Target: Governor Jan Brewer
Goal: Demand governor veto a bill that would legalize discrimination against unmarried women and others based on religion
Arizona State Senator Steve Yarbrough is proposing a bill that would allow businesses to openly and flagrantly discriminate against people based on the personal religious beliefs of business owners. If business owners can prove that providing their goods or services to any particular person would “substantially burden” their religious beliefs, they would have a legal right to deny them. This bill may extend to hiring practices and general labor laws, as well.
Under this potential law, the limit for who would be discriminated against is simply indefinable. A business owner could easily discriminate against gays, single women, married women, or even Jewish or Muslim people based only on their own personal reading of religious scripture. Even Yarbrough, the main proponent of the bill, acknowledges that it could lead to employers not hiring women or people with differing religious beliefs, firing women once they get married or discriminating against their health care needs, or refusing hotel or venue service to a gay couple for a wedding, to name just a few examples. If there is even the slightest mention of it in their chosen religious text, employers in Arizona would be able to fire anyone based on anything they can even dream up.
This bill is rife with inconsistencies and logical fallacies, but a similar bill that was proposed last year made it all the way to Governor Jan Brewer’s desk before she vetoed it, and the chances of this new one gaining approval are frighteningly good. Yarbrough claims that there is already a precedent for this law, citing a law that makes it illegal for the government to impose requirements on people that violate their religious beliefs. There is also a law in Arizona that protects pharmacists, who are licensed by the state, who refuse to stock the “morning after” pill based on devout Catholic or other Christian beliefs.
Please sign this petition to urge Governor Jan Brewer to veto this absurd and dangerous bill that would allow widespread discrimination.
Dear Governor Jan Brewer,
Please veto BS 1062, the bill that would essentially legalize discrimination against gays, women, Jews, Muslims, and countless other demographics. Our founding fathers believed strongly in the separation of Church and State, and I urge you to continue that tradition. You cannot allow businesses in your state to openly discriminate against anyone based on religious beliefs.
Religion is a private, personal choice and it should not be forced onto others. Abuse of the proposed law is incredibly likely, but even if the law were used exactly as intended it would still allow for widespread sexism, racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and general discrimination against any particular type of person who is even mentioned in religious texts.
Please veto this absurd law, and continue to veto any iteration of it in the future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: public domain via Wikimedia Commons