Oppose the Most Sweeping Religious Exemptions Bill EVER

On Wednesday 2/9, legislators will hear a bill making religious services so “essential” that religious concerns would be placed above all others in public life. Always.

HB2507 is worded in such a way as to disguise itself as a bill about public emergencies, but it’s secretly an amendment to Arizona’s Civil Rights Act that would apply at all times.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how it works:

  • Adds to Civil Rights code language forbidding the state and local governments from “discriminating” against religion
  • Defines “discrimination” as “any direct or indirect act or practice that adversely affects a religious organization.”
  • Defines “religious organization” not just as a church, but also corporations and clubs.
  • Requires the state to demonstrate “a compelling interest” just to enforce neutral health or safety acts, and administer the “least restrictive” corrections.

What this boils down to is that if any group claiming to be religious—from major hospitals to adoption agencies to the KKK—doesn’t like a restriction, they can shrug it off.

Religious privileges would trump all non-discrimination ordinances.

Health codes and child protection laws would become harder to enforce with softer penalties for religious groups.

And groups could ignore any emergency restriction they don’t like, including but not limited to mask and vaccine mandates, pandemic closures… etc,. etc.

So here’s what you can do about it:

  1. Contact members of the House Judiciary Committee before Wednesday at 9am. Use our automatic emailer here  (or see their phone numbers in this article).
  2. If you’re a Request to Speak user, sign in against this bill. (Be patient—the RTS system is moving very slowly!)