Posted By LAF Editor on February 22, 2014
From Charisma News
Arizona lawmakers gave final approval on Thursday to a bill that would allow businesses to refuse service to customers when such work would violate their religious beliefs, in a move critics describe as a license to discriminate against gays and others.
Under the bill, a business owner would have a defense against a discrimination lawsuit, provided a decision to deny service was motivated by a “sincerely held” religious belief and that giving such service would have substantially burdened the exercise of their religious beliefs.
“The Arizona legislature sent a clear message today: In our state everyone is free to live and work according to their faith,” said Cathi Herrod, president of the conservative Center for Arizona Policy, which helped write the bill.
The bill passed the Republican-controlled state House of Representatives 33-27 on Thursday, a day after it won similar approval in the state Senate. It will go to Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, who has not indicated whether she will sign it.
The American Civil Liberties Union branded the legislation as “unnecessary and discriminatory,” saying it had nothing to do with God or faith.
“What today’s bill does is allow private individuals and businesses to use religion to discriminate, sending a message that Arizona is intolerant and unwelcoming,” said Alessandra Soler, executive director of the ACLU of Arizona.
The Arizona law is seen by critics as an attack on the rights of gays and lesbians to equality under the law at a time when same-sex marriage activists have notched several court victories in recent months.
Read the rest here