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‘We reserve the right…’

Once again, most Republicans in the Arizona legislature have decided shooting yourself in the foot is a good idea. They have passed a bill that addresses a problem that doesn’t exist and holds our state up to more ridicule.

They say SB 1062 will protect religious freedom by shielding individuals and companies from lawsuits if they refuse to serve people who lead lives that are contrary to their religious beliefs. ASU professor of law Paul Bender points out that if a photographer refused to take pictures of a same-sex marriage, the couple couldn’t sue because Arizona doesn’t include the LGBT community in its anti-discrimination statutes. It’s OK in Arizona, at least legally, to discriminate against gays.

Opposition to the bill from the business community is overwhelming, and many business leaders are working hard to convince Governor Brewer to veto it. Tucson businessman Rocco DiGrazia says, “It sounds like opening the door to hate and bigotry of all stripes.” DiGrazia owns a pizzeria and is quoted in the New York Times. He got national attention when a sign he posted on the door to his restaurant went viral. It reads, “We reserve the right to refuse service to Arizona legislators.”