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Protesters rally at Ariz. state capitol to demand governor veto anti-gay bill

Friday, February 21, 2014
Protestors rally at the Arizona state capitol complex demanding that Gov. Jan Brewer veto SB 1062.

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Protestors rally at the Arizona state capitol complex demanding that Gov. Jan Brewer veto SB 1062.

PHOENIX — Hundreds of people have gathered at the Arizona Capitol to demand that Gov. Jan Brewer veto legislation that would allow business owners to refuse to serve gays by citing their religious beliefs.

Friday afternoon’s protests come a day after the House passed a bill pushed by conservative Republicans that adds protections from discrimination lawsuits to individuals and businesses.

The Senate passed the same bill on Wednesday. Gov. Jan Brewer must sign or veto Senate Bill 1062 by the end of next week.

Protesters held signs that read “No religion should be for discrimination” and “What about love thy neighbor.” They repeatedly chanted “veto this bill.”

Republicans say the law is needed to protect people who have legitimate religious objections to gay marriage. Democrats argue it will be a license to discriminate.

Jesus Castro-Byrd, who attended the protest with his husband, said the bill was going to hurt Arizona’s economy and reputation. Like many others, he said Arizona already suffered too many consequences when it passed immigration crack-down law Senate Bill 1070.

“We have to voice our rights and stand up for what we believe,” he said.

Cheri White said she jumped in the car with her daughter and two grandchildren when she learned of the protest. The family drove from Cornville, Ariz., near Sedona, to attend.

White said the bill was discriminatory and that she didn’t want her grandchildren to grow up with it.

“We want them to be able to be free and happy,” she said.

Social conservatives and libertarian-minded members of the GOP believe the legislation protects the First Amendment rights of business owners who are expressing their religious beliefs.

The new legislation was passed over the shrill objections of Democrats who said it was clearly designed to allow discrimination against gays. All but three Republicans in the Legislature voted in favor of the bill.

Developing story, check back for updates.

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89 more reader comments:

  1. they need more hugs in Arizona for sure

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 12:59am
  2. What if gay business owners like myself stop serving heterosexuals stating the spaghetti monster god doesn’t wanting me to is that OK? What a bunch of bigots

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:01am
  3. FSM dosent hate people he is chill...;/

    Replied on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:04am
  4. actually according to the way the law is written you can

    Replied on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:07am
  5. You could cite that your religion doesn't believe in "condoning" bigots.....

    Replied on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 2:37am
  6. I mean, how does one prove that those are your true religious beliefs? You don't have to! If this is signed into law, it's going to be so hectic.

    Replied on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 3:58am
  7. i did it today,someone with a fish showed up to meet me for a bike i was selling. I saw it,and asked them what they thought about gay people. They said its disgusting and they should all be kicked out of "my state" yet this person had a nevada plate on there car. I told them the bike is no longer for sale,This "homo" is gonna refuse service to you. Take your hate money and buy from someone else. The guy was shocked, i put the bike back in my truck and left. Yeah he gave me the finger but so worth it.

    Replied on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 5:37am
  8. that was awesome.

    Replied on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 5:48am
  9. Ashley you are AMAZING.

    Replied on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 5:50am
  10. Ashley, you rule!

    Replied on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 6:34am
  11. Come on AZ!!

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:03am
  12. they fuckiGn better by the end of the week holy shit

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:04am
  13. Speak out loudly. No veto, no AZ visit from this out-of-stater. I/we don’t need possible humiliation and a sermon when I want nothing more than service at a place of business. My business bucks will go to non-discriminatory states.

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:05am
  14. amen me toooooo

    Replied on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 5:20am
  15. good luck with that witch

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:06am
  16. Well I can at least move to Arizona and start my own restaurant and say “I reserve the right to refuse service to stupid people because it is against my beliefs.” I bet you most of the legislators would be banned from there.

