Anderson Cooper obliterates dithering idiot supporter of Arizona’s anti-gay “Stand Your God” law

Last night, Anderson Cooper interviewed Arizona Republican state senator Al Melvin, a supporter of SB1062, the anti-gay “religious freedom” law that would permit people in the state to ignore practically any law that they claim impinges on their religious beliefs.

I’m calling SB1062 the “Stand Your God” law, in a nod to the “Stand Your Ground” laws that let people in Florida and other states shoot dead anyone who offends their delicate sensibilities.

In a move that smacks of Citizens United for religion, the new law would also recognize corporations as “people” who have religious beliefs, and thus will be permitted to discriminate based on those beliefs, particularly, but not exclusively, against gays.

I did a long analysis of the Arizona anti-gay law the other night, based on extensive conversations with the ACLU of Arizona, that you can read here.

The law, which is part of a larger pattern of similar laws being offered by Republicans in multiple states at once, is now before the state’s Republican governor, Jan Brewer, who has yet to decide if she’s going to sign it.

In Anderson’s interview, you’ll note that the state senator, who’s running for governor, isn’t quite all there.  But when in doubt, his staff clearly told him “mention religious freedom.”

ANDERSON COOPER: You say it’s all about protecting people of faith in Arizona, can you give me a specific example of someone in Arizona who’s been forced to do something against their religious belief, or who’s been successfully sued because of their faith?

ARIZONA STATE SENATOR MELVIN: Again, I think if anything this bill is pre-emptive, to protect priests.

ANDERSON COOPER: You can’t give me one example of this actually happening.

ARIZONA STATE SENATOR MELVIN: No, I can’t. But we’ve seen it in other states, and we don’t want it to happen here.

ANDERSON COOPER: But it’s happened in other states that have laws protecting gay people, specifically, that’s what this bill is all about. And in Arizona they don’t have laws protecting gay people, so it can’t happen in Arizona.

ARIZONA STATE SENATOR MELVIN: Well, sir, the bottom line is, this is not a discrimination bill, this is a religious freedom bill.

This is when Anderson gave Melvin his “you’re kind of a blithering idiot” look:


Melvin then goes off on how Arizona is the best place in the country to create a business, and how he doesn’t think anyone in the state would ever discriminate against anyone.

First off, good luck with Arizona getting any major new businesses to move in if the governor signs this law.

The first thing we’re going to do is make sure the Super Bowl doesn’t step foot in Arizona – it’s due to take place there in February of 2015, and the governor of Delaware has already called for the NFL to move the game if SB1062 becomes law.

The second thing is making sure that Google and Apple cancel their plans to move in to the state. Then we’re going to get every professional association on the planet to cancel their conferences.

It’s not like this is our first time at the hate rodeo. We know how to fight these battles, and we win.

I’ve talked to a number of gay and straight friends about this.  Clearly, the Republican party, in cahoots with the national religious right, has decided to launch these legislative attacks against gay people nationwide, and the buck has to stop in Arizona, or they are going legalize discrimination against everyone, nationwide, in the name of their, but not your, religion.

If Arizona passes this law, they’re going to see a boycott of business and tourism to that state like they’ve never seen before, and it’s going to start with Apple, Google and the Super Bowl.


(I’m told that in order to better see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me.)

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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96 Responses to “Anderson Cooper obliterates dithering idiot supporter of Arizona’s anti-gay “Stand Your God” law”

  1. Badgerite says:

    Oh lord. “Veils and walking behind” when used by Myrddin in his original comment was meant not LITERALLY but rather meant FIGURATIVELY to describe the STATUS OF WOMEN that most of the major religions of the world have accepted and encouraged throughout their history. The OFFICIAL STATUS OF WOMEN being that of, as you pointed out, SUBMISSION AND SILENCE. Otherwise known as the status of property or slaves. As Myrddin pointed out.
    What you wrote does not dispute his point, which is about the status of women in religious traditions, not about “veils” or “walking behind” as such.
    I was not wrong about the early Church. Women were instrumental in the early church in its spread into the Roman Empire. The fact that Paul was a product of early societies where women were often treated as slaves and property does not mean that women were powerless in all things or that Paul would not use or accept their help when it could further his mission.
    And what exactly is the ‘argument’?

