Breaking: Arizona- Feb. 26th, 2014
Arizona Governor (R) Jan Brewer vetoes controversial anti-gay SB 1062; A measure constructed by fellow republican legislators at the Arizona Statehouse to allow businesses to refuse service and to discriminate (against homosexuals) citing “moral conscience” and “religious freedoms”.
AZ (R) Sen. John McCain did not support the bill, neither did the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, as well as many businesses and corporations that have economic roots in Arizona such as AT&T, Verizon and Apple,
“I assure you, as always- I will do the right thing for Arizona.”– Brewer said, prior to the press conference, then on Twitter, Gov. Brewer announced:
“Moments ago, I vetoed 1o62.”
In a press conference, issued mid-evening, Wed. Feb. 26, 2014- Gov. Brewer said, regarding her veto of SB 1062:
“Not one incident has occurred (regarding same-sex marriage) that has violated religious liberties in Arizona.”
“To the supporters of the legislation, I want you to know that I understand that long-held norms about marriage and family are being challenged as never before. Our society is undergoing many dramatic changes,” she said. “However, I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve. It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and no one would ever want. Religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value. So is non-discrimination.” -Gov. Jan Brewer (R) CNN-Feb. 26th, 2014
There are 9 other states legislatures that have been drafting similar “religious freedom/discrimination” bills. State legislators are paying attention to Gov. Brewer’s decision to veto, as well as the failure of other similar bills to pass. The most recent anti-gay discrimination bill was tabled in Kansas.
These bills are in direct response to the SCOTUS overturning of DOMA, (The Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman) in August 2013. January, 2014-HJR-3, a proposed measure that would allow an amendment to Indiana’s Constitution to go to Indiana voters- that would define marriage in Indiana as between one man and one woman, failed to pass on language/clause technicalities.
The marriage rights of a minority (LGBT Hoosiers) will not make it to the 2014 elections’ ballot to be voted upon by a Hoosier majority. It is tabled, for now.
Choosing Justice over Ideology
Conservative Gov. Brewer chose what works best for Arizona over an ideological divide, but she has made it clear that she is still very much an advocate for religious freedoms, as they pertain to individual freedoms.
“Religious liberties” are the predominant and historical origins for the practice of racial discrimination prior to the Civil Rights Movement in 1964 in America, particularly in the South. Scripture has been cited by various politicians even passed the Civil Rights Movement to dissuade African Americans from attending various universities and to ban (or at best, discourage) biracial marriages.
IAN MILLHISER of Think Progress writes: “Wake Forest law Professor Michael Kent Curtis explained in a 2012 law review article, many segregationists justified racial bigotry on the very same grounds that religious conservatives now hope to justify anti-gay animus. In the words of one professor at a prominent Mississippi Baptist institution, “our Southern segregation way is the Christian way . . . . [God] was the original segregationist.”
Millhiser, also quotes Miss. Judge Leon M. Bazile, in his article entitled: “When “Religious Liberty” Was Used to Justify Racial Discrimination Instead of Homophobia”-”
“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”
The KKK began under the guise of a Christian organization that sought to follow scripture and preserve racial and religious purity.
Brewer’s veto serves as a bipartisan signpost in the American journey toward justice and tolerance.
Other states’ legislators who support parallel discriminatory measures could table or kill bills that alienate the LGBT community in America, as individual states strike a balance between the realization of the Separation of Church and State and religious freedoms of individuals and organizations.