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:06am
  17. you r so right lmao

    Replied on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 5:22am
  18. David Laughery – The way the bill is written, yes, you absolutely could. Anyone can use a ‘my religion’ excuse to discriminate against ANYONE. I’m an Arizona resident, and Phoenix legislators do not represent me. This bill is obscene.

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:06am
  19. Terrible

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:07am
  20. Good luck …

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:08am
  21. Ashamed of a state I called home for 16 years. … until two years ago. . What’s next segregation? Ban on interracial marriages? Do they realize this is a two way street

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:13am
  22. PRICKS!!

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:15am
  23. Gov. Brewer please Veto this Bill its against the very heart of who we are . We are a nation of many colors of many beliefs . We our Americans .

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:18am
  24. Good luck LBGT in AZ ! However, if Brewer signs this obnoxious hateful law, maybe it’s time to move to Palm Springs! We’re gay and free here!

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:21am
  25. If Brewer has any brains she WILL NOT SIGN this.

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:21am
  26. Keep up the fight Arizona !!!

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:22am
  27. A boycott to AZ back in the 90s did some damage so let’s do it again. Go see the redwoods and fuck the Grand Canyon.

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:22am
  28. I will never go to Arizona now. They do not deserve my money or time to travel there. No thank you!!

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:23am
  29. How is this guy a governor ?

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:26am
  30. Jan brewer governor of AZ is a woman

    Replied on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 2:48am
  31. If that withered up ole cron signs that UNCONSTITUTIONAL Bill into law, I hope and pray the good people of Arizona stand up and demand her resignation, along with all of the members of the legislature who voted Yes on this discriminatory law! Y’all gather together and go have a sit in at the State House!

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:27am
  32. Make no mistake, these actions are NOT compatible with Scripture.

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:32am
  33. Oh, YES THEY ARE!!

    Replied on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 9:03am
  34. OH NO THEY ARE NOT!

    Replied on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 5:03pm
  35. Veto

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:34am
  36. If you can legally discriminate against LHBTQ people why not against First Nation Peoples, Women, Blacls, Jews, Moslems, Tedheads, Blue Eyes ?? What is the difference ??

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:36am
  37. ANSWER: the difference is that every single one of those are Federally protected classes. LGBT people lack such a status, making us open targets. And these fuckers know it, which is why they're gunning for it.

    Replied on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 2:44am
  38. I'm and atheist, does this bill mean I can discriminate against Christians because they offend my deeply held anti-religious beliefs? This is the worst bill ever passed.

    Replied on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 3:27am
  39. Colleen, no you can't. Only religious people will be able to discriminate. Our (yours and mine) anti-religious beliefs are NOT "sincerely held RELIGIOUS beliefs", like the bill says. They are merely beliefs.

    Replied on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 9:05am
  40. Unreal!

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:38am
  41. If this happens my partner and I won’t be buying the land in AZ we’ve been talking about

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:39am
  42. Don’t hold your breath. ¡Chinga bruja!

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:44am
  43. AZ is too backward to do that I fear!

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:55am
  44. Wow its okay to serve the rapists, the murders, the pedifile. … so then if they have a Gay alert and it turns out they are no then what are u able to submit. What ignorance. So much for loving one another and not passing judgment. SmH.

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 2:38am
  45. I graduated from Arizona State University, the people are sheep if they vote these assholes into office, VOTE THEM OUT PEOPLE. or let the state rot into hell!!!!

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 2:46am
  46. What about cheaters, liars, people who use gods name in vain? Will they be served, waited on, sold goods? Give this effin fight up and put your time towards more productive things!!!

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 2:51am
  47. I don’t take boycotts lightly.

    Always said a Sochi boycott would be completely ineffective, nor did I get caught up in the “Freedom Fries” boycotts after 9/11…

    …but I’d DEFINITELY join any boycott of AZ. There’s only one thing these Conservatives like more than discrimination/subjugation, and that’s Money. Hit them where it hurts. Make it count!

