WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

AZ Governor Jan Brewer's veto: Is anyone surprised?

In the end, it may have been an anticlimax.

Given the mounting pressure, threats of boycotts and economic reversals, etc., it was almost certain Arizona's Governor Jan Brewer would veto Senate bill 1062, designed to give added protection from litigation to people invoking their profoundly held religious beliefs to refuse service to gays and lesbians.

But what I never understood: How would someone necessarily even know if, for example, two patrons were gay or lesbian? Don't two straight guys or women go to a restaurant, for example?

And substitute race for gay. Under Senate bill 1062, couldn't a person or business discriminate against people of color? What if the proprietor subscribed to the beliefs of the so-called, Christian Identity movement?

The one gray area, it seems to me, came from New Mexico, where a New Mexican Supreme Court decision allowed a gay couple to sue a wedding photographer who had a moral problem with recording their wedding, even though Arizona didn't have a similar law which allowed the suit to proceed in New Mexico.

(In the New Mexico case, here's what I had difficulty figuring out: If you KNEW your prospective wedding photographer had qualms about documenting your ceremony for whatever reason, why would you WANT that photographer anyway, lest that photographer botch the job? ...Unless you wanted to make a greater statement, transcending the wedding itself. Futhermore, what if a wedding photographer had a moral objection to remarriage of a heterosexual couple after divorce? Or an objection to photographing civil weddings before a judge or justice-of-the-peace, lest it legitimize a union in the eyes of the state, but not before God? Where would it end? Probably best for that photographer to earn one's living in another way...)

But one wonders if this issue was even relevant for the overwhelming majority of businesses and people who freelance on the side -- in Arizona or anywhere else. Green is green.

One also wonders why Governor Brewer waited so long before announcing her decision. Did she not immediately see the handwriting on the wall? Did she want people in her state to think she was agonizing over the issue? (Maybe she was.) Or does a part of her savor being on the hot seat - in the national spotlight - time after time?



Another article in The ARIZONA REPUBLIC sheds light on why Arizona lawmakers - and indeed Governor Brewer - might have been caught flatfooted by the white-hot national attention. After all, a similar piece of legislation won approval last year... only to be vetoed by Governor Brewer. (I think the explanation is simple: So much has happened nationally in the area of gay rights / gay marriage in a single calendar year.)


Posted at 7:54am on February 27, 2014 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Thu, Feb 27, 2014 8:25am
No surprise. The press did a good job informing us of all the pressure she was under...

The one thing I find interesting is that again, as in Texas and Virginia, it is conservatives who are throwing out the anti-discriminatory legislation. But it really shouldn't be such a surprise. Conservatives have a very strong defense of libertarian values, and would be quick to recognize the parallelism between banning a person because they believe in being gay, and banning a person because they believe in God.

If you allow a government's imposition upon one, sooner or later it will be used to allow the imposition upon the other...

Mike from Delaware
Thu, Feb 27, 2014 8:36am
I believe Arizona's legislators and governor could pass something that would protect churches, pastors, priests, and those businesses that are a part of a wedding [florists, cake-makers, musicians, DJ's, photographers, videographers, caterers, and printers] from having to provide their services at the wedding ceremony/celebration if against their religious beliefs, but that provision ONLY. It seems this legislation contained a far broader version, and that is the problem.

Frankly, why would someone want to pay someone to do their wedding ceremoney/celebration, who sees no value in what you're doing? Their work wouldn't be as good, as most of those things are "artistic" in nature. So then if their product did not meet the expectations of the gay/lesbian couples, would they then sue, claiming the person did a lousy job on purpose, because he/she was against LGBT marriage? This seems like a lose/lose situation for the business doing weddings. THAT's what needs to be addressed.

Thu, Feb 27, 2014 9:01am
"The one thing I find interesting is that again, as in Texas and Virginia, it is conservatives who are throwing out the anti-discriminatory legislation. But it really shouldn't be such a surprise. Conservatives have a very strong defense of libertarian values, and would be quick to recognize the parallelism between banning a person because they believe in being gay, and banning a person because they believe in God.

If you allow a government's imposition upon one, sooner or later it will be used to allow the imposition upon the other..."

kavips: Very well said. I must admit...your post sounded more like something I would post rather than yourself.

