URGENT action needed. We are up against the worst, most damaging piece of legislation we’ve seen yet this year—and we need all hands on deck to stop it! TOMORROW, Thursday, May 2nd, the House will be voting on SB1178, which dramatically expands the ability of individuals in our state to discriminate against people they don’t agree with in the name of religious belief--resulting in increased vulnerability for nonbelievers, the LGBT community, and others on the target list of religionists.
Evangelical lobby interests, including the Center for Arizona Policy, are explicit about the need for this bill: they say Christians should not be forced to treat LGBT people fairly. CAP cites a recent New Mexico case where the State Supreme Court held that businesses cannot violate public accommodation law by refusing to provide services based on sexual orientation--and this is precisely what CAP fears for Arizona.
With the mood of the country in full swing toward Marriage Equality and full equal rights for LGBT people, religious "liberty” arguments are being made nationwide in an effort to make sure religionists do not have to follow anti-discrimination law as new freedoms are won. History is on our side: these regressive, disingenuous tactics were used in attempts to halt Women’s Suffrage, Civil Rights, and Feminism—but these movements prevailed because of reason, compassion, and the efforts of those dedicated to equality.
We will NOT allow the uniquely American right to religious liberty to be distorted by unpatriotic efforts to privilege religion over basic human freedom.
CLICK HERE to write to our State House of Representatives and tell them to VOTE NO on SB1178. Religious exercise cannot be used as an excuse to deny basic human liberties to vulnerable Arizonans. A floor amendment is likely to be offered to make the bill seem more palatable, but we're not fooled, and we need to make sure our State Representatives aren't fooled either.
Want to do more? Call or email SC Arizona’s Community Outreach Director to find out how you can host a phone party to make sure every Representative hears from our community and knows the truth about SB1178: firstname.lastname@example.org; 928-699-2877.