Apple urges Arizona governor to veto anti-gay bill

jan brewer

Apple has spoken out and is urging the governor of Arizona, Republican Jan Brewer, to veto a bill that would allow for business owners to deny service to those of the LGBT community.

The legislation in question is Senate Bill 1062, which was passed last week, and since then there has been an outcry of criticism over the decision. Along with three state senators, Republican Senator John McCain has called for a veto as well.

“I think laws are (already) on the books that we need, and have now seen the ramifications of my vote,” said Arizona state Senator Bob Worsley to the Associated Press. “I feel very bad, and it was a mistake.”

On the other side of the “debate” is the Center for Arizona Policy, which is a social conservative group that’s trying to get the bill passed. Their president, Cathi Herrod, argues that this is a matter of religious freedom.

“The attacks on SB 1062 … represent precisely why so many people are sick of the modern political debate,” Herrod wrote in the CAP’s website. “Instead of having an honest discussion about the true meaning of religious liberty, opponents of the bill have hijacked this discussion through lies, personal attacks, and irresponsible reporting.

 “Our elected leaders have a fundamental duty to protect the religious freedom of every Arizonan, and that’s what SB 1062 is all about,’ she added.

Along with Apple, Doug Parker CEO of American Airlines has spoken out against this bill, and argues that it would hurt Arizona’s economy.

“There is genuine concern throughout the business community that this bill, if signed into law, would jeopardize all that has been accomplished so far,” Parker wrote.

“Wholly apart from the stated intent of this legislation,” he also said, “the reality is that it has the very real potential of slowing down the momentum we have achieved by reducing the desire of businesses to locate in Arizona and depressing the travel and tourism component of the economy if both convention traffic and individual tourists decide to go elsewhere.”

That and the bill is just crazy to begin with.

[via NBC News]

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  • kevbo

    Though isn’t it a form of discrimination to force someone to participate in a ceremony to which they have religious objections? Should a gay couple be able to sue a Catholic priest for discrimination when he refuses to perform their marriage ceremony? How much different is the situation with the baker (or the florist who was sued in a different but similar situation)? From what I have read concerning those two situations, the business owners did not have objections to providing their services to gay people, they happily sold cupcakes and daisies to anyone who entered their shops. They objected to providing their services for a ceremony to which they had a religious objection. A small but important distinction. And once again, this law would not have given carte blanche to any and all religious exemptions, but would have given a legal standing to those with legitimate religious objections.

  • Mike S.

    [@Ghenghis McCann] I think that is the societal decision: in the commercial world (as vs. one’s private world), is that acceptable? Although I may vehemently disagree with some of the underlying beliefs, my sympathies really do go out, in some of the circumstances, to the businesses that might have to serve a group they disagree with: religious Christians who oppose a gay lifestyle, etc. But then, on the other hand, should the burdens be placed on those being discriminated against, including the burden of being made to feel like a lesser person? Again, all in the commercial world–one’s private sphere is a separate matter.

  • Ghenghis McCann

    If you don’t want to serve entire groups of people, for whatever reason, perhaps you shouldn’t be working in a service industry?

  • Mike S.

    Thanks for the explanation, kevbo. My only fear as to the process outlined by the legislation is that rather than simply invalidating a discrimination, it somewhat allows it to occur in the first instance and then turns events over to the court and lawsuit process. As a practical matter, could many individuals being discriminated against afford the process, and should they be required to go through this to begin with? At the same time, with competing interests of the 2 sides (plus the state), how is it to be resolved?

    J C Graham, I can’t pretend to understand the whys behind the wedding cake and photographer cases. But sometimes, there simply are no or only limited options, especially in smaller towns (my parents live in one). What if ALL the businesses acted in the same discriminatory way? And what if it was African-Americans rather than gay people–would we really want to go there again?

  • Mike S.

    I don’t want anyone who doesn’t want to serve me, for whatever the reason, to have to do so. I really do feel for that person’s personal liberty, even in the commercial world and even if I dislike the person’s beliefs, including concerning me.

