does it say, "Thou Shalt Not Serve They Gay neighbor" or anything even close to that? You can't claim religious freedom if NO where in your religion does it say to not provide the same service for Gay people as you would other people.
    If "religious people" are claiming they don't want to be forced to provide services to a "sinner" then they would be out of business; We are all sinners. I would add, there are only 2 kinds of people in this world- those who are God's children and those who aren't. God loves all his children and has told us to do the same.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Feb. 21, 2014 4:44 p.m.

    "We're making some tweaks here because of what's been going on in other states where people have been punished for their beliefs," Farnsworth said."

    Nobody has been punished for their beliefs, they were sanctioned because of their hurtful actions.

    What surprises me, it that religious people wonder why churches are empty. New generation don't want anything to do with bigotry and discrimination.

    Many (not all) Christians ask for protection for their religion. What they are asking for their right to discriminate. If they really believe in the words of Christ they should be afraid:
    Matthew 7: 21-23 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

  • shamrock Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 4:14 p.m.

    A shockingly hateful bill from people who profess to follow Jesus' teachings.

    Not to mention the foolishness of imagining that discrimination will work only in favor of your own group. A law like this authorizes religiously-motivated discrimination against women, minorities, Mormons, Jews, Muslims and people who wear funny clothes.

    Good thing Arizona doesn't have any other pressing needs for the taxpayer funds it will take to defend this bill in court and lose, big time.

  • GZE SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 4:03 p.m.

    D Call, interesting you focused on the word "hateful" and completely ignored the far more relevant "unconstitutional."

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Feb. 21, 2014 4:00 p.m.

    @nycut: I'm recommending that people ramp down their emotions on both sides of the issue. I have several co-workers who have same sex unions. They discussed their family events without referencing they were gay unions. Over time I realized their unions were same sex, but I didn't make a big deal of it one way or another. One recently lost his companion after 34 years of being together, and I expressed condolensces like I would for any other.

    I understand the need to work politically to get same sex marriage legalized. However, suing a company for discrimination is not going to solve the problem. We need to change people's hearts, and that takes time and kindness. I believe that I lost my job once because of my religion. There was no way that I was going to sue; that would just cement the bad feelings about my faith. I just hit the road and worked to find another job.

    Eventually, people will recognize that there is good in all of us, and the prejudice melts away. Not everyone will agree, but they will find grounds for mutual respect.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 3:59 p.m.

    This reminds me of the old biblical passage. "Blessed are those that use their power and influence to hold down the weak and disenfranchised, for despising those who are different and treating your fellow man with utter contempt is the key to the kingdom of heaven"

  • D. Call El Paso, TX
    Feb. 21, 2014 3:03 p.m.

    @mcdugall

    So if anyone disagrees with your (until recently) extreme veiws they are automatically 'hateful'? How about you stop putting words in peoples mouths. Didn't you read the article where the sponser of the bill said he loves everyone as God's children? If being in favor of religious liberty makers you 'hateful' then I guess George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King etc were all haters.

  • mcdugall Murray, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 2:24 p.m.

    This hateful, and unconstitutional, legislation will be extremely costly to AZ taxpayers.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 2:24 p.m.

    Lets hope the Governor signs the legislation. This is needed to protect religious freedoms from being abused by extremist judges and gay people who may think they are the only citizens that have sensitivities and rights. It is apparent that if our gay citizens would show understanding and respect for religious freedoms and moral concerns, straight citizens would certainly be more sensitive to their concerns and issues. Serious problems arise when a group attempts to force other folks to do things against their religious conscience. Moreover, law suits intended to cause business owners to lose their livelihoods because they have religious convictions only serves to polarize society and cause turmoil for everyone.

  • nycut New York, NY
    Feb. 21, 2014 2:21 p.m.

    @gmlewis says: "Let LGBT folks learn not to flont their predilictions, or face the rare discrimination."

    "Flaunt" is such an odd word. Consider this statement: "My husband and I are going to the movies tonight." When a woman says this, it is just conversation. When a man says this, he is somehow "flaunting" his "predilection."

