Religious Freedom Reframed So Gay Rights Trump Them
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed the legislative measure SB 1062 Wednesday that would have protected business owners’ religious freedom to decline participating in homosexual weddings. The bill came under immediate assault by the opposition and it didn’t take long before the other bullies to join forces in intimidating the Governor. Brewer was threatened by the National Football League that unless she vetoed the bill, the 2015 Super Bowl would be moved. Delta Air Lines, Major League Baseball and Apple Computer joined the others as did the Drive-by Media, the LBGT community, and their advocates, the homosexual lobby— even some Republicans— John McCain and Mitt Romney voiced their opposition.
Doug Napier, an attorney on behalf of the Alliance Defending Freedom, who helped write the bill, spoke out on the governor’s decision,
“Freedom loses when fear overwhelms facts and a good bill is vetoed,” he said in a statement. “Today’s veto enables the foes of faith to more easily suppress the freedom of the people of Arizona.”
And therein is the loss of the First Amendment right for the Christian faith community, not only in Arizona, but will result in a national domino effect.
Why did this happen?
Appearing on Fox’s The Kelly File Wednesday night, Tony Perkins, President of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council, who argued in favor of the bill explained that the tactic used by the Left was misinformation. He added that this is how our fundamental freedoms are being trampled and that the Arizona public was “hoodwinked by hired guns”.
Perkins explained that the purpose of this bill was to close a misinterpretation in The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) of 1993. The law’s intent was when a person goes into business or the marketplace she or he does not lose their religious freedom. However, the courts have been interpreting the law exactly that way so the legislature crafted an amendment to the existing RFRA to clarify one’s Religious Freedom; that one does not leave their faith in the Church building upon leaving it.
Top bipartisan law professors, made up of both supporter and opponents of same-sex marriage wrote Governor Brewer explaining that the religious freedom bill has been “egregiously misrepresented” by its critics. They stated in their communication that many criticisms of the Arizona bill are deeply misleading.
According to the Weekly Standard post,
“The federal government and eighteen states have Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs). Another twelve or thirteen states interpret their state constitutions to provide similar protections. These laws enact a uniform standard to be interpreted and applied to individual cases by courts. They say that before the government can burden a person’s religious exercise, the government has to show a compelling justification.”
Perkins went on to explain to Megyn Kelly that the bill included a test that a business would have to prove they had a legitimate religious objection— one could not simply refuse to serve someone. Under this law, the onus was on the owner of the business to prove it is a deeply held conviction. Kelly noted that the opposition framed it as a modern day law equivalent to the one where you can refuse service from blacks who married whites. That was not true. This was a significant piece of legislation to address the injustice to those of Christian faith, as was ruled in a New Mexico case
It was legislation to deal with usurping the Constitutionally protected rights that had surfaced in three other cases: A New Mexico photographer who declined to take pictures of a lesbian couple’s ceremony; a Washington State florist who declined to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding; and the Colorado baker who refused to make a cake the wedding of two homosexual men.
The Supreme Court of New Mexico ruled that Christian photographers do not have the right to decline photographing a gay wedding—even if by doing so violates their religious beliefs. The Colorado baker, Jack Phillips is ordered to bake cakes for same-sex marriages or face jail. And Washington State is suing the Washington florist who refused to provide flowers for a same-sex marriage ceremony.
The Arizona law’s intent was to protect Christians who do not leave their faith in the confines of their Church, but who live it personally and professionally every day.