  2. mackthefit says:

    You are seriously confused and not making a bit of sense. There’s no chance of having a rational or reasonable argument with an air head. None of that makes any sense. Go back a reread those things I have responded, so you might be enlightened. Take out your over sensitivity of the feminine perspective.

    The specific, or particular context, was veils and and walking two steps behind, remember? I asked what a particular religion, remember? Then you lumped them all together, which can’t be reasonably done because they not are the same. Then you went on about condemning the church for it’s practices specifically against women that had nothing to do with veils and walking, remember? Then you told me the church wasn’t practicing what the apostles (specifically apostle Paul) were teaching in the first century, remember? You were wrong on almost every fact! And to top it all off, you were trying apply factually incorrect beliefs to Brewer. Sheesh, don’t get frustrated resorting ad hominem because you are losing the argument.

  3. mackthefit says:

    You are way out there. You started with with conversation that was factually false, knowing Brewer and legislators were not Muslim. What the hell does that have to do with anything? Your comment was veils and two steps behind, remember? Try to keep track of your dumb ass statements. You acted surprised that people would actually bring their world view to the table. Aren’t you doing the same? Don’t make comments if you don’t want someone to respond to them.

  4. Badgerite says:

    Myrddin wrote that and I agreed. And so did you in a later comment.
    See Paul’s statement about women which you quoted to me. “not allowed to speak”
    “submission” etc. Idiot.

  5. Badgerite says:

    Uh huh. The original post was from Myrddin Witt was :
    “Someone should tell Brewer that their religion requires her to wear a veil and walk two steps behind her husband whose property she is.”
    To which you replied. “Which religion is that?”
    I believe you just answered your own question, didn’t you?
    So you don’t need me to point it out to you. The Christian religion. The Muslim Religion. And any religion that are off shoots thereof.
    Isn’t that right? You just quoted me chapter and verse that that is the case, didn’t you?

  6. mackthefit says:

    You obviously know little to nothing about the practice of first century church. It not possible to point to single a instance where women held offices of authority in the first century church. Since you bring up the apostle Paul allow me to correct you: 1 Timothy 2:11-12 ““Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet…1 Corinthians 14:33-35 “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people. Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.” This was the practice of the church and the Jewish synagogues. Only men in the new and old testament held headship offices of authority in the church, synagogue, and in the temple. Jesus Himself picked only men to be apostles. Ordaining woman in major denominations is recent in history. Those are just the facts and I am not attempting to subjugate woman or attack their dignity. Women are permitted to have authority over other women and the youth of the church, but not ordained with authority over men.

    You bring up mid evil practices of the roman church; I think you are dismissing the fact the fact men were greatly persecuted as well, not just women. I know you mentioned Galileo, but he was only one of many, men and woman, that were persecuted by the roman church. I will stipulate the mid evil roman church performed acts of unspeakable evil and abused their authority for the purpose of power over the people. They may have even seriously abused their women; that I have no doubt. However, that was not the practice of the first or second century church or the practice today. Thank God for the reformation that set the church back in the right direction.

    I know of no christian church today that practices abuse of woman. Your original comment was false in the facts.

    This is smoke mirrors to the true nature of AZ law, which was vetoed by the way. It’s about the activism of the gay community vying for acceptance and approval of their sexual behavior. They are attempting to sway public opinion and forcing people faith to participate in events that go against conscience, like marriage. I don’t believe anybody ought to be denied normal services like: food, housing, bars, transportation, or any of the everyday activities. Only those things that would violate conscience and in my opinion they are few.

    I glad Brewer vetoed the bill!

  7. Badgerite says:

    Discredited? I didn’t know i was ‘credited’.

  8. Badgerite says:

    Me thinks you protest too much.
    In fact, quoting you, “The fact that women don’t hold offices of authority within the church was established by the apostles.” Well, no. Not the early apostles.
    In fact, when Paul was preaching within the Roman empire, women played a significant part in his ministry. Because, of course, they were more receptive to his message. Services were held in peoples homes. Run by women.

