Jan Brewer vetoed SB 1062, the bill that would have allowed businesses to refuse services to people on religious grounds. Arizona dodged the bullet of religious tyranny and hatred this time. A big part of why this hate law failed is the public outcry. The bigger part was the reaction to saner business owners who saw how this law would affect their bottom line.
When announcing her decision, Brewer said:
“Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific or present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona, …The bill is broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences.”
Brewer didn’t need several days to figure that out about a two-page bill. While obviously directed at the LGBT community, this bill would have been a recipe for disguising many forms of hatred badly disguised as “religious freedom.” Racism, opposition to single parenting, women being out in public without a male escort or with their ankles showing. Taxi drivers could refuse service to someone who had been drinking because consumption of alcohol goes against their religion.
In reality, SB 1062 is a slippery slope of hate, badly disguised as “religious freedom” of the Taliban variety.
Let’s remember that Brewer did sign the equally unconstitutional and repugnant “papers please law” that was eventually struck down by the courts.
Brewer didn’t veto the bill because the law was so blatantly hateful and so obviously unconstitutional. If she did recognize and care about that, she would have vetoed the two-page bomb on democracy in a heartbeat. She exercised the veto on economic grounds.
To be sure, Arizonans can breathe a sigh of relief because they dodged the bullet of hate disguised as religious freedom this time. But, it is worth noting that the same people who supported this law, will try again. And if they can find a way to make hate profitable, they can count on Brewer to make it law.
Moreover, they will try again in other states across the country. So while we can breathe a sigh of relief, the war against hate is far from over.
Ms. Woodbury has a graduate degree in political science, with a minor in law. She is a qualified expert on political theory with a specific interest in the nexus between political theories and models and human rights.
Based on her interest in human rights and the threats that authoritarian regimes are to them, Ms. Woodbury’s masters thesis examined the influence of politics on the enforcement of international criminal law was cited in several academic studies.
Published work includes case summaries for the War Crimes Research Office.
She has an extensive background doing legal research in international and domestic law.
Ms. Woodbury’s work for politicusUSA includes articles on voting rights, the right to asylum and other civil/human rights.