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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

February 26, 2014 - 5:01 pm

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed this evening a bill that would allow businesses to deny services based on religious grounds, such as a baker refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

“I call them like I see them despite the tears or the boos from the crowds,” the Republican governor said as protesters rallied outside her office.

Brewer said she met with attorneys, lawmakers and citizens on both sides of the issue after the bill landed on her desk. Those who urged her to veto the bill included former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Arizona GOP Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake.

Brewer said that as governor she has “protected religious freedoms when specific concerns” have arisen, but the bill presented to her was too broad.

She also tersely said that it fell outside of the scope of the agenda she sought this year. “I made my priorities for this session abundantly clear,” she said, noting she wanted a budget to keep Arizona “one of the best states to grow or start a business” and fixing a broken children protective system.

“Instead, this is the first policy bill to cross my desk,” Brewer said. “…I have not heard one example where business owners’ religious liberties has been violated” in the state.

“I understand that long-held norms about marriage and family are being challenged,” she added, but stressed that the bill as written carried the “potential to create more problems than it purports to solve.”

She also said she feared it would divide Arizona “in ways no one could imagine.”

Brewer encouraged that people try to turn the “ugliness” that resulted from debate over the bill “into a new search for greater respect and understanding.”

The governor left without taking questions from the media.

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
I am astonished that any sane person would seek to compel a baker to bake a cake, or a photographer to take his picture, if that person had a strong aversion to doing so. Do you think the cake would be a tasty one, or the pictures edifying?
As a surgeon, I would not want to operate on anyone who would try to compel me to operate upon them against my will, and I would think any patient so inclined to be certifiably nuts!
This is an effort to bait us, by activists, and one need eagerly not take the bait.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
“…I have not heard one example where business owners’ religious liberties has been violated” in the state. SNIP

Just wait, Brewer. One probably will come up very soon.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
The bill was not about not discriminating against gays. It was about allowing a business owner the right to refuse to provide a service for an event or something that the business owner found objectionable. For example, should a baker be forced to write obscenities on a cake if that's what the potential client wanted? It's ironic that the same people who complained about the government being in their bedrooms are the same ones who demand that the government force private businesses to do something they may find objectionable.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (66)
All Comments   (66)
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I'm not sure which makes me think less of her - the fact that she ignores that this issue has ALREADY come up twice in other states (or pretends that it won't come up in AZ), or the fact that she vetoed the bill because it didn't meet her legislative priorities.

If I were a state senator, I'd make sure not to give her a single one of her priorities for the rest of the year.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
She also tersely said that it fell outside of the scope of the agenda she sought this year. “I made my priorities for this session abundantly clear,” she said, noting she wanted a budget to keep Arizona “one of the best states to grow or start a business”...

Except it's not a great state to start or grow a business when you aren't free to choose who you will and won't serve. So much for "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone we wish."

There used to be this thing called "the 1st amendment". It protected our right to peaceably assemble with whomever we chose. Some people called it "freedom of association". Jan Brewer just help to strike another blow against that old notion.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
So this means Muslim bakeries and flower shops and photographers will now be forced to cater to same-sex wedding ceremonies, right?

Right?
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
the scariest aspect of this is that she seems to value the wisdom of ROmney, Mc Cain, and the other guy... above others.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
So infuriating!

Why do homosexuals think they have a right to bully a business into supporting their "marriage" ceremonies?

I am SICK of this bullying by the homosexual crowd and their supporters. They know they have options for their ceremonies. Plenty of companies would do them. They are free to go to any of those businesses and those businesses are free to serve them. No one would care. No one is looking to stop them.

Yet they insist on going to businesses that they know do not agree with such things, and now those businesses are being forced by law to violate their conscience, or else go out of business!

But this is all in the name of "equality" and "rights"?

I'm sick and tired of it! Homosexuals need to stop pushing their views on those who do not and WILL NEVER agree with it!
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why do homosexuals think they have a right to bully a business into supporting their "marriage" ceremonies?

Specifically - the 14th amendment to the Constitution of the United States and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The homosexuals who support fight against our 1st amendment right to freedom of association are the same totalitarians who shifted America from "Natural Rights" (as granted by God) to "Civil Rights" (as granted by men).