    People within the RCC, my main experience with religion, for most of its history could indeed be silenced. To quote Monty Python, “No one expects the Spanish Inquisition” And yet there it was. I will concede, that the Church did not ONLY silence women. (Galileo comes to mind) But women were tortured and burned in Spain. In Europe. And most assuredly kept in their place.
    If they were without a husband, they could be accused, tried, tortured, burned and their property taken. All under the auspices of religious conviction.

  9. mackthefit says:

    What in the heck are you talking about? Have you so quickly forgotten the context of which you commented? Look at the former and the particulars that you mentioned: “their religion requires her to wear a veil and walk two steps behind her husband whose property she is.” Does that sound familiar because that’s what you wrote and I responded. That is not the practice of the christian system and never has been. I don’t know all the history of the Roman church (I’m not a member) but I know in modern times that is not true.

    As to your irrelevant response. You are coming at this with a complete secular point of view without any understanding of the governmental establishment of the church. The church was established on the authority of prophets and the apostles, without them there is no church. It was the apostles that set the governmental authority of the church and it has nothing do to with disrespecting or denying dignity to women. Women are not property nor can they be silenced on issues related to morals in unlawful behavior within the body or outside the body of the church. The fact women don’t hold offices of authority within the church was established by the apostles. If you don’t like what the church was commanded by God, then take it up with God or reject the church as your religion.

    Nonetheless, religion is a protected class under the law and as participants in the goverment, as secular people are, they bring their worldview to the table as all others do. It would be a manifest contradiction of world view if they embraced it in one forum then denied it in another. That’s like the heresy of the double truth theory.

  10. Badgerite says:

    Oh please! It was just a year or so ago that the ex/co-pope Benedict sent an ‘inquisitor’ to silence the nuns in America for their statements with respect to reproductive issues. Female priests are not allowed, by official edict, in the RCC and in Protestant denominations they are still a rarity, if allowed at all.

  11. mackthefit says:

    Just about all of them but not all of them, correct? What is Brewers religion? Careful here because you are about to be discredited if you say Christianity, which would be manifestly false. The practice of some cultures does not mean the source is from Christian thought.

  12. Badgerite says:

    Just about all of them at some point in their history.

  13. mackthefit says:

    I think regulation and taxes are probably primary factors. If California wants to keep businesses in the state, then they need to compete.

  14. mackthefit says:

    which religion is that?

  15. mackthefit says:

    Civil rights law of 1968 and subsequent amendments does not have sexual behavior as a protected class and only 15 states have provisions. I don’t understand why AZ is the target when they are attempting to protect religious freedom, which is a protected class. Would it be right to violate sincerely held religious beliefs? Someone in that interaction is going to be discriminated and religion is protected class.

    Wouldn’t it be better to be specific of types reasonable services that religious person would not want to participate, like marriage ceremonies or the related? I don’t think it’s proper to reject services for something like housing, food, transportation, and host of others. It must be specific in the law, if in fact, it is too broad.

    Jesus never wrote anything that I am aware of. It was his apostles and disciples that wrote the new testament and they had much to say about the things being mentioned. Cooper’s questioning was loaded with straw men. Why would Cooper mention divorce or single women as part of his argument? That’s a rhetorical question. They are not the same thing as the objection to participating in gay events that Cooper was really concerned with.

    I have a feeling I’m going to be bombarded with hate for not agreeing whole hardily with Cooper. It’s apparently acceptable to hate as long as it’s not some activist class.

  16. Silver_Witch says:

    Indeed he is.

  17. Stev84 says:

    Unfortunately most Americans are too scared to question their sacred cows. At least the mainstream media.

  18. dcinsider says:

    I believe his presence is evidence enough.

  19. texcynical says:

    Blithering idiot?

  20. Indigo says:

    I suspected as much.

  21. Indigo says:

    Really? I was under the impression that NM recently okayed same sex marriage. And I really like the southwest pueblo openness of the NM landscape. It’s a total contrast from humid, swampy Florida where I live, but I see it as a workable alternative. That’s why I’m surprised you said that.

  22. The_Fixer says:

    The big problem (for him) is that he doesn’t know what the buzzwords mean, nor what the (faulty) concepts they represent mean.

