Just last week, Governor Jan Brewer (R-AZ) vetoed Arizona SB 1062 passed by the Arizona legislature that, in short, would give business owners the right to refuse service to homosexuals in the name of religious freedom. This bill was born out of a situation in which a bakery refused to make a wedding cake for a homosexual “marriage ceremony.” Republicans have long been known as advocates for religious freedom, traditional marriage, and allies of small business. So why did this prominent Republican appear to go against these values all at once?
As a staunch Republican and consistent supporter of conservative values, it would be assumed that I would disagree with her. However, I strive to be politically smart enough to find fault within my own party. In this case, I agree with Governor Brewer.
After reading SB 1062, I believe that the governor made the right decision. The wording of this bill is very broad and makes it legal to simply refuse service to someone whose lifestyle you may not agree with. For clarity, let me give you an example.
If I were a tire salesman and SB 1062 were legalized in my state, I could refuse to sell tires to a homosexual person or couple simply because I did not agree with their lifestyle. They aren’t asking me to do anything specific other than sell tires to them like I would sell to any other person. This would be completely legal.
Now, if I am in support of conservative values and the Republican platform, why do I still stand with the governor? Because the bill is not right and has too many loopholes. If I were the governor, here is what my response would be to the legislature after I vetoed the bill: craft another bill that is more specific. Make it to where a business owner can refuse service to customers (not just homosexuals) if they ask him/her to perform an action that strictly goes against his/her religious convictions. This is where the owners of the bakery had it right. I believe this is the best route to take and I would encourage Gov. Brewer to take this route.