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Arizona's Noon News & Karie Dozer

Final Word: Don't give Arizonans an excuse to discriminate

It's that time of year again, when the Arizona Legislature begins its yearly effort.

Every day, until the end of May or beginning of June, they will debate the merits and faults of various proposed laws. Some will pass, most will fail, and the 90 legislators will wind up with some version of a budget.

It's the sideshows that are the most interesting. And here is one I hope will go away soon, but maybe not before the bill's creator gets some attention: SB 1062 comes to us from Chandler legislator Steve Yarbrough.

Yarbrough, a Republican, thinks its worth our time and effort to create a law making it okay for businesses to discriminate against someone because of their religion, race or sexual orientation. If you were sued, Yarbrough says, this law could be your single, unquestionable defense.

He said it's aimed specifically at preventing what happened in New Mexico where a gay couple sued a wedding photographer for refusing to photograph their wedding because it went against his religious beliefs.

As an added bonus, Yarbrough says, a motel owner could use it to NOT rent a room to a gay person.

Wow. That's neat.

What a super idea, sir. Let's create sort of a Stand Your Ground Law for bigots in Arizona, in case people around the country don't think we discriminate enough.

Thankfully, we live in Phoenix where you have a lot of choices when it comes to where to live, who bakes your wedding cake and where you get your morning coffee. I tend to believe that most Phoenicians, and most Arizonans, are open-minded people who care little about who your parents were or the sex or race of your life partner. We also know that we can choose to patronize businesses we are proud to associate with.

I wouldn't shop at a bakery that posted a sign saying "We don't serve gays." That's my right. Yours too.

Also your right? To continue shopping, maybe exclusively, at shops that discriminate. It's your money, give it to who YOU want.

We don't need a law giving people an excuse to discriminate. Isn't it odd that a self-proclaimed "conservative" wants to create one?

Doesn't sound very conservative to me.

About the Author

Years with the company: Just started with Bonneville, but have worked for and with KTAR AM and FM since 1991.

Career: I always knew my career would be touched by news. I started as a news intern in 1991 and eventually reported news and sports, and anchored newscasts at KTAR when it was an AM, news/talk/sports station. I went to work at the Attorney General's Office in 1995, as a spokesperson for the 300 attorneys there, and for Attorney General Grant Woods. I returned as a part-time host and host of Arizona's Morning News Saturday in 2001.

Education: I escaped Catholic school early when the nuns wanted me to skip the second grade. I found my independent voice at a private grade school in Painesville, Ohio, then called Phillips Elementary. The teachers there encouraged us to ask questions and challenge the status quo. They took us on mind-opening trips and never once treated us like children. I am grateful for those years! I left Ohio in 1988 to attend Arizona State University because I knew I wanted to live in the West. I majored in Journalism and interned at KTAR in the newsroom my senior year.

Family: I am the last of nine children and my parents were undoubtedly looking at retiring when I was born. I was raised early on mostly by my five wonderful sisters. I have so many first cousins that I haven't yet met most of them.

Favorite movie: Caddyshack and anything by John Hughes.

#1 sports team: NL Diamondbacks. AL Cleveland Indians. Gotta love a team whose mascot is named Chief Wahoo.

Outside interests: Working out, cooking, traveling and reading a great book.


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