Saturday, February 22, 2014

Why the AZ "anti-gay" law is a lot worse than you think

Crossposted on DKos

Has anyone supporting this legislation actually read this bill?

I did. You should to. Full text is here.

First off, it is the most amateurish and poorly written bills I have ever seen.

And I live in Florida. Florida! Where our legislators offer bills criminalizing wearing pants too low or photographing pastures. Heck, we even have a law written so poorly it essentially allows people to shoot people they don't like...

And I can tell you with certainty that even here in Florida this bill would not pass.

(Not because our legislature isn't just as bad, but because we have a powerful tourist industry that would never allow their legislative minions to put something out that would screw them over so royally.)

The key portion of this bill contains these idiotic condition statements that blow my mind. It says that you can discriminate against someone as a religious exercise and seek relief in a judicial proceeding as long as three things happen:

1. That the person's action or refusal to act is motivated by a religious belief.

2. That the person's religious belief is sincerely held.

3. That the state action substantially burdens the exercise of the person's religious beliefs.

Hard to know where to begin. "Sincerely held". WTF? How the hell do you measure/judge someone's sincerity? ("I kicked 'em out because of my religion, but to be honest I'm not all that sincere about it")

Moreover, the media is hyping this as an "anti-gay" bill. Nowhere does the word "homosexual" or "gay" appear. This bill goes waaay beyond sexual orientation. It simply says that anyone can get a pass if sued for discrimination as long as its a A. religious belief B. sincere (I'm super cereal about that!) and C. the government is giving you grief about it (which is why you'd be in court in the first place).

In other words, anyone can use bigotry to discriminate against anyone as long as they claim its religious.

Don't like those brown people? (Which apparently is a thing in Arizona) Throw 'em out of your bar. Dark-skinned people are God's curse. Its my religion, your honor.

Maybe you just plain don't like black people. Maybe your religious beliefs align with Sharron Angle, who opposes the color black on religious grounds as "thoroughly evil", "ungodly" and "wicked". Guess what? AZ got your back.

Jews? Imperfect. Can't serve those who won't be saved.

Pregnant? Get out of my store! I hate out-of-wedlock parents! For that matter, I hate wedlocked parents to0! (I have an odd religion.)

Divorced? Have tattoos? Play football? Wear polyester? All are banned in the Bible. Also, Leviticus says male gays are an abomination--which is exactly what it says about people who eat shrimp.

Jesus spoke in every book of the New Testament about the evils of greed and excess wealth. You might say He was focused on that. So if anyone should be turned away it should be those with money. (Which I doubt you'll ever see). At this point I'd quote all the vicious things He said about homosexuality, but it was apparently so offensive to Him that He never mentioned it at all... not once.

Sure, SEM, you may say. This bill flies in the face of federal laws that protect Americans from discrimination by race and religion, which means lawsuits are going to flood this state when that inevitably happens. You would think a state awash in debt might think twice, but not if there's another group of people it gets to hate.

Arizona must LOVE boycotts. Arizona was subjected to a mass boycott after they became the first state to rescind MLK day in 87. (They finally caved and now even celebrate a way). In 2010, a white supremacist state senator named Russell Pearce sponsored and passed the first Anti-Brown law, which has cost the state hundreds of millions in lost revenue. Now they get to target the gays along with the added bonus of codifying their bigotry for pretty much anyone. If Janet is dumb enough to sign it into law, AZ will get to have their biggest boycott yet.

It is true that the reason behind the bill, and the media obsession, is the anti-gay agenda set forth by the fundamentalist Christian bigots who claimed they wanted the right to oppose the "sinful lifestyle" of gay unions. As Erick son of Erick said on RedState, he does not oppose "the gays" (although he says he is dangerously close to starting to if they keep demanding rights), he just wants the right of people to refuse to support the celebration of a gay marriage:

...there was no proof that the business owners refused to serve gays. In fact, in more than one case they could show that they did, in fact, have gay customers. But they did not want to provide goods or services to a gay wedding because of their religious beliefs.

But this bill doesn't even do that, genius. It does exactly what you said it wouldn't do, allow you to refuse service to gays JUST FOR BEING GAY. For that matter, it allows you to refuse service to anyone for any personal-held bigotry as long as you say its religious.

If I lived in Arizona, my only solace would be that I can deny service to any right-wing Christian bigot, which is against my religion. You see, my God just really hates stupid people. Sincerely.

1 comment :

  1. I can't wait until the Satanist start turning people away for not worshipping Satan! What a hoot!