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Author Topic: Arizona Anti-Gay Law  (Read 1790 times)

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Online Lux12

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Re: Arizona Anti-Gay Law
« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2014, 04:40:10 AM »
I don't see why these guys bothered. The supreme court is going to overturn it in the near future anyway.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Arizona Anti-Gay Law
« Reply #26 on: February 23, 2014, 05:03:20 AM »
kylie - Retribution and I were referring to the underlying causes and potential solutions for this homophobia and LGBT discrimination as a whole to begin with in the Christian communities, not solutions to deal with discrimination from this particular bill.  However, on that issue, I agree with a lot of what you are saying.

My guess is that many of these female-only gymnasiums are designated as 'clubs' from a legal standpoint, and thus can set whatever criteria they want for membership.  For example, work fraternities or country clubs can set membership criteria specifying its members as male or female.  The Augusta Country Club was historically all-male, but recently decided to permit women entry.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2014, 05:05:50 AM by Valthazar »

Offline vtboy

Re: Arizona Anti-Gay Law
« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2014, 07:22:33 AM »
          I don't think this would necessarily follow.  Particularly if you look at the text of the Arizona bill...  Assuming this is still the active version or that this wording has not been changed in the active version, it reads:

Quote
2.  "Exercise of religion" means the PRACTICE OR OBSERVANCE OF RELIGION, INCLUDING THE ability to act or refusal to act in a manner substantially motivated by a religious belief, whether or not the exercise is compulsory or central to a larger system of religious belief.

Seems to me they have actually included potential atheist claims pretty well in their effort to paint a broad definition.

Do I understand correctly that you are suggesting an atheist could receive protection under the Act by claiming his or her otherwise unlawful discrimination was motivated by a refusal to act in accord with the tenets of some religion that teaches non-discrimination? This reading strikes me as a bit tortured. 

But, I think we are off on something of a tangent, and the fault is likely mine for having referred to atheists. The real problem with the Act is the distinction it draws between conduct which is motivated by religious belief (whether or not religious belief encompasses atheism) and conduct which is grounded entirely in secular considerations. A barkeeper, for example, who excludes gays from his establishment because "god told me to" gets a defense under the Act; his competitor across the street, who excludes gays because he thinks they are lousy tippers or they deter the custom of others, does not.

By the way, the Act is not limited in application to discrimination against LGBTs. Its language is broad enough to immunize any conduct which meets the following qualifications of section 14-4193.01(E):

1.  That the person's action or refusal to act is motivated by a religious belief.
2.  That the person's religious belief is sincerely held.
3.  That the state action substantially burdens the exercise of the person's religious belief

Not only would religiously motivated acts of racial, ethnic and gender discrimination come within the immunity, but so too might stuff like human sacrifice, kidnapping, and pedophilia. And god knows what else. 

         

Offline Fabjuth

Re: Arizona Anti-Gay Law
« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2014, 07:51:30 AM »
Not only would religiously motivated acts of racial, ethnic and gender discrimination come within the immunity, but so too might stuff like human sacrifice, kidnapping, and pedophilia. And god knows what else.

Why does this statement make me think of the satirical open letter to the Kansas School Board that started The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (I'd link but I'm still awaiting approval)?

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Arizona Anti-Gay Law
« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2014, 09:48:49 AM »
         The way I understood it, it says people are also protected if they refuse to act in a manner motivated by some religious belief.  And they say the question is not about what "larger systems" of religion require either.  So it seems to me, an atheist could refuse a job with the defense that 'Oh, that sort of activity would be predicated on certain Christian [or insert whatever religion's] values and I don't wish to be seen as supporting that.'
Mmm... I suppose it could be parsed that way, though the clear intent (and its likliest interpretation) was (refuse to act) (in a manner...) - not serving someone is, after all, a refusal to act. Given the treatment atheists tend to get when it comes to laws respecting religion... I wouldn't hold my breath for any sort of equal protection.

Which is, of course, just another on the huge pile of reasons this is an incredibly shitty and stupid law.

Valthazar, a problem I see with your idea of "root out the political influence": How long does the "political influence" have to dictate sermons before it's an inextricable part of doctrine? Or are you talking about breaking, say, the SBC as an entity?
« Last Edit: February 23, 2014, 09:57:01 AM by Ephiral »

Offline kylie

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Re: Arizona Anti-Gay Law
« Reply #30 on: February 23, 2014, 11:34:00 AM »
Do I understand correctly that you are suggesting an atheist could receive protection under the Act by claiming his or her otherwise unlawful discrimination was motivated by a refusal to act in accord with the tenets of some religion that teaches non-discrimination? This reading strikes me as a bit tortured.
         
