Another Religious Freedom Bill

As ThinkProgress points out, Arizona legislators are still considering another “religious freedom” bill, HB 2481, that could have far-reaching implications.

The new bill would shield ministers who refuse to officiate same-sex weddings, but how the bill defines ministers is very broad.

Where the problem arises is how the law defines “minister.” Rather than just its standard definition of religious official, this bill expands it to mean anybody who can officiate a wedding. [...]

This would mean that judges, justices of the peace, and county clerks could exercise the same privilege of refusing to officiate a same-sex marriage. Though this bill would only have an effect in the hypothetical future when marriage equality arrives in Arizona, its effect in that scenario would be incredibly problematic.

An average person, myself included, may hear the word “minister” and think of the clergy, but in this case the title minister would be expanded to cover state employees.

Religious zealots may have suffered a defeat when Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed SB1062, but they aren’t going away.

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  • Badgerite

    Oh Lord! One more time, you cannot make a matter of religious freedom for employees of the state to perform their official duties in a discriminatory manner. Ministers are not affected as it is. No ‘priest’ or reverend needs protection from anything since it would be the policy of their particular church or religion that would be controlling. What we are talking about is CIVIL MARRIAGES which are performed by public employees. Not religious ceremonies. And if there are public employees in Arizona who feel that they cannot perform their PUBLIC duties without being allowed to engage in discriminatory application of the law , then they should get other employment. This is a bright line that cannot be crossed. This particular proposal has the same problems as the last one. Any employee of the state who claims a religious belief to justify any sort of prejudice and claim a religious belief. Why don’t they just ask the country to repeal the 14th Amendment and be done with it. That is what they are trying to accomplish in fact.

    • Christopher Foxx

      And if there are public employees in Arizona who feel that they cannot perform their PUBLIC duties without being allowed to engage in discriminatory application of the law , then they should get other employment.

      Amen.

      It is a requirement of the job that you leave your personal views at the door. When you are a public servant, you are required to serve the public. All of them. Equally.

      And if you can’t do that, then you are fired. Period. Done. Please do let the door hit you on the ass on the way out you insufferable self-righteous bigot.

      (After all, this is gov’t service. Since when did morals ever enter into it?)

    • http://www.facebook.com/grahamshevlin Graham Shevlin

      If they could repeal the 14th Amendment, they would have already done so…they want to create a hermetically sealed parallel universe where Gods Rule Is Law.

      • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

        where their Gods Rule is Law

        FTFY

    • D_C_Wilson

      We’re talking about teabaggers. They don’t recognize any amendments after the 2nd and they really aren’t too sure about the 1st one either.

      • Churchlady320

        Sure they are. They know only True Christians are covered by it, so they’re fine. You? Not so much.

    • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

      This is a bright line that cannot be crossed.

      I couldn’t agree more. It’s the Rubicon as far as I’m concerned.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    They are not going to quit until someone, anyone, somewhere, anywhere, validates their “right” to treat other people like shit.

    Were segregation and Jim Crow really that much fun?

    • Zen Diesel

      According to the Duck Dynasty Hillbillies colored folks were hard working and happy during the waning days of the Jim Crow Laws. I can’t imagine the gay not experiencing the same wonderful treatment.

      /snarrrrk

  • Churchlady320

    Sorry – a public official is a public official NOT a minister. They cannot refuse.

  • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

    They’re extremists and they never give up. They’ll keep trying as long as they draw breath. It’s just exhausting fighting such everlasting stupidity.

    • Badgerite

      “Everlasting stupidity”! Good line. One has to hope their children will see the world differently. I fear the people behind this latest legal travesty never will.