Thu, Feb 27, 2014 9:37am
There was little doubt she would veto the bill. She had little choice. The vague language could have opened the door to a wide range of discrimination. However, there have already been cases in other states of florists being sued for refusing to service gay marriages. One couple is threatening to sue any church which refuses them. So yes, we need protection.

Mike from Delaware
Thu, Feb 27, 2014 9:59am
JimH: Well said, that is exactly my point.

Thu, Feb 27, 2014 1:25pm
I'm starting to think they certainly don't need protection... This is an odd example. If I punch someone in the mouth and that person sues me, is that justified? Most of us would say yes. Which actually, is why a lot of people still have their jaws intact. I don't punch them because I don't want to get sued. Likewise, if I don't like Islam, and a Muslim walks into a restaurant, I can't go up to him and say... "Yo, get out of here, you filthy animal and them make machine-gun noises into a loudspeaker system..." I mean, I could, but I would probably be sued and that is why I choose not to let it worry me, and just eat my food and go. I don't want to be sued...

So what's different? If I hate bigots, hate Muslims, hate gays, why should I only be protected if I insult gays?

All of the above "anti" sub-class responses are wrong. The only thing different is the supportive crowd standing around if I live in a strictly conservative state, which is supportive of me for disrespecting a gay person..."Yeah, you tell him" the crowd roars its approval.

Equally at points in our nation's history, they would have supported me for maligning a Muslim, for busting a bigot, for mixing it up with a Mexican, for blaming a black, for being indignant with an Indian....

Or all those we moved on. Or all those people who recognized that they were people first, and sub-categories second. Or all those people who realized how bad it would be if the shoe were on the other foot, and they were persecuted, instead of doing the persecution...

So, as someone who believes in individual responsibility, I don't think those individuals need protection to continue their bad habits. If they make a mistake, and get sued, they certainly chose to make that mistake, and should be proud to get sued for their beliefs.. if they are not willing to get sued and financially lose everything over what they believe, then... their beliefs really don't amount to anything at all, now do they?

Mike from Delaware
Thu, Feb 27, 2014 3:48pm
Kavips: I totally didn't understand your last post at all. The take-away from your post, I think, is that too bad for those of us whose religious faith and belief maintain that LGBT marriage is sinful based on the Bible; so as a result, WE don't want to be a part of an LGBT marriage ceremoney/celebration in any way [kind of like telling me that I must work at an abortion clinic, even though that too would violate my faith beliefs]. If we run a business that does things at a wedding [caterer, music, flowers, cake, wedding gowns, the pastor, church organist, the church facilities, etc.], we're forced to be a part of a sinful act?? Too bad for us, everyone else's rights and faith beliefs are protected but OURS???

I have no problem if a church or related businesses CHOOSE to do LGBT marriages, that is their right, and the church or related businesses that CHOOSE NOT to do LGBT marriages, that too is their right, and shouldn't be forced to participate in such an event.

I don't advocate any further restrictions beyond the wedding ceremony/celebration, as that involves worship, belief, and faith practices, and should not be violated.

Sadly there are those, as JimH pointed out, that have THEIR agenda of forcing the churches and Christians to do their will, no matter if it violates these folks' religious beliefs. So essentially what will happen is these people will deliberately seek out Bible-believing churches that teach homosexuality is a sin, and attempt to get married those churches. When they are turned down, they'll sue that church. Does that seem reasonable?

What will end up happening is churches will ONLY marry members of their church; will only allow members to use their facilities.

Some of these businesses will stop doing weddings anywhere and will only do weddings at certain churches, or simple go out-of-business.

It's like when a religious hospital or clinic is forced to do abortions against its will, what happens, they stop delivering babies [maternity, etc.,] altogether rather than being forced to do something that is sinful. So a few people got their way closing down a place that benefited many others.

This is an area where I stand with the TEA/G.O.P. folks. The DEMS are wrong on this issue. This is a basic tenet of our society, religious freedom. If this were to really start happening in a serious way, I might have to just kiss my Social Security goodbye and work until I drop, because I'd find myself not being able to stomach voting for DEMS and would have to hold my nose and vote for TEA party people. This is a serious issue and one the DEMS should avoid, in my opinion.