But, I think we are off on something of a tangent, and the fault is likely mine for having referred to atheists.
        Shrugs.  It's not central in deciding whether I like the bill (I don't).  I'm just trying to be honest about how I think it could play out.  Wish I could dig up who it was with some credentials that was reported to have said so, but I haven't had any luck finding where that actually started yet. 

        If anyone can claim their view of some religious doctrine (whether that view is affirmative or negative) decides their action, then there you go.  Though I guess it could also depend how you read the grammar -- which itself is kind of a mess.  It could be read to mean that as Ephiral puts it, one internal phrase? (refusal to act) must be supported by an affirmation of some positively religious position.  (But doing so would force courts to start laying out just who will be accepted as having a religious position and who doesn't, whereas the current bill actually goes some ways to avoid doing so by discarding the idea of "major systems of religion" as a factor...  So this is not a totally comfortable prospect for them to enter into, either.)

...  Although if states were fair -- not that they often or always are, depending -- they might have to recognize that atheism does take a position about religious prescriptions (just as much as various Christian denominations take a position on whether to adopt this one or that) and once we agree there, I don't see how atheists could be kept out any more than say well, Satanists (other thread yes -- note the OK Satanists claim at least in part, to be acting in support of atheist positions vis-a-vis public policy hehe). 

Quote
The real problem with the Act is the distinction it draws between conduct which is motivated by religious belief (whether or not religious belief encompasses atheism) and conduct which is grounded entirely in secular considerations.
       Sure.  No argument there.

Quote
Not only would religiously motivated acts of racial, ethnic and gender discrimination come within the immunity, but so too might stuff like human sacrifice, kidnapping, and pedophilia. And god knows what else. 
         I think they did have a clause that says the government could argue for a compelling interest to stop any particular religious action.  And I suppose they'd argue such things would be obvious precedents where courts would leap to use it?  But yes, it does seem silly to have to redefine all the boundaries with religion at the presumptive "top" of the hierarchy -- as opposed to a presumption that equality will generally be protected for various groups in public commerce.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2014, 11:39:04 AM by kylie »

Offline Sethala

Re: Arizona Anti-Gay Law
« Reply #31 on: February 24, 2014, 12:09:26 AM »
        Somehow it seems like there's usually another can of worms anyway...  But I don't think that means it's better to simply educate and hope the problem fades away in a generation or few.  It's also arguable that things only get better because of some contribution from both approaches.  Education and discussion are great yes, but this is more like the Jim Crow laws than any passive misunderstanding.  A state says hey look, here's a positive excuse to circumvent protections for a group that is being discriminated against.  A whole slew of (mostly Southern) state attorneys (plus Michigan and Montana) have chimed in with an amicus brief saying, among other expressed motivations, that they also want the Supreme Court to take this up so that they will have guidance as they likewise craft 'protections' that set religious freedom as an exclusion zone against anti-discrimination laws.  If people were not reactively trying to undermine rights for a group that are being approved in many parts of the country, then no one would have to deal with it.  But they are, and they're not backing down without a ruling or a fight, not least a bureaucratic one (then there are the bodies tied to fences and such).

        As to your female-only gym example, three points: 

        First, denial of service cases rely on whether businesses are designated as public marketplace establishments.  I was just reading the Willock brief to the Supreme Court (the lesbian party that sued in the New Mexico case).  They say that the photography company is not classified as a freelancer under law but rather as one that has made its services available to the general public.  Personally, I don't know all the technicalities of that -- whether it has to do with zoning or contract rules or just how it's determined.  But I can imagine that perhaps some gymnasiums could let's say 'incorporate' or whatever the term is, such that they are not (or maybe are no longer) 'publicly available' for business.  (There must be proper legal terms for all this but I don't know them.)  Then they pick their clients, but they only get to pick from a pool of clients they have designated beforehand.  (What happens if a new kind of group or situation they don't like appears among what was formerly accepted as part of their client base?  Then I imagine, they could still be facing a dilemma.  But anyway.)  Of course, if just anyone can easily make a freelance or members-only sort of business with a big facility and everything, anywhere, then there could be a wide-scale "gated community" sort of problem with this...

           Second, the New Mexico case is specifically concerned with discrimination against a protected minority.  It's easier to argue that women deserve to be a protected minority under the law than men.  The historical and institutional limitations placed on women's status are pretty well recognized -- to the extent that we have anti-discrimination laws protecting things like bio-sex (and along rather similar reasoning, we have them now for orientation and still more recently, getting a bit more into gender expression).  I'm guessing there are more precedents established with this that women may need women-only facilities to be taken seriously.  But I don't have a lot of background reading cases about this, I must admit.