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 2:52am
  48. So sad sad sad its just not right. Love is love and love is not hate.

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 2:52am
  49. I visited for the last time in ’10. I saw a bumper sticker that said “DON’T BLAME ME, I VOTED FOR THE WHITE GUY” so now you know what kind of people live in that SHITHOLE of a state!!!!

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 2:52am
  50. Once more, how can a bigoted business owner TELL that someone is Gay? My husband and I don’t shit glitter…we don’t carry special pink cards…

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 2:53am
  51. Demand justice equal rights down with Bigots !

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 3:02am
  52. Wish i could be there, go get ‘em!

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 3:09am
  53. if this bill passes the government in Arizona and whoever is for this you are just as bad as a racist if there is a god and he/she created all and created us all different in his/her image then he/she created different sexual orientation weather it be man for women, man with man, women with women

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 3:21am
  54. My gf and was thinking about going to the WNBA All star game in Phoenix this year.
    But now, I think we will stay home and watch it on tv!

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 3:21am
  55. Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 3:28am
  56. Are they going to discriminate against people of the same sex dining together straight or gay. How are they going to know who’s gay and who isn’t? All gays don’t look gay.

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 4:17am
  57. You can contact the governor via e-mail at gaca@az.gov Here is a sample e-mail you can use as a template: To: Governor Jan Brewer,

    Dear Governor,

    I am writing to you to express my concern regarding the recent passing, in both your senate and house of representatives, of a bill allowing for the blatant discrimination against members of the LGBT community. I am concerned on so many levels that it is difficult to determine where to begin.

    First, the idea that a majority of your legislature does not understanding the separation between church and state horrifies me. It appears that they have no recollection of the history lessons that taught them that the religious stranglehold on the populous of foreign nations was one of the very first reasons we migrated to these shores.

    Second, the idea that a majority of your legislature does not comprehend that the writing of discriminatory laws is entirely and in every way unconstitutional means they must have slept through years of social studies classes and bluffed their way into office with respect to the most basic knowledge needed by government leaders.

    The decision to continue with this folly now rests squarely on your shoulders. Arizona is already a laughing stock to the majority of Americans who fully understand what equality for LGBT people means. Don’t further the embarrassment by endorsing this discrimination by signing it into law. You can do the right thing. You can veto this act of hate and intolerance.

    I think it might be wise for you to stop and think about the type of backlash that could result from choosing to sign this abomination into law. In only a short time the entire thing will be found to be unconstitutional, if not in The Arizona State Supreme Court then in The U.S. Supreme Court. The problem, however, is with the backlash that will occur nation wide, aimed at the state of Arizona.

    Thousands of people have already taken to their social networks, poised to unleash a complete boycott on tourism in a state with hateful practices of this nature. Think of the damage that will be done to Arizona’s economy in the weeks, or months that it takes to strike down your potential law. Think of the dozens, if not hundreds of cases, this will bring to individual courts when others decide that serving people of any background violates their strongly held religious beliefs. This might include refusal to serve legislators who voted for these hateful measures.

    I have not seen government behavior like this since the time that George Wallace tried to maintain school segregation. A shameful comparison.

    Please do the right thing governor. Choosing to do the wrong thing will only open a flood-gate of retribution toward your state.

    Sincerely,

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 4:27am
  58. Thank you for the email address and the prompting. I wrote her an email. A very short email, 'cause I think a shorter email has a greater chance of being read in its entirety...

    Replied on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 9:13am
  59. vote against mormons, all anti gay,vote out gops,your only hope.

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 4:42am
  60. I can’t believe this. Way to go Arizona! Freakin idiots

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 5:03am
  61. Umm…”hundreds”?Where the hell was everyone?

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 5:07am
  62. wahoooooooooooo ya go wit ya bad sefls but remember lets not do like they do be haters keep cool folks

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 5:19am
  63. But let me guess. She won’t!

