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Legal Scholars Said Arizona Law Was ‘Egregiously Misrepresented’ by Critics

SB1062 did NOT say that businesses could discriminate for religious reasons.

by
Paula Bolyard

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February 27, 2014 - 7:00 am
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The CNN headline screams: “VETOED: Governor says ‘no’ to anti-gay bill.”

Saying she has not heard of “one example where business owners’ religious liberties has been violated” in the state and that the bill was too broad, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the controversial SB 1062 .

SB 1062 is that bill that would have allowed business owners to discriminate against gays and deny them service in restaurants and bakeries, right?  Have you gotten the message (from virtually every news outlet and even from the NFL) that the bill was all about — and only about — Arizona’s attempt to impose some version of Jim Crow laws on homosexuals? If so, you’ve been misled. But you’re probably not alone because the bill was so widely misrepresented.

In fact, nearly a dozen religious-liberty scholars wrote a letter to Governor Brewer prior to her veto, saying that SB 1062 “has been egregiously misrepresented by many of its critics.” The group included individuals on different sides of the same-sex marriage debate and those from a variety of religious and political perspectives. All said that “many criticisms of the Arizona bill are deeply misleading.”

The letter noted that the federal government and eighteen states have Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs) that require the government to have a compelling interest before burdening a person’s religious exercise. The legal scholars assert that the standard makes sense. “We should not punish people for practicing their religions unless we have a very good reason.” Arizona has had a RFRA in place for nearly fifteen years with only a handful of cases and little controversy. SB 1062 merely sought to clear up two ambiguities in the existent law:

It would provide that people are covered when state or local government requires them to violate their religion in the conduct of their business, and it would provide that people are covered when sued by a private citizen invoking state or local law to demand that they violate their religion.

But nothing in the amendment would say who wins in either of these cases. The person invoking RFRA would still have to prove that he had a sincere religious belief and that state or local government was imposing a substantial burden on his exercise of that religious belief. And the government, or the person on the other side of the lawsuit, could still show that compliance with the law was necessary to serve a compelling government interest. [Emphasis original]

Contrary to the widespread misreporting,  this was not an “anti-gay” bill and nothing in the text of the bill would have overtly permitted businesses to deny services or “discriminate” against anyone. It merely would have made clear that individuals and businesses could raise religious liberty as a defense in certain cases. Arizona’s current RFRA, parts of which were copied verbatim from the federal law, left some ambiguity as to when that defense would be appropriate:

So, to be clear: SB1062 does not say that businesses can discriminate for religious reasons. It says that business people can assert a claim or defense under RFRA, in any kind of case (discrimination cases are not even mentioned, although they would be included), that they have the burden of proving a substantial burden on a sincere religious practice, that the government or the person suing them has the burden of proof on compelling government interest, and that the state courts in Arizona make the final decision.

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Top Rated Comments   
The Gay Cult and its neoMarxist sponsors get a lot of mileage out of lies.

Only 20 years or so after the fact do we learn that Matthew Shephard wasn't killed because he was homosexual, but because he was low-life dope peddler who welched on a debt and just happened to also be Queer.

Does anyone expect that these slimeballs, who are mentally ill and morally degenerate, are going to be honest about ANYTHING?
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
One problem is that people keep fighting this issue under "religious rights". It should be fought under "anti-slavery". There's no reason why my labor as a business owner/operator should be mandatory for anyone.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
I can't fault the Governor for failing to rise to a very high standard.

Nonetheless, here's what I wish could have happened. Gov. Brewer could have gone on television and said: "There's been a lot of heat and noise about this bill. It's my job to sign it or veto it. But before I do, I think we need to clear the air. So please grab a coffee and get comfortable; I'm going to read the bill to you, and explain what it means and what it would do."

How much trouble could we avoid in this country if we actually READ the bills that govern our lives? And how much trouble would be avoided if our legislators wrote bills intended to be read?
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (29)
All Comments   (29)
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In Matthew 7:6, Jesus said, “Don’t give that which is holy to the dogs, neither throw your pearls before the pigs, lest perhaps they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” When Jesus speaks of holiness he is speaking of two things: public assemblies and law or the law making powers of the legislature. When Jesus is speaking of dogs, he is referring to the Old Testament description of a homosexual or gay male prostitute who are called dogs in Hebrew. Jesus described sound government principles as pearls and treasure. Pigs can only be found outside of Israel in the heathen nations. In summery Jesus is giving a warning. Don’t hand over sound principles of government (or the formation of government) to heathens because they will trample them under foot as they raise up a despotism, a tyranny. Don’t hand over the law making powers of the state to homosexuals because if you do they will use the law to tear you and society to pieces. Article VIII - making God's law American law.
Few Examples.
Congressional laws including the Patriot act and the plethora of executive orders is undermining the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Judicial usurpation is overthrowing not only state laws but the very will of the American people in their state's constitutional amendments. Homosexuality is a judicial created right not a right granted by the American people or God.
Portland bar owner fined $400,000 for excluding transsexual men who were using the woman’s restroom

Wildflower Inn in Vermont pays settlement to lesbians and shuts down wedding reception business

