Arizona Republicans Attempt Another Bill Legalizing Discrimination Of Gays
They may have embarrassed themselves in front of the entire country, but Arizona's GOP is not quite finished trying to enshrine unnecessary legislation allowing for discrimination against gays into state law. Arizona SB 1062 suffered a horrific public fate, but state republicans are now throwing their weight behind HB 2481. The month-old bill would allow anyone, religious or public servant, to refuse to solemnize a marriage because JESUS.
The proposed bill language says that: "the government may not require a minister to solemnize a marriage that is inconsistent with the minister's sincerely held religious beliefs."
Gay marriage, it should be noted, is not legal in Arizona.
The problem, according to gay rights advocates, is that the definition of "minister" is broad: "an individual who is authorized to solemnize a marriage" under Arizona law. The relevant statute includes state and local judges as well as justices of the peace and members of the clergy.
"It's on our radar. We are watching it. We do have concerns about it," Rebecca Winiger, president of Equality Arizona, a gay rights group, told TPM in a phone interview. "Not necessarily the part where ministers do not have to perform them in line with the tenets of their faith because that follows state law."
"But the definition of ministers does flow down to judges, which is in direct conflict with some of the already established judicial ethics policies. It would just create confusion."
So far, a surge of sponsorship in the days after Jan Brewer's veto of 1062 has seen 35 names attached to 2481.