Friday, February 21, 2014

Arizona's New Low Standard: Legalize Discrimination

House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, (D-Phoenix)
Argues that House Bill 2153 Would Discriminate

Updated (here today): I love this story. Kudos to Rocco's Little Chicago Pizzeria. This is a great idea on their part. Let’s hope it catches on. The message is clear: discrimination of any kind and especially this one sanctioned by the Arizona legislative body is disgusting. 

Arizona legislators passed a bill to let business owners refuse service to gay people in a move they said is meant to protect religious freedom. But if it’s freedom they’re looking for, one Arizona pizzeria is doing them proud with a proud assertion of its own freedom to refuse service. The only twist? It’s not gay people they’re turning away. It’s… Arizona state legislators. 

Yes, Rocco’s Little Chicago Pizzeria took a stand in the debate over the rights of small business and stood up for gay people’s rights whilst letting Arizona politicians know they should probably look elsewhere for their pizza.

Original post starts here: Astonishing legislative action in Arizona heads up this post (February 21, 2014from here.

My editing of the article to fit the flavor of the topic follows:

This subject is one of many we see the GOP grasping for while trying to milk it for political gain, votes, and thus more power in the states and DC in 2014 and beyond. This latest movement could well be labeled: “We have the right to legally discriminate as long as we cite our religious belief as the reason to discriminate.” (Or something like that).

Background from the Story: The Arizona legislature passed a bill and sent it to Gov. Jan Brewer for her approval and signatureIt would “...allow any business owner to turn away gay and lesbian customers; employers to deny equal pay to women; or for individuals to renege on contract obligations, all as long as they claim to be doing so in the name of religious freedom.” 

Many Americans, whether in Arizona or not, will be in a “separate and unequal class” under this law. It could also open the long closed door to blatant and open discrimination based on race, familial status, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability, which is illegal in the U.S.

Arizona is the only state to have actually passed a bill like into law, but similar bills are pending in Idaho, Tennessee, and South Dakota after once being defeated, and a like bill in Kansas is held up in the state Senate.

Individuals might legally discriminate or hate another person for any reason and that is legal as long as they do not harm or injure that person in that name of religion, but that is not the point here.

For government at any level to pass a law that sanctions and allows “legal discrimination in the name of religious freedom” seems to me to be both hypocritical and ironic since we protect religious freedom and now allow it on the other hand like this in Arizona. That seems hardly freedom of religion and it certainly turns the concept of “Love thy neighbor” upside down. 

Religious Discrimination in the U.S. is Illegal: Religious discrimination involves treating a person (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of his or her religious beliefs. The law protects not only people who belong to traditional, organized religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, but also others who have sincerely held religious, ethical or moral beliefs. Religious discrimination can also involve treating someone differently because that person is married to (or associated with) an individual of a particular religion or because of his or her connection with a religious organization or group.

Religious Discrimination & Work or Employment Situations: The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.

Religious Discrimination & Harassment about One’s Religion is illegal – it is illegal to harass a person because of his or her religion or religious beliefs or lack thereof.

I strongly support the Constitution and especially the first amendment, but I cannot in good faith support this utter nonsense and madness this story illustrates from Arizona. What are the people in Arizona drinking or smoking anyway?

Comments welcome. Thanks for stopping by.

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