PHOENIX -- If Gov. Jan Brewer signs Senate Bill 1062, the service refusal bill, into law, one Valley attorney is afraid Arizona could face several legal challenges.
"For example, a taxi cab driver who may be Muslim may refuse to give service to a woman who may be traveling without a male companion, in violation of their religious law," Scottsdale attorney Jon Frutkin said. "As it exists now, that cab driver can't discriminate against that passenger, and perhaps after 1062, you're going to have a bunch of court cases that will cost taxpayers a lot of money to find out whether or not it allows for discrimination on other protected classes."
Protected classes, under current Arizona law, include religion, races, ethnicity, gender and age. Absent from that list are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
Frutkin calls SB 1062 symbolic because business owners can already refuse to do business with them.
"There is no law in Arizona that prohibits people from refusing service based on their LGBT status," Frutkin said.
If SB 1062 becomes law, Frutkin fears it would come into conflict with current state law that bans discrimination based on religion, race, ethnicity, gender and age.
"I think that if the governor doesn't sign it, it's really a victory, both for taxpayers who won't have to spend an enormous amount of money fighting the constitutionality of it in court and a victory for business owners who like to present Arizona as a great community," said Frutkin.
From a practical perspective, Frutkin added, a veto is also a symbolic victory for members of the LGBT community.
"You cannot refuse to allow somebody, for example, to stay at your hotel, to eat in your restaurant because they are a woman, because they are Muslim, because they are Hispanic. Those are protected classes," he said. "The LGBT community enjoys that sort of protection in certain states, like California and New Mexico, but Arizona has no laws that prohibit discrimination with respect to them."
- SB 1062 opposition begins pushing back
- Lawyer says SB 1062 fight is just beginning
- Gov. Jan Brewer vetoes SB 1062
- CAP President: Veto marks 'tragic day'
- Arizona politicians react to SB 1062 veto
- Council thanks Brewer for SB 1062 veto
- Rob's 5: Big black eyes in Arizona history
- Brewer holds meetings on SB 1062
- Report: NFL may move Super Bowl from AZ
- The basics of SB 1062
- Final Word: AZ out to make a fool of itself?
- AZ senator defends SB 1062 on 'AC360'
- Meghan McCain 'horrified' at SB 1062
- Farmer throws support behind SB 1062
- SB 1062 could affect 2015 Super Bowl
- Group addresses 'misinformation' about bill
- St. James: Should AZ care what others think?
- Karie: SB 1062 Stand Your Ground for bigots
- McMahon: Bon appetit, Arizona
- Foster: 'We reserve the right'
- Senator: 'Lapse' when voting for SB 1062
- Hispanic lawyers pull AZ conference
- Official: Arizona tourism loses with SB 1062
- Expert: Bill won't derail economic recovery
- Valley restaurant takes stand against bill
- Phx business showing SB 1062 disgust
- Go Daddy releases anti-SB 1062 statement
- George Takei rips Arizona over SB 1062
- Apple adds to anti-SB 1062 sentiments
- State treasurer says veto Arizona bill
- Three senators urge veto of SB 1062
- Service refusal bill bad for Ariz. taxpayers
- SB 1062 opponents protest at capitol
- Council urges Brewer to veto SB 1062
- AZ governor hopefuls weigh in on SB 1062
- Religious service bill riles gay supporters
- Dignity Health World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.
Voice For A Better Arizona
- Family in Focus KTAR spends the week taking a look at the issues a modern Arizona family faces.