Well, dang. Arizona just keeps coming on, don't they?
Arizona Senate Bill 1062 amending their current statute on freedom of religion:
"Person" includes [a religious assembly or institution] any individual, association, partnership, corporation, church, religious assembly or institution, estate, trust, foundation or other legal entity.The removed language in brackets and italicized. The new language is bolded. It might seem innocuous until you start thinking about what this does. It grants the religious status of churches to EVERYBODY in the state -- so businesses, estates, trusts, and any individual who wants to can wrap their discriminatory acts in the mantle of freedom of religion and breeze along. Not covering birth control in their health insurance, or not hiring somebody from a different race or religion just because it offends their own sense of religious propriety. But of course, the rubber really hits the road when it comes to sexual orientation, doesn't it? Now, the good folks of Arizona won't have to be bothered by those uncomfortable gay, lesbian, queer, trans folks, if they just want to claim it is against their personal religion.
If you want to sign a Change.org petition against the bill, do so here.
It might hearten you to know that many Arizona businesses oppose this bill, remembering the financial sting from a previous boycott over their dismissal of Martin Luther King Day as a paid state holiday and then S.B. 1070, dealing with immigration. They are just seeing an economic recovery in the state, and are looking forward to the Superbowl coming in 2015. And already there are calls to move the Superbowl elsewhere because of this bill.