The Morning After In Arizona

Andrew Sullivan’s reflections on the vetoing of SB1062 by the Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer. We are in agreement, with one significant exception – Andrew sees no issue with discrimination against gays (or any other minority or class of individuals) in the private realm, only the public realm where government is an actor. While I admire his magnanimity in being willing to shrug off the hate and intolerance of certain fundamentalists, I cannot agree that this is the right approach. It is all very well to favour “maximal liberty”, but taken to its (logical, not extreme) conclusion, this would open the door for arbitrary refusal of service to anyone on the grounds of anything masquerading as religious conscience.

The Dish

[Re-posted from earlier today]

Here’s the money quote from Jan Brewer’s veto statement last night:

Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific and present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona. I have not heard of one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated … Religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value, so is non-discrimination.

As I’ve mulled this over and over, I have a few straggling thoughts. Against the bill: it had two terrible features. The first was the breadth of the religious liberty invoked. The real innovation in Arizona was the extension of religious liberty claims against other citizens, rather than against the government itself. That’s a big leap, and trivializes religious liberty in some ways. No individual can coerce, even with a lawsuit, the way the government can. The second is the environment in which this bill was…

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