    At the risk of offending the entire population of a state by making a blanket statement, I can’t understand how he got elected. Are the people of that state that dumb?

    Good gravy, I hope not.

  23. Badgerite says:

    Seriously. Protect priests? Protect priests from what? Having to perform same sex marriages, I’m guessing. Somewhere in the future. But even if Arizona recognized marriage equality in law, that would only apply to civil ceremonies. Not religious ones. Religions can still discriminate all they want, as long as their congregations let them.
    He can’t seem to get it through his skull that this law could and would be applied to situations that do not involves gay people. That it could be used to discriminate against just about anyone for any reason.

  24. Badgerite says:

    Rush Limbooo! Is he still around?

  25. Anonymous says:

    Is it really a wedge issue if most people don’t realize it’s a wedge issue? It got rednecks starting fights, which was the goal. Now they’ve created a problem for us “common folk” who have to deal with an angry mob. The 1% are unaffected.

  26. BeccaM says:

    Well, I was referring more to when the European-born began displacing the Native Americans. And also how during recent generations, Arizona became the dry alternative for quite a few retired folks, who tend to swing conservate, politically speaking.

  27. Naja pallida says:

    Nobody’s. It’s the exact opposite of freedom.

  28. crazymonkeylady says:

    As an atheist, can I refuse to serve Religious crazies? Or am I not protected because my lack of respect for religion? Whose freedom is it, anyway??

  29. Anonymous says:

    Yep. Looks like people moved in for business reasons, AKA sucking-the-most-for-their-buck reasons.

  30. BeccaM says:

    That’s because the American Religious Freedom Program, a sub-group of the hyper-conservative lobbying think tank the Ethics and Public Policy Center, are the ones who came up with the language for these bills cropping up all over the country and who are obviously supplying the talking points for their hapless, bigoted shills.

    It’s why the bills are all almost entirely identical.

  31. BeccaM says:

    I’ve lived in the next state over, New Mexico, long enough to know that it’s actually a fucking shame that Arizona is now on my do-not-travel list. And I’ll list just a few of those reasons:

    – The Grand Canyon. Seriously. It is something everybody should see, in person, at least once in their lifetime.
    – Flagstaff. If you honestly think Arizona is nothing but desert, the gorgeous lodgepole and ponderosa pine forests of the Flagstaff area will cure that. The year-round hiking and the winter skiing can be awesome.
    – Sedona. Another gorgeous area, along the highways between Flagstaff and Phoenix. Another place to cure the false impression that Arizona is nothing but featureless desert. (Not that desert is ever featureless either…)
    – Food. It ain’t the New Mexico-style foods I’ve come to love, but Arizona has its own spin on southwestern dishes, many influenced heavily by Mexico and points further south just as ours are.
    – National and state parks, including the Petrified National Forest, Meteor Crater, and much more.
    – Rock-hounding, fossil hunting, and cactus hunting (only the legal stuff of course) know almost no compare elsewhere in the U.S.
    – Astronomy. Parts of Arizona have some the best observatories and sky-gazing locations available in our light-polluted country’s skies.
    – History. The Native American culture is right there, in both peoples who’ve been there for millennia and the ancient villages and cities they left behind.

    All of this, sullied by the xenophobia and bigotry of relative newcomers, more interested in seeing how many different types of people they can hate, oppress, and discriminate against, defining THEIR freedom by how much the freedoms of others are denied.

  32. Blogvader says:

    This guy certainly was well coached on his buzz words.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Add New Mexico, despite the balloon show.

  34. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know why anyone would want to live there, anyway. It seems like a big desert with little entertainment or intellectualism.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Well, nothing wrong with that. He’d just be obeying their stupid law.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Funny how nonsense doesn’t matter when you live in a bubble, indeed. This is best described by the “Asch line experiment.” If an objective observer measures a line in a group of 5 people, but the other 4 disagree, he/she will actually perceive the line at the majority opinion length.

  37. Silver_Witch says:

    Some of my family moved to Phoenix years ago – it was a shock to my sister who had only really worked in California before that where the laws protecting workers are pretty tight…she went to work for a University there, the pay was horrible and the attitude really was – hey don’t like it – leave!

    And as I said – it is hot really really hot – I think that is what is wrong with the people their – brains a little too fried!