    No. Best that the listener not "flaunt" their "discomfort" at the fact that a human beings marry who they love and go to the movies together. Just smile and relate to the fact that you and your spouse go to the movies too. This is tolerance.

    At any rate, it's a bit difficult not to "flaunt" the fact that one is gay when arranging a wedding for two men or two women, and it's not "rare" that a couple would look for a wedding cake at a bakery that, in fact, offers cakes for people to buy.

    To the handful of bakers who feel compelled to express their disapproval of gay people: try putting a sign out saying 10% of proceeds from wedding cakes are donated to WE-THINK-GAYS-ARE-BAD.ORG." Everyone wins.

    Enshrining discrimination in our laws works for no one.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Feb. 21, 2014 1:57 p.m.

    I think some are taking themselves way too seriously. It smacks of worshipping one's religion rather than what their religion is ostensibly about.

  • Values Voter LONG BEACH, CA
    Feb. 21, 2014 1:44 p.m.

    @jamescmeyer
    you wrote:
    "What this bill is for is to protect Arizonans from being bullied by those who would force them to do business in relation to so-called "weddings" by those of the same sex."

    Then why not have the bill state that specifically? State who is being targeted --specifically-- and state what event and/or activity the individual or business-owner wants to be exempted from.

  • GZE SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 1:26 p.m.

    Redshirt,

    Actually, this: Studies show that if you are a single while male that you are most likely to be given assignments that require you to work late - most certainly is discrimination under the law. Any worker who feels this is happening to him has very right to grieve the policy - and use the legal process if necessry.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Feb. 21, 2014 1:19 p.m.

    Let business owners learn to serve the LGBT community like they would anyone else. Let LGBT folks learn not to flont their predilictions, or face the rare discrimination. If I make it a point to let others know I'm LDS (which I frequently do), then I better have a thick enough skin not to be offended by someone who is uncomfortable with that.

    Then give it time. Let the emotions ramp down. Let people learn to get along together.

    We don't need more laws that are easily circumvented or repealed.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    Feb. 21, 2014 1:09 p.m.

    "... gay people in Arizona could be... refused medical treatment"
    False.

    Besides that, a business owner, for a restaurant for instance, would never, ever deny service to someone on the basis of sexual orientation. Look at the media! It would destroy them!

    What this bill is for is to protect Arizonans from being bullied by those who would force them to do business in relation to so-called "weddings" by those of the same sex. That is what is actually out there, going on now.

  • BeSmart Cheyenne, WY
    Feb. 21, 2014 1:02 p.m.

    @ Ranch
    I ran a privately owned business and was very successful.
    I never once denied anyone service because of anything.
    A business may have to have the right to public access. But any private business owner should have a right to refuse service.
    How do you know that these other sinners aren't denied service? I was denied service in Alabama because I was from Utah after a football game. Should I throw a fit because I was "discriminated" against because of where I resided?
    All I am saying is a business owner should have the right to refuse service (it is money out of their pocket).
    Survey 10 weddings companies and I bet even in Utah maybe 1 would refuse service.
    It is discrimination when a certain group of people are stripped of rights (LBGT Marriage), but a business OWNER loses his rights of refusal because he has to serve someone he is against? That in turn will create more discrimination out of anger.
    People should have a right to decide what is done with their property a fundamental right in the declaration of independence.
    If a business owners refuses me service, I move on to a different business.

  • Fred Vader Oklahoma City, OK
    Feb. 21, 2014 12:56 p.m.

    If I were a photographer or a baker, I would not have a problem taking picutres or making a cake for a GLBT wedding. However, I am curious as to where folks think a line could be drawn, or do folks think all businesses have to help everyone for every occaision that walks in your door?

    For example: If I am a photographer and a hetero couple hires me to photo the groom's bachelor party and the party includes "Go-Go Dancers" (for lack of a more printable term). If I say "no" based on religious reasons for not wanting to be present for the "Go-Go Dancers" have I discriminated against that groom? What if it is a GLBT couple? Same question. Seems to me that some lines should be able to be drawn against providing services for certain events for religious purposes. Not based on the customer, but on the event.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 12:37 p.m.

