Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
One of life's imponderable questions:
Why do the very people who believe an individual, association, partnership, corporation, trust, foundation or other legal entity (because "corporations are people my friend") possess a religious liberty to not comply with state and federal anti-discrimination laws simply by invoking the "magic words" that it is "my sincerely held religious belief" to discriminate against gays — or women, or other religious faiths, or people of color, or other nationalities, etc.
. . . are the very same people who do not believe in the religious liberty or moral conscience choice of a woman to make medical decisions in consultation with her doctor regarding her own body for contraception and abortion? Shouldn't a woman be allowed to invoke her "sincerely held religious belief" in exercising her constitutional rights to contraception and abortion by logical extension of this argument?
Maybe someone should try to get an answer to this moral dilemna from Cathi Herrod and her Christian Taliban at the Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) on Tuesday when she is expected to testify in favor of Rep. "Fast Eddie" Farnsworth's House version of the Religious Bigotry bill, HB 2153 (.pdf), in the Committee on Government, at 2:00 p.m. in House Hearing Room 4.
This bill is a "get out of jail free card" for compliance with the public accommodations provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and the Arizona Civil Rights Act, as amended. Since religion is defined under his bill as an individual's "sincerely held religious beliefs" rather than that of a religious institution — and the government cannot discriminate among religious beliefs under the First Amendment — an individual's "sincerely held religious beliefs" that he or she may discriminate against persons of other religious faiths, or another race, ethnic origin, or sex would be permissible. Such a "get out of jail free card" for compliance with laws based upon the mere assertion of "sincerely held religious beliefs" leads to anarchy.
Also on the agenda is Rep. Steve Montenegro's entirely unnecessary bill in search of a non-existent problem, HB 2481 (.pdf), providing that ministers (or other religious leaders who are authorized to conduct marriage ceremonies) cannot be required to solemnize same-sex marriages that are "inconsistent with the sincerely held religious belief, doctrine, or tenet of the church." This is already the law, and no minister (or other religious leaders who are authorized to conduct marriage ceremonies) in any of the 17 states that now recognize same-sex marriages has, or ever will be, required to involuntarily solemnize a same-sex marriage against the religious belief, doctrine, or tenets of their church.
This bill is a red herring — it is fear mongering, pure and simple.
Contact the committee members regarding your opposition to these bills, and/or request to testify at the hearing:
Michelle Ugenti, Chairman firstname.lastname@example.org 602-926-4480
Warren Petersen, Vice-Chairman email@example.com 602-926-4136
Sonny Borrelli firstname.lastname@example.org 602-926-5051
Doug Coleman email@example.com 602-926-3160
Tom Forese firstname.lastname@example.org 602-926-5168
Lydia Hernández email@example.com 602-926-3376
John Kavanagh firstname.lastname@example.org 602-926-5170
Martín Quezada email@example.com 602-926-5911