  38. Silver_Witch says:

    Thanks Mole! Good to know.

  39. BeccaM says:

    While studying spirituality in recent years — and developing an affinity for certain Buddhist practices — I cannot help but notice how much of this particular form of Christian faith is based on attachments.

    Attachment to wealth, power, and situation. Attachment to worldly possessions. Attachment to anthropocentric pridefulness. Attachment to personal identity and a decidedly dualistic view of existence.

    Attachment to fears and prejudice…

  40. neighborhoodmole says:

    Religious beliefs can change, so it doesn’t matter what one claims to believe on an interview, a person can convert to a new religion at any time. Religion truly is a choice, unlike sexual orientation! Religions even evolve, which they must to survive as culture changes. For example, Mormons did not allow non-whites until recently, now they do in spite of previous claims that they couldn’t. The Catholic Church used to allow priests to marry, but that stopped around 1200 AD. If they are to survive, I suspect they will allow priests to marry again someday. They may even allow women priests and sanction gay marriages! Since religion is all made up (which is my belief) anything goes and it can change at any time. That is why this law is so bad, anyone can use it to circumvent any and all discrimination laws at any time without being consistent. One day you believe gays are evil. The next day you have a revelation (when you only kid comes out as gay) and then believe in gay marriage and surrogacy, since that is your only hope for grandchildren.

  41. BeccaM says:

    The ultimate goal is to gut the 1964 Civil Rights act.

    That’s what I’ve been saying for a while now. LGBT rights and women’s reproductive freedoms are the wedge issues. The goal is to undermine the 1964 Civil Rights act to the point where it becomes meaningless and unenforceable, where all you have to do is say, “It’s against my religion to allow (insert any group’s name) into my store / restaurant / rental property.”

    That include LGBTs. Unmarried women. People of any particular race, religion, or ethnicity. People with birth defects or disabilities. Old people. (“I refuse to hire Mr. Smith because he’s 50 years old and I’m a believer in the Church of Carousel, as documented in the film Logan’s Run.”)

  42. neighborhoodmole says:

    The head of Apple is openly gay, I’d be very surprised if he didn’t pull the plug on investments there if he could be denied any service by anyone there because of this law. After all, what if there were a problem with an Apple building and one of the local contractors refused to come fix it because their CEO is gay?

  43. MyrddinWilt says:

    I’m not sure this is so much a boycott as a case of people just not thinking of Arizona as a nice place to visit and not wanting to go there on holiday.

    The only conference that I used to go to in that state has already moved after the papers please bigotry. Which is a shame as it was in the Phonetian which is the country club resort that Keating built with the money from his scam.

    I’m not really thinking of Florida for a holiday either with the ‘stand your ground’ legalized lynch law on the books.

    I can’t boycott Russia either as they wouldn’t let me into the country anyway and if they did let me in I couldn’t get out again.

    I am doing good on the Barilla boycott though I have like 30 boxes of the stuff in the basement.

  44. Naja pallida says:

    Wait, we’re supposed to disclose our financial interests in companies we complain about or defend? :)

  45. nicho says:

    What we need to do is to get gays and lesbians from all over the country to make vacation reservations in AZ. Book hotel rooms, make restaurant reservations, etc. Book them solid. Then, if Brewer signs the bill call the hotels/restaurants in question — don’t do it over the Internet — cancel the reservations and tell them exactly why.

  46. cole3244 says:

    ignorance and religious are not oxymorons.

  47. 2karmanot says:

    “The woman is an idiot, but she’s not suicidal.” More’s the pity.

  48. 2karmanot says:

    I say, “Stand Our Fabulous!”

  49. 2karmanot says:

    The Morlocks rise.

  50. MyrddinWilt says:

    Someone should tell Brewer that their religion requires her to wear a veil and walk two steps behind her husband whose property she is.

  51. MyrddinWilt says:

    Yes, this is one of my pet peeves about the GOP. They are certainly not business friendly. Stupidity is not business friendly. And this bill is stupid.

    The GOP is not run by business people. It is run by people who think they are business people who spend their time toadying to people who are and like being toadied to. Thats a very big difference. Its the worst CEOs, the showboats that like their schtick.