    @BeSmart;

    "No shirt, no shoes, no service" fills a LEGITIMATE business purpose. There are many health codes that could be impacted. Additionally, the offending party can EASILY rectify the problem by putting on the missing attire. LGBT citizens can not simply change their orientation to satisify the bigoted demands of business owners.

    Furthermore, this is clearly a "discrimination issue" since the businesses in question continue to do business with other "sinners" that regularly violate the "religious conscience" of the business owners: Adulterers are served, fornicators are served, Sabbath breakers are served, etc. If it weren't a "discrimination issue", then these "sinners" would also be refused service.

  • Values Voter LONG BEACH, CA
    Feb. 21, 2014 12:32 p.m.

    @Redshirt1701

    You've put your finger on a very important point. Discrimination happens all the time.

    In law, though, the relevant concern is not discrimination, per se -- the concern is, is it UNJUST discrimination?

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    Feb. 21, 2014 12:30 p.m.

    I absolutely understand a business declining to participate in a same sex wedding, but this AZ bill appears to overreach.

    There is a big difference between refusing to provide services to someone because of their sexual orientation and refusing to participate in an event that violates your conscience. Vegetarian photographers shouldn't be required by law to photograph something like a BBQ festival if it violates their conscience.

    The AZ Republic points out: The proposed law is so poorly crafted it could allow a Muslim taxi driver to refuse service to a woman traveling alone.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Feb. 21, 2014 12:27 p.m.

    BeSmart,

    "....Privately owned business are not public in any way...."
    ______________________________

    Under law, the act of being open for business is a legal offer of general public access.

  • GZE SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 12:19 p.m.

    Excellent! Let Arizona spend taxpayer money trying to defend an unconstitutional law for a change.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Feb. 21, 2014 12:18 p.m.

    To "Social Mod Fiscal Con" but we discriminate all the time against people for various reasons.

    For example, if you go to an amusement park and are an adult that is really short, you may not be able to go on all of the rides. Isn't that height discrimination?

    Airlines are able to charge overweight people more because they overflow their seats. Isn't that weight discrimination?

    Studies show that if you are a single while male that you are most likely to be given assignments that require you to work late. Isn't that discrimination too?

    The last time you were walking around a big city an approached that beggar that didn't look good or smell good, did you do so cautiously. That too is discrimination.

    The fact is that discrimination can be a good thing when it protects people and their rights. If you run around saying that discrimination is bad, then you only show your ignorance of the many times per day that you discriminate against other people.

    To "Vince here" yes bigotry is alive and well, and maybe the militant gays will give up on it eventually.

  • JoCo Ute Grants Pass, OR
    Feb. 21, 2014 12:11 p.m.

    @ Be Smart: Business owners "should have the right to refuse service to anyone." No, I don't think so. That POV is illegal for a public business. The civil rights movement took care of the "right to refuse service to anyone (w/ a black skin).

    Maybe I think fat people are guilty of the sin of gluttony and should refuse service on that basis? Maybe I don't want to serve Jews because they killed Christ (not). Maybe I want to refuse to serve Mormons because they are poly-theistic. No end to this baloney.

    What religious activity takes place during the process of making a wedding cake? Help me understand that one.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 12:02 p.m.

    The facts of life and the laws of nature can't be compromised. it is what it is it ain't what it ain't.

  • BeSmart Cheyenne, WY
    Feb. 21, 2014 11:38 a.m.

    @ Ranch
    A ranch and farm are a business so anyone can come on it and do as they please?
    I doubt that would clearly allow government workers to not uphold their duties as employees.
    Any individually owned business is private property. A grocery store, bank, anything has the right to kick you off their property or refuse service. (no shirt, no shoes, no service? so if I don't wear a shirt I can say it is discrimination?)
    This is a business owner right issue, not a discrimination issue.
    Privately owned business are not public in any way. If I own something I should have the right to kick anyone off, refuse any service pertaining to my property.