Thu, Feb 27, 2014 7:24pm
Okay folks, it's time to address this marriage equality thing once and for all. The problem here is that equality doesn't really exist because it only grants special rights to homosexuals. What about people who want to marry and/or have sex with children or animals? What about those who want sexual relations with their own brother or sister, or for that matter, their mother or father? Their grandparents or grandchildren? Who are we to stick our noses into their bedrooms? Billions of tax dollars all across the country could be saved on prisons just by giving these people the same rights as gays.

Furthermore, what about people who deal in child pornography? Goodness gracious, it's only pictures! Where's their equality? Why is poor old Richard Korn still sitting in jail after all the good he's done for the poor in Delaware by bringing them Venezuelan oil?

Now don't get me wrong. I'm still for mutual consent. No person or animal of any age or gender should be forcibly raped, but as long as both parties are consenting, what's the fuss? Why do we give homosexuals permission to do whatever they want but we still throw all these other groups into the slammer? I thought America was the land of the free!

Sorry folks, but there won't be real marriage and sexual equality until we make it legal for everybody to have sex with anybody or anything they choose. Anything less is discriminatory and hypocritical.

Fri, Feb 28, 2014 9:45am
Pizza: "The problem here is that equality doesn't really exist because it only grants special rights to homosexuals."

I don't understand your intent here. "Equality" implies equal rights, not 'special' rights.

And your slippery-slope scare tactics are irrelevant. Consenting adults are the topic here, not children or animals.

And this has nothing to do with child pornography.

Fri, Feb 28, 2014 8:03pm
Hey Dunmore: If you're too stupid to figure out the direction this thing is going next as I have, then you're just another part of the problem. My so-called "slippery-slope scare tactics" have thus far played out in reality. By the way, Rush Limbaugh and Shawn Hannity have been warning us about this crap for the last 15 to 20 years and idiots like you continue to bury your heads in the sand. No wonder the country is no longer "going to hell in a handbasket", but it's now arrived there.

Sat, Mar 1, 2014 5:10am
Oh, and one more thing, I am correct in saying that these are special rights for homosexuals and not equal rights, because the law is showing preference to one kind of evil over all the others I've listed.

Sat, Mar 1, 2014 12:45pm
Short answer for Pizza, who contends that homosexuality leads to sex with animals...

Duh. The only people who have sex with animals are Republicans. Period. And they only represent 47% of the vote, so "they, don't, matter".

Sat, Mar 1, 2014 1:28pm
Mike the difference between you and me, lies here.... and it can be probably blamed on your extrapolations...

You equate the performance of a gay wedding as the equivalent of a working in an abortion clinic. i equate it to waiting on a table of gays who came into a corporatized chain restaurant.

I'm sure across humanity, as there was Hitler who "had it in for the Jews" there are probably those who likewise if given unlimited power, would "have it in for Christians" as well. Unlike the Jews who were innocent, some fake Christians, such as the Westboro Baptist Church, probably actually deserve such strong retaliation for their ungodly protesting at every dead serviceperson's funeral. Of course one must recognize it is against these fake religions masquerading as Christians, towards which most of the animosity is directed... not the good souls.

I find complete fault with your assertion that gays will seek out churches just to sue them... Why? Wouldn't any hetero couple do the same thing? No? You forget that gay marriage is about love; not sex. These two people love each other as much or more than heteroes do, and have decided to grow old together because they want no one else. Often in arguments like these,.. those making the argument base it on very unreasonable possibilities. I ask, would a hetero couple choose to punish a certain church or certain pastor, or would they prefer to make their wedding one of the happiest days of their lives and have no problems whatsoever to tarnish their future love-filled union? I guess the question begging asking, was did you get married just for sex, or was there a deeper relationship involved in your making the most important decision of your life? Then, since gays are in every single way normal people too, why would gays do it any differently?

That said, your fear has a very tiny chance of happening more than once. If your premise is true, that someone should not be forced in their employment to go against their moral or religious beliefs, then every employee working in the medical insurance business should sue their employer for big bucks, because they are every day, forced to deny cases they morally knew should have rightfully been paid, but to which they are required to deny, because their boss needs less payments to keep his bonus this month... Those case and your case are exactly the same. Being forced to go against ones religious beliefs through employment.