  52. Silver_Witch says:

    Thanks for the post MyrddinWilt – and the disclosure (that was kind of cute). I agree – I did not think about the solar aspect of Google and Apple and its relationship with Arizona. I hope you are right about them letting the Governor know this is not something they would like to see happen.

  53. 2karmanot says:

    Senator stupid face got trounced! WTG Anderson!

  54. Houndentenor says:

    #facepalm He sounds like so many people I have the misfortune to have to deal with on a regular basis. He lives in such a fundamentalist bubble that this nonsense makes sense to him. He never even imagined Coop’s rather obvious objections to the bill. It’s just one right wing Christianist talking point after another.

  55. MyrddinWilt says:

    Apple have already come out and made protests to the Governor. Google pulled its tech office in Arizona back in 2008 and their new proposal is limited to one out of six solar plants.

    Neither company is likely to tear up a $100million investment for the sake of a boycott (disclosure, Google is a consulting client, I hold Apple stock). But they are making clear that they don’t want to have state stupidity harm them.

    The bigger problem for Arizona is the companies that are going to look at the mess and decide to avoid the state lest they do a third stupid thing. Unless there is a veto the bill is very likely to get struck down as unconstitutional. Which would take the hate issue off the table but not the stupidity issue.

    I rather doubt the minimum wage will be remotely relevant to the type of plant Apple is building.

  56. Anonymous says:

    They’re anarchists…they want a theocracy. They’d be throwing bricks and mortar like the Taliban and not realize why it isn’t working out. Millions would be casualties of their religion, if you can call it that, if they had too many rights.
    200+ years ago the founding fathers built this country on the separation of church and state. They want to topple the constitution. I don’t know, what went wrong? Is it just the recession making people frustrated, or are there so few educated people that idiots are now the majority?

  57. Silver_Witch says:

    No actually poor Jan Brewer is being bullied by the mean ol’gays to veto the vote. You know she is such a soft southern flower that she will probably whilt to the power of all those big strong gay persons….So says Rush Limpbaugh

    End of /snark

  58. Silver_Witch says:

    Bueller here…NO an employee has no rights in the State of Arizona – as in NONE and so there will be no right to ask poor sad corporation to divulge its belief system. Thank you = now hand in all your No. 2 Pencils Class.

  59. Silver_Witch says:

    Sadly Ninja I think you are right…and they are getting backing because a lot of people get swept up in the “marriage” issue, but mark the time and date and soon you will see women being denied work because the Bible says we aren’t supposed to to this or that……hopefully we stop them here in Arizona.

  60. lynchie says:

    Cut off all forms of government funding. Close all military bases. Withhold all funds from every government department. No FEMA, no Corps of Engineers, no money for National Guard. Make it financially hurt for them to discriminate.

  61. Silver_Witch says:

    I am sorry to say that neither Apple nor Google are likely to cancel their plans to move their businesses to Arizona, why you might ask – well let me tell you about a little State named Arizona that is a right to work state and allows long hours, no OT, no minimum wage and firing at will – for anything. Businesses move to Arizona when they dislike the rules and regs that California has (because well the weather is kind-of okay and it is close to the coast-albeit there are times of year you can cook an egg on the sidewalk – literally).

    I am sure Apple – who prefers sweat shop labor to places that provide for working people to have some rights when working. Google confuses me!

    So I am hopeless again that Google or Apple will do the right thing.

  62. Badgerite says:

    I shudder!

  63. Badgerite says:

    Yes, and I think that is quite correct. If this were to be allowed as a constitutional principle, it would open the door to all manner of bigotry and discrimination as a protected activity under the law.

  64. Badgerite says:

    I heard even Jan Brewer is not going along with it. And that is saying something.
    They say she is planning to veto it. Both of Arizona’s Senators have urged her to do so. It is clearly a ridiculous interpretation of religious freedom. A right to discriminate against people based on a religious belief.

