Friday, February 21, 2014

How They Roll in Arizona

A group of Arizona Republicans standing around talking
about civil rights. Not pictured: the human heart.

Arizona has discovered how easy it is to undo two-hundred-plus years of expanding human rights:
The Arizona legislature sent a bill to the Gov. Jan Brewer’s desk Thursday that would carve a massive hole into state law allowing business owners to turn away gay and lesbian customers, employers to deny equal pay to women, or individuals to renege on contract obligations–as long as they claim to be doing so in the name of religion. 
Brewer, a Republican who vetoed similar legislation last year, has not said whether she will sign the bill. Ann Dockendorff, a spokesperson for the governor’s office, said in a statement that “It is the governor’s policy to not comment on legislation until she’s had a chance to review it. Monday would be the earliest she would take action, assuming it’s transmitted by the Senate by then. She’ll have five days to act once she receives it.”
This bill may just be a chance for Arizona Republicans to prove their cred to their base base who'd love a law like this. It makes this charade all the more craven if the GOP expects -- even secretly hopes -- that Gov. Brewer will refuse to sign it. She's very unpredictable, siding with the loonies on immigration law and going against them on Medicaid expansion. It hardly matters since the bill will undoubtedly be shot down by the courts as unconstitutional, just as the heart of the immigration law was.

Still, the Republicans of Arizona have made it clear: They don't like gays, don't think women are equal to men, and don't find contracts worth the paper they're written on because God is their lawyer, and He's told them religion is the biggest pair of crossed fingers a citizen can have.

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