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.