            Third, there is room (good or bad) for development of a community around a business site that supports that community, which may have ramifications for who actually wants to frequent a given place more often...  Again in the Willock brief:  They note that the New Mexico anti-discrimination law allows the business to advertise using whatever examples it wants and to say whatever it wants outside of a particular transaction relationship about its beliefs.   The business can post what it thinks of gay marriage on its website even, at least under the New Mexico law.  They can tell everyone (including prospective customers beforehand) what they're for, as long as -- as a business that has said they serve the public from a publicly available book of service agreements, not a private contractor -- they offer the actual services to everyone equally.  When businesses do this, some groups will tend to develop around them more than others.  Other clients may be more or less interested in newcomers with a different set of beliefs; I'm not sure how comfy, or even how well served a small number of men would feel for the first month in that gym you mention anyway (all else aside)...  But if someone really wants to have the service, that's that.

I'm not a lawyer at all, but there is something called "bona fide occupational qualifications" in equal opportunity employment law, that basically means that discrimination is allowed if that quality is a necessary part of the job.  For example, an employer could discriminate based on religion if he's hiring a teacher for a Catholic school, and Playboy is able to discriminate based on gender for playboy bunnies.  I assume that there would be a similar rule that would apply to a business that wants to be discriminatory against its customers if doing so would provide something specific to the business.  A female-only restaurant wouldn't make much sense, but a female-only gym would, and so such a rule (if it exists, and I think it should exist, for the record) would allow a business to deny male customers.

Offline kylie

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Re: Arizona Anti-Gay Law
« Reply #32 on: February 27, 2014, 08:07:29 AM »
        The governor nixed it. 

        Just from surfing page openers, it sounds like there may not be votes on the supporting side for more of this one right now.  Apparently, sponsors of a bill along similiar lines in Ohio have now also withdrawn that.     
« Last Edit: February 27, 2014, 08:09:22 AM by kylie »

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Arizona Anti-Gay Law
« Reply #33 on: February 28, 2014, 04:25:17 PM »
I am glad to see the governor vetoed it.  I feel it was because the pressure businesses put on her, which is a bit of a disappointment.  Capitalist greed is not going to be there to protect every minority's rights.  We just got lucky this time.

Online backlash84

Re: Arizona Anti-Gay Law
« Reply #34 on: March 03, 2014, 01:43:51 AM »
In my very humble opinion, its nothing to worry about. What you have here is panic from very conservative groups because gay marriage is becoming more and more acceptable in todays society, they feel people are pushing against them, so they are pushing back. Its a knee jerk reaction of a dying social stigma, the last, most bitter people putting up whatever little fight they have left before everything starts caving in on top of them.

Personally, I would be surprised to see anything come of it. We are evolving as people, getting smarter, more advanced socially than we ever would have been years ago. The fact that I can talk to a gay person over the internet, hear what they have to say, relate to them, removes any fear of them. Hell, if I had been socially isolated, as these people have been, I might be scared too. But they can't hold back progress, which is what is happening here, social progress.

And worst case, have the gays move up here! (Canada) We'd love to have you. On the cold winter nights, no one cares who you snuggle with. :)

Offline didoanna

Re: Arizona Anti-Gay Law
« Reply #35 on: April 01, 2014, 11:25:16 PM »
Focusing on these easy-to-understand social issues is a great way for people who have no clue about politics to figure out which party to vote for, and you better believe that's why politicians on both the Left and Right are focusing so much on this stuff. 

The uneducated portion of Bible thumpers will then vote for Republicans, and the uneducated portion of young adult urban dwellers will vote Democrat.

Brilliantly cynical.

Offline Strident

Re: Arizona Anti-Gay Law
« Reply #36 on: April 23, 2014, 06:13:58 PM »
Referring back to the OP, I'm from England, so I'm unfamiliar on the details of the law.

It seems to me to really be all about the philosophy of libertarianism in action.

My initial thoughts on it are that the owner of a private establishment or business should reasonably be allowed to reserve the right of admission more or less as they see fit: You see it on every ticket for nearly anywhere or anything: "ROAR - Right of admission reserved". I think that's generally a good principle, that a private business owner can choose who he does business with. That's libertarianism in action right there.

Libertarianism, in a nutshell, is believing that the vast mass of the population, on average, will do the decent thing and make sensible, moral choices for themselves and their communities, without those choices being dictated to them. Libertarianism is  conversely highly suspicious of the motives of a tiny select group of people called "government" who makes the laws, and thinks therefore they should make as few as possible.

