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Arizona's Noon News & Karie Dozer

Updated Feb 21, 2014 - 6:17 pm

Final Word: Service refusal bill is Stand Your Ground for bigots

It's advancing, just like you knew it would; the bill from Chandler Legislator Steve Yarbrough.

It's called the Right to Refuse Service bill. Sounds like a real empowering thing, doesn't it?

I remember vividly walking into the True Value Hardware store in my hometown. It was the 1970s and sometimes I got to go in with Dad.

It was right there on Robin Hood street. It smelled like gasoline and gumballs, which was oddly a fantastic combination.

The guys that ran that store were awesome. They always remembered your name and they asked you about how you liked that new set of wiper blades or screen door.

In the window of that store was a sign. I remember reading it.

It said "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone."

I assumed that meant that if a customer was abusive, the clerk could ask him to leave. Those were polite times, weren't they?

I never saw anyone refused service but it was nice to know that there was a sign in the window, informing that potentially impolite guy who DIDN'T like his new screen door, 'We reserve the right to not deal with you."

Here in Arizona, in 2014, it's a different world and we have a law passed by the Legislature that it's authors want you to think is essentially the same thing.

It's called the Right to Refuse Service bill. I call it Stand Your Ground For Bigots.

It's an affirmative-defense type law, like Stand Your Ground in Florida, which allows someone to refuse service to gays and lesbians, and other groups, as long as your discrimination was based in sincerely-held religious beliefs.

Too bad they don't have to be fair, just, and loving. Just sincere.

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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