Revisiting “The Homophobic Baker”

Standard

Arizona Senate Bill 1062 was one of several similar bills in U.S. state legislatures allowing business owners to refuse service based on religious beliefs. The bill was passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature and then, on February 26, 2014, unexpectedly vetoed by Republican Governor Jan Brewer.

Remember? There was a baker in Arizona who refused, because of his religious belief that homosexuality is a sin, to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. The lawsuit that arose out of that situation was one of the prime factors behind AZ SB-1062.

I posted an article on this blog last December “The Case of the Homophobic Baker”  condemning the baker based on Federal anti-discrimination laws that make it illegal and legally actionable for a business to discriminate against members of protected classes. “What Is, IS!” It’s a law and we have to follow it or face legal penalties.

What I didn’t realize at the time (and still do not understand why) was that every state has a different list of protected classes. Isn’t this Federal legislation? Doesn’t Federal legislation automatically trump state legislation?  Guess not! That teaches me to try and think logically about any aspect of the Federal Government. Just because LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgendered) individuals were added to the Federal ‘list’ of protected classes, it apparently does not mean that every state has to add them to their state anti-discrimination legislation. Arizona, at least at that point at the beginning of this year, does not have anti-discrimination legislation that covers LGBT individuals.

So, going back to the baker who I condemned as a law breaker; I was wrong! What IS in many states, IS NOT in Arizona.

I’m not saying that discrimination based on a person’s sexual identity is in any way right, or that this particular baker is not reprehensible but, at least in Arizona, it’s apparently perfectly legal and justified to be a religious bigot.

Governor Brewer faced a hail-storm of criticism because of her veto of SB-1062 and it primarily came from religious bigots who identify themselves (as most do) as Conservatives. Thanks however to Governor Brewer, as much as she may have wanted to as a Conservative politician, she could not bring herself to sign that legislation that would potentially allow uncontrolled religious discrimination. As part of her statement after the veto she said:

“Religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value. So is non-discrimination.”

Unfortunately Gov. Brewer made that good decision based on a common misconception. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was put in place not to protect citizens from unwarranted religious bigotry but to protect religions from government interference. All that, however, has nothing to do with anti-discrimination laws; they were put in place to protect citizens from racial, sexual, and religious bigotry. Either way, the “Homophobic Baker” comes out a loser (not to mentions being an incompetent businessman).

Read about the case:

CNN Politics: “Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoes controversial anti-gay bill, SB 1062

Advertisements

One thought on “Revisiting “The Homophobic Baker”

  1. In October 1944, US forces landed on the Japanese-held island of Leyte, Philippines, with the fleet providing cover from the sea. The Japanese used a small naval force as a decoy to lure away most of the US ships, leaving the beachhead at Leyte exposed. A Japanese fleet under Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita then turned towards the Philippines to attack the land invasion force,Hurricane Gonzalo reached Category 4, the most powerful Atlantic storm this year, before it battered Bermuda late yesterday. Gonzalo is now heading northwards and will be a threat to Newfoundland when it sweeps past this weekend. The hurricane will encounter much cooler waters off the northeast coast of Canada, cutting its fuel-supply of warm wet air and killing some of its force.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s