California law allow boys in girls showers and restrooms
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bah! It only matters what The Dish thinks.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
"One picture is worth a thousand words!" The pic at top of article says it all, where did that poster get printed? Print shops in and around downtown Phoenix are closing at "warp speed." Where did all the "rent-a-mob" get bussed from? A lot of the faces portrayed on videos are of many of the same ne'er-do-wells present at Occupy Wall Street, disruptive, confrontative bashing of a peaceful assembly in front of both Mr. McCain's Offices as well as Jeff Flakes on Camelback Road in Phoenix, Arizona. All on MSM, local media for anyone to check out. The faces are the same, tactics are the same, chants are the same and air horns are the same. WHO FUNDS THIS MOVEMENT? HUH? Folk,s follow the money. Arizona has been "Occupied" by Progressive New Left Activists masking as "Open Borders" mobs, LGBT'er mob and every far left activist's agenda possible. This cadre of "fellow travelers" are part of a national strategy to "divide and conquer!" Later, these disparate groups, after having served their purpose, will be exterminated. Need proof? Look at Putins Pink Revolution all are locked up. Look at Kiev, all of those "activists" are dead or locked up. Bolshevik revolution is on America's doorsteps. Pray. Amen. God Bless America. Join a Tea Party, urgently. Support a local committee for:1)term limits, 2)balanced budget, and 3) return of States Rights. Save America, she's on life support.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Since when have leftists/liberals ever represented anything in it's true "light". It's all about a twisted perception on their part and distortion, in not outright lies, to achieve their goals.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
A simple solution to the problem of homosexual couples suing Bakers and Photographers for declining their business is to have the purchase agreement include the pre-printed statement that the vendor has the right to sublet any portion of the work. Then DO IT!
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Legal scholars? A little later to the party, elaborating the obvious. Critics? Hysterical queens and rabid leftists. Such is politics today.

I'm sure the bill is problematic no matter how you try to word it, in a PC world. I don't much like giving religious objections any force of law in public behaviors. How about, "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" without any reasons required? Does this mean, "No shirt, no shoes, no service" is now an illegal objection as well, or is that waiting on some barefoot guy filing suit in federal court?

35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's coming close to the middle of Adar -- what's next for the govt? To have religious people bow down to an idol/a Haman because an atheist in govt demands it?
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Analysis of what happened in Arizona.
Folks, It's called "STANDING!" See, LGBT community hasn't any LEGAL ARGUMENT upon which to hang their agenda(s),i.e., civil rights, discrimination, etc. 
Try as they may, time and time again, JUDICIALLY their demands, law suits and chicanery have met with defeat. All this 0.05% of America's LGBT population has left is economic pressure. Example: Chick-Fil-A, boycott one or another store, bus in "Rent-A-Crowds" for so-called show of force to have one company or another succumb to their empty demands, threaten Super Bowl loss of revenue, economic sanctions upon the state, etc. etc. But a valid argument...NOPE, not there. NADA!
So, if the LGBT'ERS "Civil Rights" argument hasn't won any favors with US Judicial Branches (because they don't have STANDING) and its proven time-and-time again their platform for "social justice" is devoid of arguments...then what is it LGBT'ers are trying to accomplish? From what source(s) do these ineffectual, disparate groups get their funds from, where do these large numbers of rabble rousers get bussed from? Who prints their placards, organizes chants and has CNN/ABC/NBC/CBS - MSM coverages? Who is the "PRIME MOVER" BEHIND THIS LBGT MOVEMENT? Upon closer analysis, we learn the funds are from several upper class (uber rich) donors! We also learn the LGBT movement is one of several "front activist" organizations Progressive New Left Activists have employed to foist off on all America a strictly socialist agenda. This is Francis-Fox-Pivens "incremental Socialism" tactic often talked about in her lectures. Gov. Jan Brewers, John McCains, Jeff Flakes support of vetoing SB1062 is tied to all three's crony capitalism...sad, that's the truth. Our US Constitution is being sold to the highest bidder and all the: 1)greedy, 2)power hungry and 3)corrupt ELITES are in WashingtonDC organizing this "selling.". God Bless America that was. Arizona now benefits from every California Leftist having migrated to a neighboring state.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
It was a horribly written bill - only three pages, you can read it for yourself - that was so open ended as to allow all manner of discrimination for almost no reason at all. It is exactly this sort of nonsense that contributes to the cleave between the social issues voters and the fiscal conservatives. Where is the positive agenda? We cannot keep hammering on abortion, contraception, gays, and poor people to convince the gullible social issues voters who will just check out in the next election.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
So now social conservatives are "gullible? I beg to differ. I would say squishy RINO's and "Fiscal consevative/social liberal types are the real gullible ones. You allow the media and Democrat operatives to set the agenda and choose your candidates who turn out to be non-entities.
I heard Tony Kornheiser of ESPN say today that the "NFL is trying to put out a welcome mat for gay player Michael Sam and if the Arizona bill passed, he wouldn't be able to buy a ticket to the Super Bowl in Phoenix." That's like world class craziness, but we're the gullible ones.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Which section was wide open to allow discrimination?
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
So, refusing to sign this bill means that the LGBTBBQWTF crowd can't boycott, either?
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
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