  • Larry Chandler CEDAR CITY, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 11:31 a.m.

    Should a Jewish cabdriver refuse to pick you up at the supermarket if he notices you have a package of bacon in your shopping bag? Muslim cabdrivers at the Minneapolis airport refused to pick up passengers who had alcohol. This happened about a year ago.

    At what point can people simply declare a religious belief allows them to behave as they wish? If my religion requires me to kill infidels, who are you to say secular law trumps that deeply held belief? And the law in Arizona isn't simply about wedding cakes.

    Some businesses will refuse to hire or rent to gays, others to Mormons, still others to blacks. Anything can be justified in the name of religion (read the Old Testament for guidance here). And does the religion in question have to be registered with the government or can I simply proclaim my religious beliefs require me not to pay taxes and allow me to take drugs?

  • Values Voter LONG BEACH, CA
    Feb. 21, 2014 11:24 a.m.

    Someone needs to point this out. The Arizona bill potentially affects MANY people. For example, a devout Muslim, under this bill, would be able to refuse service to any woman unaccompanied by a male relative. Bus rides, transactions at a pharmacy, the list goes on. -- Let that sink in for a moment.

    Of course, in reality, the bill is aimed DIRECTLY at LGBT people, though it doesn't even mention them by name. Consider the disingenuousness of a bill like this. If one is Christian, other groups of "sinners" -- cough, everyone -- are, in practice, almost NEVER targeted. Private business services are routinely provided to people, that, if one used a checklist of biblical proscriptions, could be publicly refused and sent packing.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 21, 2014 11:15 a.m.

    If business owners wish to discriminate and deny their services to other citizens then the business owner should be required to reimburse those they discriminate against their fair share of taxes for street cleaning, crime control, city improvements, etc that make it possible for the business owner to operate a safe successful business.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 11:13 a.m.

    Foolish. foolish, foolish! If you are looking for discrimination, you will find it! How someone can equate discrimination with someone standing for something is beyond me! If I don't want to allow an alcoholic in my house, or business, and deny him/her a beer because I don't want that influence in my house, or business, how is that anything but standing up for my religious right? Yup, Jesus might say come on in and drink up a storm, but I am not Him, and I'm not sure He would do that either. He might, but He is different than me. I need to protect my family, business, and children from influences that I deem harmful. I'm not against the alcoholic to go drink his beer somewhere where he/she feels more comfortable. I think all these people walking around screaming "discrimination" need to look for the good in others, instead of the negative. Being a victim your whole life doesn't help either. George Washington Carver grew up with all kinds of discrimination and negativity and he overcame it by just doing what was right and looking for the good.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 10:56 a.m.

    @Alacrity;

    The law says:
    "The bill allows ANY business, church OR PERSON to cite the law as a defense in any action brought by the government or individual claiming discrimination."

    This would clearly allow "government workers" as well as they fall under the category of ANY PERSON. Many states are specifically allowing government workers to refuse service to LGBT couples in their laws.

    Businesses do not have religion. Businesses do not worship. Businesses do not have the right to "refuse service to anyone" without a legitimate reason. Religious beliefs are not a legitimate reason to discriminate.

    @BeSmart;

    They "own" their business. They operate under the permission of the government. Your home and business are separate entities. One is a "public access", the other is private.

  • BeSmart Cheyenne, WY
    Feb. 21, 2014 10:26 a.m.

    @ Vince here
    Same-sex marriage as far as the government goes is a constitutional issue, what they decide Whether or not it is constitutional constitutional I will support that decision, but there is something called the seperation of church and state.
    There are lots of scriptures in the bible for standing for what you believe is right.
    The golden rule is do unto other as you would have them do unto you. I would not be offended one bit if I was refused service because somehow I practiced,or was contrary to someones beliefs. That is a fundamental right every business owner should have.
    They OWN the business.
    I think it is discrimination if you do not let me in your house, you should have to let me in even if you own the house? It is a right that should not be infringed upon.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 10:23 a.m.