Consequently, the libertarian position would probably be that the owner of a business can choose to do business with whomever he jolly well pleases, or, equally, choose not to as he sees fit.

If the business owner is small minded enough to not serve gay people simply because they are gay..well, fine..let him go ahead and do that and see how long his business lasts when he turns away good custom and decent folk boycott him for his bigotry. I suspect the business equivalent of Darwinian selection will take care of him (although the owner of such an establishment probably doesn't believe in Darwinsim right? ;) )


Offline Kythia

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Re: Arizona Anti-Gay Law
« Reply #37 on: April 23, 2014, 06:25:20 PM »
Referring back to the OP, I'm from England, so I'm unfamiliar on the details of the law.

It seems to me to really be all about the philosophy of libertarianism in action.

My initial thoughts on it are that the owner of a private establishment or business should reasonably be allowed to reserve the right of admission more or less as they see fit: You see it on every ticket for nearly anywhere or anything: "ROAR - Right of admission reserved". I think that's generally a good principle, that a private business owner can choose who he does business with. That's libertarianism in action right there.

Libertarianism, in a nutshell, is believing that the vast mass of the population, on average, will do the decent thing and make sensible, moral choices for themselves and their communities, without those choices being dictated to them. Libertarianism is  conversely highly suspicious of the motives of a tiny select group of people called "government" who makes the laws, and thinks therefore they should make as few as possible.

Consequently, the libertarian position would probably be that the owner of a business can choose to do business with whomever he jolly well pleases, or, equally, choose not to as he sees fit.

If the business owner is small minded enough to not serve gay people simply because they are gay..well, fine..let him go ahead and do that and see how long his business lasts when he turns away good custom and decent folk boycott him for his bigotry. I suspect the business equivalent of Darwinian selection will take care of him (although the owner of such an establishment probably doesn't believe in Darwinsim right? ;) )

I totally agree with you here, Strident (in the UK as well) but I do know from various similar topics here in PROC that that's quite a rare view in the US.  And, yanno, it's a US law so....

Offline greenknight

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Re: Arizona Anti-Gay Law
« Reply #38 on: April 23, 2014, 07:00:01 PM »
Libertarianism, in a nutshell, is believing that the vast mass of the population, on average, will do the decent thing and make sensible, moral choices for themselves and their communities, without those choices being dictated to them.
No, that isn't the core of Libertarianism. And if it was, Libertarianism is regularly repudiated by empirical evidence. Remove decency, morality, and community and I may agree with you.

Offline Cassandra LeMay

Re: Arizona Anti-Gay Law
« Reply #39 on: April 24, 2014, 01:01:19 AM »
My initial thoughts on it are that the owner of a private establishment or business should reasonably be allowed to reserve the right of admission more or less as they see fit: You see it on every ticket for nearly anywhere or anything: "ROAR - Right of admission reserved". I think that's generally a good principle, that a private business owner can choose who he does business with.
I am tempted to agree with you to some extend. Just opening a place for business does not automatically create a contract between business owner and customer when the customer walks through the door. Opening a shop or restaurant is an offer to enter into a contract 'invitation to treat/bargain', but how the actual contract with the customer is formed depends on the circumstances.

But, I think the keyword here is "reasonably", and in my opinion we cross the border when it comes to the sexual orientation / gender identity of a customer, because that should make no difference to a restaurant serving them food or a hotel renting them a room. I would say a resonable exception can be made if the behaviour of a customer is disturbing to a majority of other customers and asking them to leave, but heterosexual people can also make fools of themselves and act like complete nitwits in public, yet no one thinks about barring them from service anywhere because of their preferences.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2014, 05:54:34 AM by Cassandra LeMay »

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Arizona Anti-Gay Law
« Reply #40 on: May 01, 2014, 08:47:49 AM »
If the business owner is small minded enough to not serve gay people simply because they are gay..well, fine..let him go ahead and do that and see how long his business lasts when he turns away good custom and decent folk boycott him for his bigotry. I suspect the business equivalent of Darwinian selection will take care of him (although the owner of such an establishment probably doesn't believe in Darwinsim right? ;) )
I see this a lot from libertarians. Thing is, the US already tried this experiment, when it was called "Whites only". It... didn't work. In fact, it's still not working. In fact, it's pretty much never worked - equality has never been achieved by sitting back and waiting for it.

Offline Jusey1

Re: Arizona Anti-Gay Law
« Reply #41 on: May 25, 2014, 11:46:03 PM »
Um... That's discrimination and I hope it fails, since it will do more harm than good.

If I live in Arizona, I would be protesting that now honestly.