Better example is this one. What if a driver like Mr. Pizza refuses to deliver a pizza to the House of Gays. Does his boss have the right to fire him? Heck yeah!... his boss is under obligation to serve everyone. It appears it is not a sacrilege when a private business impedes upon religion; only when a private citizen is allowed to??? ...

If all the extrapolations were true of what you said, I would certainly be in agreement with your point of view. Certainly I wouldn't insist on forcing people to work in abortion clinics, but I would insist they wait on that table. i wouldn't insist of forcing people to join an orgy if they wanted to partake of that client's business, but I would insist they deliver the pizza as ordered. Nor would I insist on seeking out anti-gay churches and suing them... Nor would I insist on performing abortions against which one finds morally offensive.

If any of those were true, then you'd have a solid case. What is more likely to occur in the real world, is more the case of a waiter in a restaurant, who randomly gets drawn to having to wait on someone who's value system he is in disagreement... It was to protect such rights of that waiter, that you had two lunch counters in the South...

The problem is the extremist examples being throw out by conservatives that if they happened, would probably make their side correct... such as Mr. Pizza's assertion that people who love each other are going out and have sex with animals next. If such were true, even I would be against gay marriage, until we started allowing animals to join in on these conversations, and who knows, perhaps after hearing what they had to say, we might even relent at that... Maybe they love the humans they mate with? Right now, we don't know, because right now, this blog is only for human beings... (and BillS.) lol.

Sat, Mar 1, 2014 3:02pm
kavips: I never said the homosexuals themselves would progress into sex with animals. What I did say was that now that homosexuals have these rights, people who desire sex with animals and/or children will eventually petition the government for the same rights as their homosexual predecessors. And considering that politicians and judges are becoming more and more depraved as time marches on, they'll likely grant these same rights to all these other depraved groups.

So I ask again, why is Richard Korn still in jail after all he's accomplished in making Delaware a better place to live?

By the way, he's a DEMOCRAT!

Sat, Mar 1, 2014 3:24pm
I just thought of a solution for the Colorado business owner who is being persecuted by the gay lobby, and for anyone else in a similar kind of business who wishes to be left alone.

Just relocate your business to Rising Sun, Maryland.

Sat, Mar 1, 2014 6:22pm
By the way, Kavips, I have no problem delivering pizza to the "House of Gays" as you call it. All I'm doing in that situation is delivering the goods and collecting the money and I'm on my way.

However, I draw a "red line" (your president's terms) on being forced to participate in a gay function and actually stay there for an extended period of time, which is akin to "fellowshipping with darkness". In that situation, I'm outta there! If I lose my job over it, then God will provide me a better one. How do I know that? Because every time I've been fired from a job that job was always replaced by a better one. I don't expect God to change now.

Mike from Delaware
Sat, Mar 1, 2014 8:42pm
Kavips: Interesting points in your piece above. I'd have no problem playing music for gay folks in a restaurant/ supper club, but to be a part of the wedding ceremony / celebration is a very different thing.

Yes, I get your point about the folks who work at a health insurer who has to not provide needed medical care, but you knew that going in to that job, so if you don't want to be put into that spot don't work for the health insurance company. Up until this year, weddings have been ONLY for hetero couples, not homo couples. So since Genesis (over 4000 years) marriage has been for straight couples. Now all of a sudden, secular society wants to change things to allow homo couples to marry plus sue anyone who doesn't want to go along with this change to either force them to do this or put them out of business. Sorry, that's not the same as the insurance employee or Mrpizza delivering pizza to the House of Gay.

Sat, Mar 1, 2014 11:02pm
I do believe there's a movement by the radical gay lobby and possibly the ACLU to systematically sue churches and businesses out of existence by sending their operatives to these places to provoke a refusal of service thereby triggering these lawsuits. Now that the courts are adequately stacked with communists, they'll have no difficulty finding a judge that will rule in their favor.

Unfortunately, there may come a time when pastors and Christian business owners will have to hide out in places like Rising Sun because the guys in the white-hooded suits will be the only protection they have left them once the government totally abandons the ordinary citizen.

Those are strange bedfellows I hope NEVER happen.

Sun, Mar 2, 2014 6:35pm
I don't know much about Rising Sun, except for the fact that it's been the ruin, of many a young man....

Sun, Mar 2, 2014 11:48pm
Yep. That's probably true.

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