Comments about ‘Arizona's religious freedom bill riles gay rights supporters’

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Published: Friday, Feb. 21 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

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.

Here, UT

"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".

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.

Mission Viejo, CA

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.

American Fork, UT

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

Here, UT


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.

D. Call
El Paso, TX

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.

Social Mod Fiscal Con
West Jordan, UT

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.

Saint George, UT

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!

Dammam, Saudi Arabia

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.

Cheyenne, WY

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.

Tooele, UT

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.

Salt Lake City, UT

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

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

Vince here
San Diego, CA

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.

Mesa, AZ

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.

Ogden, UT

@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.

Cheyenne, WY

@ 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.

Here, UT


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.


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.

Saint George, UT

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.

Phoenix, AZ

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.

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