    But, on the other hand, and in response to some of the comments above, what if I have little alternative? For example, if it’s the only store close by, or in town at all, for that matter (there are small towns in the world, folks)? If the particular store has 1-of-a-kind items or deals (a specialty bakery, or an electronics store during Black Friday–“only people of X religion get the special deals”)? And what if ALL the stores in a town or area feel that way–if NO ONE will sell to a particular group?

    Would we tolerate, and should we, a store that will not sell to women, feeling that women should remain at home and that only men should be making purchases? Mightn’t some take some religion that way?

    I must admit to a quandary here. I don’t want to impose on others. But should they be allowed, in the commercial world (as vs. in one’s private church), to impose on me, where I have little choice?

  • weylin

    I agree 100% with kevbo.

    I personally would vote against the bill too but I can’t believe the left-wing hatred and intolerance spewed against anyone not in lock-step with liberals/Obama. The Governor is being threatened and blackmailed by a number of big-wigs on the left – none of which would ever support or endorse her.
    Anti-Christian hate-speech is flowing off the presses. NBC news and its associates are moon-bat loonies.

    (As a side note: I also support gay/lesbian marriages but would not force or threaten anyone to agree.)

  • kevbo

    As a responsible democracy, we need to stop getting our news and information from social media sources, and actually do a little bit of work (yes, that nasty four letter word) in order to understand what is really going on around us. That way we could perhaps do away with superficial, feel good, knee-jerk reactions to issues facing us today and engage in civilized debate.

    The headline in this (and most related articles) is completely misleading about the actual issue involved. The law does not mention gays or single out gay people in the least. See for yourself:

    Douglas Laycock, a professor of Law and of Religious Studies at University of Virginia Law School, has this rather less headline grabbing and more rational analysis of SB1062, which he states “has been egregiously misrepresented by many of its critics.”

    What the legislation would do is amend Arizona’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act “to address two ambiguities that have been the subject of litigation under other RFRAs. It would provide that people are covered when state or local government requires them to violate their religion in the conduct of their business, and it would provide that people are covered when sued by a private citizen invoking state or local law to demand that they violate their religion.

    But nothing in the amendment would say who wins in either of these cases. The person invoking RFRA would still have to prove that he had a sincere religious belief and that state or local government was imposing a substantial burden on his exercise of that religious belief. And the government, or the person on the other side of the lawsuit, could still show that compliance with the law was necessary to serve a compelling government interest…

    So, to be clear: SB1062 does not say that businesses can discriminate for religious reasons. It says that business people can assert a claim or defense under RFRA, in any kind of case (discrimination cases are not even mentioned, although they would be included), that they have the burden of proving a substantial burden on a sincere religious practice, that the government or the person suing them has the burden of proof on compelling government interest, and that the state courts in Arizona make the final decision.”

    The AZ bill is in part a reaction to the New Mexico courts fining a Christian photographer $7,000 for declining to shoot a same-sex wedding (and similar rulings), and tries to give such businesses some protection against being forced to provide their services to activities which they feel violate their religious beliefs. Similarly, Jews shouldn’t be forced to provide a photo-shoot at a Nazi rally, and environmentalists shouldn’t be forced to work job fairs in logging communities. It’s the same principal.

    In spite of the foregoing, I don’t support the bill’s passage, so get those knees back under the desk.

  • J C Graham

    One should not be forced to violate his religious beliefs
    provided they are legal and valid. Muslim checkers can refuse to
    handle pork and alcohol products in Michigan supermarkets. Muslim
    nurses refuse to wash hands with soaps containing alcohol in UK
    hospitals. Would you deny them these rights or simply find them
    something else to do? The only reason a homosexual couple demands
    services from a religious cake store owner or photographer is to
    advance the homomob agenda and harrass the proprietors. They can
    easily go to other merchants who provide such services. Besides,
    why would they even want to trade with the Christian enemy?

  • Discrimination, of almost any sort, is bad. Regardless of any personal feeling someone might have, everyone has the right to be treated fairly. I can agree with religious objections, since the Bible is quite clear on that subject and there are alternatives available for the LGBT community, but not anything else.

    Let me be clear, I’m not supporting or attacking the LGBT lifestyle. People have the right to make their own decisions so long as they take responsibility for them. I am strongly against any form of discrimination though.