    @sprywolf 8:22 a.m. Feb. 21, 2014

    This walks a fine line. While no on should be discriminated against for the way they live their life. I also believe that people should not be forced to do something they don't feel comfortable with.

    ---------------

    For the record, I'm a straight woman in her 60s. If this bill passes there's something my husband and I won't feel comfortable with -- spending even one penny that will somehow benefit Arizona. This type of bill is disgusting, and goes against everything I know about honor, and about equal protection under the Constitution. Funny thing, "religious" people -- gays and lesbians are people too, and are well eligible and suitable for you to respect. Sexuality "just is" -- it isn't chosen and it doesn't happen as the result of a conscious decision.

    Gay men and lesbian women have every right to their place in the market on an equal basis with everyone else. It is truly sad when people try to deny them that. AND denying them equal treatment is not a religious way to live (whatever happened to loving one's neighbor as oneself).

    For shame, Arizona. You (your people) should be better.

  • MisiKoi Mesa, AZ
    Feb. 21, 2014 10:22 a.m.

    As a business person I would not deny service to anyone because of what they are. That is part of doing business. But I would want the right to deny service if a customer wants me to perform a service that would associate me(my business) with a behavior, belief or life style that I find objectionable. I'm sure the businesses in question sell cakes all the time without discriminating against anyone. The same with photography. But if the customer wants your service in such a way that associates your business as a supporter of their objectionable activity or belief then the business should have the right to deny service. This has been the standard up until now without having to pass new laws but because some press the issue to suit their own agenda we end up with what is going on today.

  • Vince here San Diego, CA
    Feb. 21, 2014 10:16 a.m.

    Bigotry, alive and well -

    In the name of religious freedom - let's see, let me look that up in the New Testament - hmmm - refuse service, nope, that's the Sermon on the Mount, that won't do. Golden Rule, naw. "True religion undefiled is this, to clothe the naked, to feed the hungry..." - nope, that's only for Sunday School.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 9:56 a.m.

    @banderson
    The act of discriminating is foolish, childish, and most assuredly provocative.

    Actually, I take back childish, since that's an insult to children.

  • Alacrity Tooele, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 9:56 a.m.

    Private business owners usually pay huge sums of money and take big risks in acquiring their own businesses. As such, they should be given some prerogative as to how and with whom that business is run.

    And they certainly shouldn't be forced into conduct that goes against their innate religious beliefs. As such, this freedom of religion bill is a good for Arizona and good for America. Hopefully, other states will follow Arizona's common sense example.

    LGBT people will still be able to purchase whatever they want in Arizona. There won't be that many businesses that will enact and use this law. But the ones that do should definitely have that right.

    If LGBT people force others into doing things they don't want to do... especially something related to their personal religious beliefs, they are truly going to create more animosity toward themselves, thus defeating part of their agenda about wanting to be accepted. Forcing others never creates a feeling of acceptance.

    @ Ranch:

    Did you even read the article? This is only about private business owner's rights. No government service will ever be denied to anyone because of this law. So no issue there.

  • BeSmart Cheyenne, WY
    Feb. 21, 2014 9:53 a.m.

    This should be a fundamental right to any business owner.
    They should have the right to refuse service to anyone.
    What is lost in this situation are the business owners rights.
    I can guarantee that there are plenty of businesses who will cater to any community.
    A business owner should have the right to refuse service to anyone. Why because it is their business, their money, and their reputation. Just like an owner of a home had the right to not let someone in their home.
    If this community wants the rights to marry. Then they should respect business owners rights to refuse service.
    Pot calling the kettle black.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Feb. 21, 2014 9:36 a.m.

    I don't think that someone should discriminate against a person because of their sexual orientation or their religion. People should be able to boycott an event. So if Bob the Baptist goes to a restaurant Andy the Atheist's restaurant, he can't be turned down. If Bob calls up the restaurant and wants a church function to be catered, then Andy the Atheist can refuse. Same thing for someone who objects to gay marriage. He/she can discriminate against the event.