No, it's never been about equality or rights. It's about control.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Rightfully, or wrongfully, Brewer will always be remembered as the Governor who vetoed a religious freedom bill.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have a lot of respect for Governor Brewer. I feel ambiguous about the law and about the veto.
I'd rather see a straightforward law or court opinion that every individual and every business is free to conduct business on their own terms -- I don't want anyone forbidden to make a gay wedding cake or compelled to do so.
We have a somewhat related case in Montana's newspapers. A teacher for the Catholic schools has been fired because she is pregnant and not married. For heaven's sake (literally, in the Church's view), this is a religious school! The teaching contract covers this very contingency. Of course the Church's school structure is going to enforce it.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's simpler than it appears on first glance. Gov't has no business intruding itself into these matters one way or the other. Brewer did the right thing by vetoing this bill; as well, she should not sign into law any legislation designed to compel anyone to do business with a potential customer. Again, we as a people have become too accustomed to the idea that it's appropriate to turn to gov't as a means to solve common problems & dilemmas, particularly with regard to the social issues.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Have you forgotten about the baker who was jailed for refusing to bake a cake for a Gay Wedding? Or the photographer who was sued for refusing to photograph a Gay Wedding?

It's one thing to say that Government has no business intruding itself into these matters one way or the other. The problem is: it already has.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's convenient, bobbcat. You're all for the idea of freedom at the State level when Federal law supercedes State law.

Brewer should have signed the bill into law to take a stand against the federal government and federal courts. Had the courts not already sided with the homotyrants, I'd agree with you.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
The issue is NOT refusal of service. It is about the freedom to refuse to participate in a message you don't agree with.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have another view. I can 'refuse' to accept business from customers who offend ME without starting a lawsuit, picketing, etc. There are plenty of legitimate reasons available to decline politely as to why they cannot produce the goods or services without 'offending them'.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
In fact, it is refusal of service. It is your natural right to choose whom you will and won't do business. It's that simple.

It is about discrimination. You have the God-given right to discriminate against anyone for any reason. Just as I have the right to say what I think about your discrimination if I think it's based on bigotry. Yet, in America, you are still free to continue being a bigot regardless of what I say to you.

Only if one or the other of us becomes physically violent should the law intervene.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well said, JaycenR.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
A free society would not compel a baker to carry the message of the gay agenda. In order to win the praise of the media and the politically connected, Brewer decided to throw people in the situation of the Oregon wedding cake baker under the bus and allow the hammer of the state to crush freedom of speech. Yes freedom of speech means the right NOT to affirm a message.

Brewer exchanged the liberty of the one for the praise of the many and she thinks she made a clever political calculation but all she did was to expand the reach of the super-state and narrow the sphere of individual liberty.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
one major difference: Oregon, Washingotn, New Mexico, New Jersay, and other states all have "laws" (scarequtes because they are no law at all) prohibiting "discriminatioin" on the basis of, amongst other distinctives, "sexual oprientation". Arizona do not. Thus, there is no existing law in Arizona that the sodomites can use to persecute the baker or florist who declines to serve them in ways the business/owners find contrary to their religious or moral beliefs. If such an "antidiscriminatioin" bill or ammendment crosses her desk and she SIGNS it, then she will have betrayed the trust she now seeks in this veto. But, at present, this bill really does not DO anything, as there is no law under which the bakers, photpgraphers, candlemakers, etc, could be prosecuted for refusal of service.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
I look forward to the Jewish baker who is forced to make a cake celebrating Hitler's birthday. Even better, a bakery run by blacks being forced to make a Happy KKK Day cake. Because based on the current state of affairs in this country, there is no legal justification for those businesses to refuse. Take all comers, right?

Oh, and I eagerly await a Muslim business being forced to make [insert product or service here] for gays couples. They will not be able to legally refuse.

No one bothers to see where this will lead. Look north to Canada, where a lesbian went into a Muslim barbershop to get a manly haircut. The Muslim refused, because it's against his religion to touch a woman who is not his wife. Based on the law, he should be forced to do so. However, and I'm just spitballing here, I think that the law will make an exception for his faith. Because some pigs are more equal than others, amiright?
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
You have to choose between two possible evils. Require businesses to serve all comers and risk this sort of annoyance, or have the goverment declare people not having to serve others and have businesses declare they truly believe no blacks or Jews should be served.

History shows that the first possibility is practically theoretical: people who join the klan tend to avoid black people, not try and find a black owned businesses to annoy. The second case however has a long history.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
You said it. It's quickly devolving into a free-for-all in our society. Worse, it's becoming this way, because we're losing our freedoms, not gaining any.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
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