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 5:36am
  64. Nothing like repeating history.
    Thought we learned from the past? Guess not.

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 5:39am
  65. veto the bill or face recall immediately Governor.

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 6:06am
  66. State is not a shithole! It’s just being run into the ground by assholes who actually don’t give a shit about it and don’t deserve to call it home.

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 6:40am
  67. Uh, I live here, and it IS a sh*thole.

    Replied on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 9:16am
  68. gay bath houses has the right to ‘not’ allow closeted gay politicians into their establishment to have sex with other men behind their wives back!!!

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 7:51am
  69. Keep the pressure on. We cannot and will not accept discrimination.

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 11:10am
  70. Throw her ass out of office!

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 11:39am
  71. When one finishes their fifth grade studies, reading skills will improve and a better understanding of the bible will be gained. There are literally hundreds of verses which attest to the fact that these actions are in fact a perversion of Jesus’ teachings. I encourage those who agree with this legislation to try love as described in 1 Corinthians and move past renegade forms of Christianity that deny the themes it holds dear.

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 11:59am
  72. Things like this makes me wonder if the USA is really the best country in the world.

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 12:07pm
  73. Why is AZ so freakin ass backwards?

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 12:29pm
  74. If I lived in Az, the first sign I’d put in my store window would be “No Christians Allowed”….based on MY religious belief that other religions go against MY “god”. (This is just an example, btw, of how ridiculous this proposed law is).

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:24pm
  75. If this bill is signed into law, it will be challenged in the courts and eventually make its way to the Supreme Court, where it will be struck down. This will also give LGBT a legitimate argument and PROOF of the ongoing discrimination that they’ve been dealing with for decades/eras. This bad law could just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and forces our Supreme Court to declare LGBT a “protected class”…like gender, age, race, religion, origin, disability. Once they are a protected class, there can be no discrimination nation wide…which is what we want.

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:31pm
  76. Religious Wars in America.
    They are trying to deny the LGBT community their equal rights under the law!
    But where will it stop? In an article written 2/19/14 Kansas, just one state of many, has written a bill used to discriminate.
    [ http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/religious-freedom-chip-away-gay-rights ]
    “The use of the phrase “sex or gender,” Rho warns, means that the letter of the law suggests even straight people whose marriages don’t conform to an individual’s religious beliefs could find themselves being discriminated against.”
    I say again where will these religious wars end? This kind of dark and evil actions never has a clear boundary but snowballs into further discrimination! Have we forgotten Hitler and his movement? America was founded under religious freedom! Making one religion better then any other is not what our country is about!
    Joseph Campbell spent his life writing about and comparing the similarities of world religions! We should be celebrating the joys and raising the enlightenment of the world soul, not spending time in the darkness and hatred that tears us apart!

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 2:01pm
  77. Again fuck that shit

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 2:09pm
  78. Wouldn’t it be a federal hate crime if they pass it?

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 2:53pm
  79. Let them go out of business because they are stupid.

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 2:57pm
  80. Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 3:21pm
  81. If she doesn’t veto it, eventually the supremes will…such baffoons.

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 3:35pm
  82. I love reading the comments from the very religious – they are so nutty. Bible versus and what not.

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 3:51pm
  83. Embarrassed to live here. If I could, I would move.

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 3:58pm
  84. You know, I hope Jan comes through on the “good” side of this, she has shown some moments of clarity in the past, she may just must the courage and integrity to do so by vetoing this, Please Governer Brewer, if your following this, please veto this horrendous bill

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 4:22pm
  85. Arizona legislators clearly can’t think to save their lives. If a law is passed that permits discrimination on religious grounds, CHRISTIANS WILL BETHE FIRST PEOPLE TO BE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST, trust me! :) “No Kreestyains here!”, “No Christians need apply” and “Christians will need an Atheist sponsor” LOLOLOLOL!

    Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 4:47pm