  65. Ninja0980 says:

    Here’s the thing folks, sooner or later one of these bills WILL be passed.
    And the goal is much bigger then just making sure any joy we get from marriage equality is snuffed out by businesses being able to discriminate against us using “religious” beliefs.
    If the Supreme Court upheld these laws, the ink wouldn’t be dry on the ruling before someone files a lawsuit stating that if they are allowed to deny services to the LGBT community because of religious beliefs, they should be able to do it to people of different faiths, races , gender etc
    The ultimate goal is to gut the 1964 Civil Rights act.
    And if you think that can’t happen, what is going on with voting rights and reproductive choices say hi. They want to turn back the clock to when colored people knew their place, women stayed in the kitchen and gays and lesbians stayed in the closet and went to prison if they didn’t.

  66. Monophylos Fortikos says:

    Of course not. It’s a faith–if such a word can even be used for so crass and self-serving a belief system–contingent on that basest and most selfish desire, the desire to get goodies as a reward for placating God. Ironically it’s very much a classical pagan sort of belief. Do ut des: I give, so that you may give. Make obeisance to Jesus and He’ll make you happy–and rich, because “prosperity theology” is now a central tenet of right-wing belief. Neglect Jesus and He’ll punish you, not merely in a hypothetical afterlife but right in the here and now. The godly prosper, the godless wallow in misery. That’s American Christianity in a nutshell.

    Except…it’s not working out that way. Fundies say all the right things, hate all the right things, vote Republican (for is there any more sacred act of worship in American Christianity than voting GOP?) and yet their lives still suck. Why else be so obsessed with the Second Coming? People who are content with their lives do not long for the day when Jesus comes back to whisk them away to Paradise. Yet there are those dirty sodomites who, according to the rules they’ve been taught, ought to be wallowing in misery because God hates them, except for some reason they’re not miserable.

    Really what we’re seeing is the end result of a pathological spirituality that, as much as it pays lip service to the notion of an ineffable God who exists outside of space and time and for Whom all mortal affairs must seem to Him as the life of a mayfly seems to us, is sick with fear at the notion of anything truly otherworldly and beyond human comprehension.

  67. rkovacs says:

    If, as senator Al Malvin stated, nobody discriminates in Arizona then why pass this bill?

  68. BeccaM says:

    As I wrote the other day, I’m increasingly convinced the goal isn’t just anti-gay discrimination, but an attempt to eliminate all civil rights laws in the name of religion.

  69. Anonymous says:

    Vanity faith, essentially. And they know it.

  70. BeccaM says:

    I’ll tell ya another reason — besides the horrible PR — why businesses, especially large corporations, are very much against this bill: Most of them are in it for the money, and don’t want their employees to have the ability to discriminate against customers at whim, and be protected by this Arizona legislative abomination.

    I’ve read through the bill’s text several times now, as well as the summaries and analyses, and at first I came away with the realization they were so far-reaching, the bill quite literally nullifies all civil rights legislation. For those who’ve claimed that other state or federal laws would supersede this “Stand Your God” law — such as for race or gender — I see no such evidence in the bill. The religious exemption has no limits, and indeed seems to go out of its way to allow anybody, for any asserted religious reason, even if that reason has no place in any organized religion’s teachings, to discriminate at will.

    But then I thought about the converse example: “What if a business owner doesn’t want to discriminate, because there’s money to be made from LGBTs? What if one of that owner’s employees — say a property manager or hotel franchise manager or, to use their example, a florist or a baker — is the one who wants to discriminate?”

    The language the bill would seem to indicate that the employee, contrary to the wishes of said employer, would be protected. And have grounds to sue for wrongful termination if the employer fired them.

  71. BeccaM says:

    Their faith is so weak and fragile, it won’t stand the least challenge…

  72. HolyMoly says:

    If 10% of their population is gay, so long as these types of laws are on their books, then 10% of their population count needs to be subtracted BEFORE determining how many representatives they are allowed in Congress.

    And that’s not even mentioning the number of Hispanic citizens who are constantly stopped and required to provide their “papers,” as if they lived in the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany. How many Arizonans are Hispanic? I’m sure much greater than 10%. Remove them from their population count as well when apportioning seats in Congress.

    They have eight seats now…perhaps reducing them down to three would make them reconsider extending equal rights to ALL of their citizens.

    And all of that is ignoring the fact that this proposed law is unconstitutional anyhow.

