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Religious Tolerance logo

"Religious freedom" changing from freedom of
religious beliefs
freedom to hate and discriminate

2014: Part 4:
Massive opposition & some support
for Arizona's bill
SB 1062 mounts.

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This topic is continued from the previous essay

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Circa 2014-FEB-20: Some reactions from the public:

  • "New Day," a morning news program on CNN, showed a demonstration in front of the state Senate building. Many who took part held hand-painted signs with messages critical of the bill, including:
    • "No discrimination."
    • "Hate is not a religious freedom."
    • "Veto hate."
    • "Bad for AZ."
    • "Don't make discrimination legal"
    • SB1062 & HB2153 are hateful bigotry."
    • "Stop the hate."
    • "Governor Jan Brewer: Please veto hatred, intolerance, and ignorance."
    • "My God loves all people."
    • "Veto this devolution."

  • "Think Progress" web site featured a photograph of some anti-bill demonstrators. Two held signs:
    • "XI Commandment: Thou shalt not make hamburgers for big 'ol queens."
    • "I'm being discriminated against and the state approves it." 2

In reality, the second sign is wrong. The protestor isn't being discriminated against now, and won't be unless the bill becomes law.

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Some of the 108 comments posted to The Guardian article about Arizona 1 are:

  • "Polish Bear" wrote:

    "... Should a restaurant owner be able to refuse service to Blacks because he has 'moral objections' to race-mixing? Should an employer be able to fire a Muslim employee because he wants to run 'a nice Christian workplace'?

    If they answer to both question is NO, what justification is there refusing service to a Gay couple who wish to get a wedding cake or celebrate their anniversary in a restaurant? Does this bill allow people to use 'religious freedom' as a justification for discriminating against ANY customer, or does it simply single out Gay citizens?

    Either way, it's going to do WONDERS for tourism."

  • "MPLS70" wrote:

    "... I know that there are a lot of wonderful people in Arizona. My issue is that for the past couple of decades Arizona's state government has done some lousy stuff like trying to avoid recognizing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day; pushing through draconian, anti-immigration laws; and now this."

  • "cobblers24" wrote:

    "USA is the new middle east. I thought they were against Sharia law?"

  • DerekCurrie reacted to "cobblers24", writing:

    "Exactly. The Arab terrorists won. The USA has been effectively overthrown. We became the enemy."

  • "wearenotalllikethat" wrote:

    "Such laws and such thinking show an utter misunderstanding of ideals such as freedom and tolerance. No doubt those that advocate this law believe they are all about freedom and liberty. All authoritarianism believes it as about freedom and "lebensraum". Shame on the advocates of this law. Literally they know not what they do, To those of you outside the US, we really are not all like these people."

  • George Takei, an openly gay man of Star Trek fame announced that he would proudly lead a national boycott if the bill is not vetoed He said:

    "So let me make mine just as clear. If your Governor Jan Brewer signs this repugnant bill into law, make no mistake. We will not come. We will not spend. And we will urge everyone we know–from large corporations to small families on vacation–to boycott. Because you don’t deserve our dollars. Not one red cent." 2

  • John Kang, writing in the Gender and the Law Prof Blog said:

    "Religionists deserve to practice their faiths, and the Constitution protects their right to do so.  If there ever comes a day when state authorities will prohibit Christian fundamentalists from congregating in their churches and their homes for worship service, I will proudly be the first liberal to fight such encroachment against their religious rights.  

    On the other hand, no religious group has the constitutional authority to enact hate against another group.  The Arizona bill  permits private businesses to refuse services to gay consumers.  These business owners, I am sure, are good people, people who are responsible citizens in their neighborhoods.  

    And that's what worries me.  The thugs and the bullies and homophobic murderers are partly inspired by the legitimized hatred from the good citizens, from the store owners, from the legislators, and from the governors. ..." 

    "Arizona..... don't sell out your humanity." 7    

  • CNN's Anderson Cooper devoted a 2.3 min. "Keeping Them Honest" segment to SB 1062. It is titled "Licence to Discriminate."

    In the video below, the segment is preceeded by a brief advertisement.


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This topic is continued in the next essay

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Arizona legislature sends ‘anti-gay’ bill to Republican governor Jan Brewer," The Guardian, 2014-FEB-21, at:
  2. Zack Ford, "Conservative Lawmakers And Arizona Businesses Urge Governor To Veto Anti-Gay Bill ," Think Progress, 2014-FEB-24, at:
  3. Andy Towle, "Arizona Chamber of Commerce-led business coalition calls on Brewer to veto anti-gay bill," Towleroad, 2014-FEB-24, at:
  4. Halimah Abdullah & Catherine E. Shoichet, "Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoes SB 1062," CNN, 2014-FEB-26, at:
  5. Anderson Cooper, "Inside Arizona's SB-1062 protest," CNN, 2014-FEB
  6. Jan Brewer,"SB 1062 - Press Conference," 2014-FEB-26, at:
  7. John Kang, "Christians speak against the Arizona bill," Gender and the Law Prof Blog, 2014-FEB-26, at:
  8. "Urge AZ Governor Jan Brewer to Sign SB 1062/HB 2153," Action Alert, National Organization for Marriage, undated, at:

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Copyright © 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
Originally written: 2014-FEB-21
Latest update: 2014-FEB-27
Author: B.A. Robinson

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