    What if I don't want to invest in stocks in Israeli companies because of their oppression of the Palestinians? Am I anti-semitic, on the same level as a Nazi?

    People will disagree that if they don't want to cater a gay wedding then they should not be caterers or wedding photographers. The effect of that regressive stand is institutional discrimination where one set of people are given a disadvantage. That should not be happening in a society that truly values diversity.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 9:24 a.m.

    This is just another attempt by people to come to terms with the fact that the states have the right to decide issues such as this. You can't "fix" things with laws, whether it's gays demanding special rights, or a straight person demanding federal passage of DOMA. The states, however, were intended to decide issues such as this, not the federal government. 50 states being allowed to decide what they think is in their best interests makes for a vibrant union, not forcing everyone to think and act the same, such as happens with those who want some evil dictator to compel everyone to be the same. The Constitution should be followed and God-given rights protected. There is nothing in the Constitution that says the someone should be forced to go against his/her religious belief. A business owner has the right to refuse service to anyone based on his/her religious belief. If their "religious" idea is bad, stupid, or foolish, or even discriminatory, sooner or later, the business won't be in business anymore. The cry of "discrimination" is foolish, childish, and provocative! Support states' rights and your rights in the Constitution. Leave everyone else alone!

  • Social Mod Fiscal Con West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 9:21 a.m.

    This is bad legislation.

    First, nobody should be given the legal right to discriminate against another person.

    Second, the situations we have seen in the news were not about discriminating against an individual but about discriminating against an event. There is a big difference and this law doesn't address that difference.

    What they should have done is made it clear that a business has the right to provide alternative options (a referral to another appropriate business) without repercussions. If there is no other option available (within a reasonable time or distance) then the business must service the client/event.

    Religious Freedom is critical to our way of life in the country. It is central to the framework the Constitution was built on. However, when it comes in conflict with the principles of equality we hold dear, there must be some compromise.

  • D. Call El Paso, TX
    Feb. 21, 2014 8:44 a.m.

    This is absurd that a measure like this is even controversial. The founding father cared so much about the freedom of religion that they put it as the first item of the first amendment to the constitution. I think they were sending a message; freedom of religion is the center piece of our rights and our democracy.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 8:32 a.m.

    @sprywolf;

    If people don't feel comfortable doing business with "sinners" (lgbt to be specific), then they shouldn't go into business. They KNOW the laws BEFORE they open their doors.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 8:31 a.m.

    Hopefully it won't be long in Arizona before some business or service is refused to someone who is straight on religious grounds.

  • DanO Mission Viejo, CA
    Feb. 21, 2014 8:26 a.m.

    Exactly Craig. Certainly SCOTUS won't buy it. It was pretty clear what their intentions were. If Brewer signs this, she have signed a big check to a bunch of lawyers.

  • sprywolf Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 8:22 a.m.

    This walks a fine line. While no on should be discriminated against for the way they live their life. I also believe that people should not be forced to do something they don't feel comfortable with.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 8:08 a.m.

    "We see a growing hostility toward religion, said Josh Kredit,"

    -- Bills like this are very much the reason why!

    "This bill is not about allowing discrimination," Yarbrough said."

    -- It absolutely is!

    "... in other states where people have been punished for their beliefs," Farnsworth said."

    -- They were punished for breaking anti-discrimination laws, not for their religious beliefs.

    This law should be called the "Feel Free to Discriminate Against Gays Bill". Religious freedom? Not! There is not one single scripture that says you shouldn't do business with gays (nor do business with any sinners, for that matter).

    You allow ANY person to claim religious freedom and they go to the government for services and are denied by that person, doesn't that violate the Constitution Amendment 14? "... nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Talk about specifically denying people "equal protection of the laws".

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Feb. 21, 2014 8:01 a.m.

    I don't think the Arizona Republicans pushing this bill actually believe this is a bill to protect religious freedom. Not many people across the country will buy that either.