  73. AnitaMann says:

    I say let the boycott begin anyway. Aren’t we still boycotting the Papers Please law anyway? AZ doesn’t give much of a breather between new asshat laws.

  74. LasloPratt says:

    …corporations as “people” who have religious beliefs, and thus will be permitted to discriminate based on those beliefs…

    Here’s a question no one asks: Will any prospective employee interviewing for a position with such a company have a corresponding right to ask for those beliefs to be disclosed? Anyone? Bueller?

  75. magster says:

    NFL tangent: Michael Sam had a poor showing in the 40 yard dash at the NFL combines. Makes it more likely that he will be drafted late.

  76. Lthomas320 says:

    Political cover, as Str8Grandmother mentioned elsewhere. Gin Jan has very likely reached out to Republican politicians (maybe others, too?) requesting public calls (tweets, etc.) for a veto. Now she’s riding the crest of a tidal wave of those calls. Maybe she’s loving every minute of it and thus stretching it out. The things politicians do …

  77. Monophylos Fortikos says:

    I wish someone would hammer away directly at the central conceit of this “religious freedom” movement, the wild notion that there’s any violation of religious freedom going on at all. The Jesus freaks need to be questioned, again and again, on this matter: “Do you really think it’s the duty of the state to protect you from even having to see and touch people who don’t follow your sacred rules? Why do you want the government to coddle you?”

  78. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, what about THEIR rights?

  79. gratuitous says:

    Not sure why Brewer is dithering on her veto, except to draw attention to herself, like any good politician. If she’s going to sign it into law, then sign it. If she’s going to veto it, veto it. Thousands of Arizonans’ lives are hanging in the balance; this is no time for grandstanding political games.

  80. Anonymous says:

    Repubs seem more like despots these days – say something completely dishonest, appear moderate, get elected. Then hijack the party with extremism. And Dems are going down the same route unfortunately.

  81. nicho says:

    Since when has being a blithering idiot been a drawback in US politics. In some cases, it’s a distinct advantage. Never forget that 59,000,000 of your fellow citizens thought that Sarah Palin, a semi-literate con artist, was presidential material.

  82. Badgerite says:

    It’s like putting the 3/5th of a person bullshit back into the Constitution.

  83. dcinsider says:

    LOL, well I agree but the boycott concept is not that individualized. It’s always about companies doing business in the place, sending aid, or otherwise economically assisting the offending place in any manner. It worked in South Africa, it can work elsewhere.

  84. heimaey says:


  85. TheOriginalLiz says:

    But his constituents can relate to him … in fact, they probably feel that he’s the type of guy who’d sit down and have a beer with them.

    Republicans and logic – diametric opposites.

  86. Indigo says:

    The problem with boycotting Arizona (Uganda, Russia, etc.) is that I have no particular interest in visiting any one of them for any reason.

  87. Indigo says:

    You may be right but that suggests a pathological level of immaturity that needs medical attention STAT!

  88. Nylund says:

    The GOP state senator in this clip seems too dumb to even be able to comprehend the possible unintended consequences of this law. The two of them can’t even have a smart conversation about it because the GOP lawmaker is mentally incapable of even understanding the conversation itself.

  89. TheOriginalLiz says:

    Working very hard to move backwards….

  90. heimaey says:

    I don’t think they believe this shit, it’s just about winning and getting attention. Their “side” is throwing a tantrum.

  91. UncleBucky says:

    Does this SOB have a Cross on his lapel???

  92. dcinsider says:

    I do hope that our allies join in a boycott of the state. However, I suspect the economics of this folly have reached Brewer’s office, and she will talk a lot about religious freedom when she vetoes the bill, saying that she believes in the spirit but cannot let the state suffer the economic backlash..

    The woman is an idiot, but she’s not suicidal.

  93. Indigo says:

    “Stand your god.” Seriously? Several of the gods I rather like would favor tossing him to the lions. I’m good with that but it’s not going to happen.

  94. beemer says:

    Have Arizona call Microsoft for some advice.

  95. TonyT says:

    “With all due respect Sir. You are an idiot.”

  96. TonyT says:

    But he’s wearing a cross lapel pin. BTW I hope the Islamists set up camp in Arizona.

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