The Low Post News

Arizona Lawmakers Approve Controversial Legislation

The full House in Arizona passed legislation that is a license to discriminate allowing anyone, for what every reason; to refuse to provide any services to anyone if they violate their religious beliefs, said those opposed to the measure. The Senate in Arizona passed a version on Wednesday.

The measure now goes to Jan Brewer, the Republican Governor to be signed into law or vetoed.

After a debate of many hours, the Arizona House, which is controlled by the Republicans, in a voice vote sent the measure to a full vote. Only minutes later, the full House voted in favor 33 to 27.

Kyrsten Sinema, a Congresswoman in Washington issued a public statement calling on the governor to veto the measure.

Speaking in opposition of the measure, Ruben Gallego a House member reminded his fellow colleagues that Arizona was attempting to attract big business such as Google and Apple, as well as the Super Bowl.

What happens said Gallego, if someone comes to see the Super Bowl and will not be served at a restaurant? He said it was equal to open season on gays and it would be equal to them putting up a sign in the restaurant window saying, “NO Gays Allowed In.”

Gallego said that by expanding religious freedom the state was expanding discrimination that is state-sanctioned.

The Democratic Minority Leader Chad Campbell told his House members the state has sanctioned discrimination.

He said the legislation says if you are gay stay away from Arizona. He called the new bill a direct attack on the LGBT community.

Other House members spoke of the impact economically the legislation will cause in the state. Comparing it to how the state suffered when it would not recognize Martin Luther King Day as a national holiday.

Demion Clinco, the sole gay lawmaker in Arizona said he did not think a bill like the one passed was needed anywhere in the U.S. He said he was appalled by the measure.

Supporters of the measure said people were using discrimination to persecute people who are religious.

One Republican House member said he was tired of the minority trampling over the majority. Saying why was he bad by wearing his religion on his sleeve.

The legislation was written in a direct response to a New Mexico Supreme Court ruling that said a photographer violated the Human Rights Act in the state due to refusing to take photos at a same-sex wedding.

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