By Bethany Monk, CitizenLink
The Arizona Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would allow people to live and work according to their faith.
But, that’s not what you’re hearing from mainstream media outlets.
“The attacks are simply outrageous,” said Josh Kredit, legal counsel for the Center for Arizona Policy. “There is a purposeful effort to distract from the true meaning of this bill, which would protect religious freedom.”
The chamber passed the legislation 17-13. The House began debating the issue today.
Arizona Democrats claim the measure is a way to legalize discrimination against homosexuals. They sponsored eight hostile amendments in efforts to silence the bill, but Senate Republicans rejected all of them.
News outlets are referring to the legislation as the “service refusal bill,” or the “religious-based discrimination” legislation. One called it the “Turn Gays Away” bill.
But a more proper name might be: the “Keep Christians Outta Jail Bill.”
Arizona Sen. Steve Yarbrough, one of the bill’s sponsors, said it was the New Mexico photographer case that prompted SB 1062. The state Supreme Court ruled last year that a Christian couple must compromise their beliefs and photograph same-sex ceremonies “as the price of citizenship.”
“This bill is about preventing discrimination against people who are clearly living out their faith,” Yarbrough said.
Sen. President Andy Biggs, a Republican from Gilbert, said the Democrats’ rhetoric was “misplaced.”
“Sometimes people’s rhetoric tends to inflame instead of explain,” Biggs told Fox News. “And I would suggest if there is going to be a backlash because of 1062, it won’t be because someone has read the content of this bill and recognizes that it is indeed tailored after Supreme Court cases dealing with First Amendment religious rights, it will because of the inaccurate rhetoric. That is my personal opinion.”
Kredit said those who oppose it are trying to minimize people of faith to the “four walls of their church.”
“It’s frightening to me,” he said. “Opponents need to answer why they are so hostile to religion. Do they want less freedom?”
Call Governor Brewer immediately to support religious freedom in Arizona!
Fred DuVal, a candidate for governor from the Party of Control, just issued a news release opposing this bill:
“If I were governor, I wouldn’t have waited for this bill to get to my desk. I would have stopped it before it passed. I would have made it very clear to the legislature that they shouldn’t bother sending me this legislation. This bill won’t solve any of the problems facing Arizona families; it won’t create jobs or improve education. In fact, it will be a job killer. It’s going to hurt our businesses and hurt our state’s reputation across the country — it’s just plain wrong.”
DuVal has it backwards. If this bill is NOT passed, it will be a job killer. People will lose their jobs if punished for opposing same-sex “marriage” — which the voters of Arizona already overwhelmingly opposed in the 2008 election. DuVal and the Party of Control are on the wrong side of history, marriage, and the economy. The people have already rejected the radical demands of the Party of Control for same-sex “marriage.”