Arizona bill allows businesses to deny service to gay and lesbian customers

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PHOENIX, AZ – Arizona’s Legislature has passed a controversial bill that would allow business owners, as long as they assert their religious beliefs, to deny service to gay and lesbian customers.

The bill, which the state House of Representatives passed by a 33-27 vote Thursday, now goes to Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican and onetime small business owner who vetoed similar legislation last year but has expressed the right of business owners to deny service.

As expected, the measure has drawn criticism from Democrats and business groups who said it would sanction discrimination and open the state to the risk of damaging litigation.

On Friday, the LGBT group Wingspan staged a protest march to the governor’s office that drew about 200 people. Some carried signs with messages “God created us all equal” and “Shame on Arizona.”


  • Jackie Bastian Engelman

    On February 1, 1960 in Greensboro, NC four African American students staged a sit-in at a local Woolworth store where they were refused service at the “all-white” counter. These people were allowed to purchase items at the desegregated counter, but refused service at the segregated lunch counter. Is this what we are heading back to? These people are using their religion to cast the same stone and hatred. It may be preached in the Bible about how this is a sin, but doesn’t it also say, hate the sin and not the sinner. But doesn’t also make reference to you should not judge, that is for God to do. I hope that this law isn’t signed into law, otherwise I think we will be looking at the 1960s again and segregation.., by the way, I thought that was outlawed.

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