Last week, Arizona’s House of Representatives passed a bill that would allow business owners to deny service to gays and lesbians as long as the business owner professes sincere belief that gays should burn in Hell. The bill has been sent to Arizona’s governor Jan Brewer to be signed, and as the law’s creators explain it, it only seeks to protects business owners’ freedom to live according to their faith, and to make their customers live according to the same faith. Here are 10 reactions to the proposed law.
1) James Grady, used car salesman from Flagstaff, AZ: “No matter what the law says, I’m not going to discriminate and will sell a car to any customer. However, it would be against my sincerely-held religious conviction to refund the money for a defective car.”
2) John Kavanagh, Arizona state Representative: “Some people have started comparing this law to the Jim Crow segregation, and I just want to say that this comparison is absolutely ridiculous. Of course, it’s not like gays would have to use separate drinking fountains. Our state’s budget is very tight and we’re not going to install special water fountains for gays. No, they’re just going to have to carry bottled water.”
3) Vladimir Putin, president of Russia: “Look, I’m happy that you want to follow our example, but if you’re just going to translate Russia’s anti-gay laws and pass them as your own, you’re going to hear from our lawyer.”
4) Rick Allenton, small business owner, Tucson: “I’m really excited about a law, because I think gayness is a sin. But I worry that the gays may hide their true identity and pretend to be straight to buy my fishing supplies. I don’t want to discriminate against the honest people. Is there any way we can make the gays to maybe wear a rainbow star on their clothing so that we could tell them apart from the normal people?”
5) Phoenix Business Association: “We ask Governor Brewer to veto this bill. We fear that the businesses in our state may become a target for boycott by other states, which will likely drive down the economic growth – and this is at the time when our state’s most important industry is basically just a huge hole in the ground.”
6) Jan Brewer, Governor: “It’s not ok for politician to impose restriction on small business owners and tell them what they can and cannot do. That’s the responsibility of religion.”
7) Closets’R’Us, furniture store: “If this law ever goes into effect, we expect a lot of demand for closet space.”
8) Joe “Big” Otterman, moving company driver: “This law really puts me in a pickle. See, I really want these perverts to move out of my state, but I can’t help them move out because of my religion!”
9) Mamnoon Hussain, president of Pakistan: “You Americans always call on moderate Muslims to denounce Islamic extremists. So, when your moderate Christians are planning on denouncing your extremists?”
10) Chad Stevens, LGBT right activist: “The law says it’s ok for business owners to discriminate if their religious belief are sincere. So I’m going to verify the sincerness of their Christian beliefs by slapping their right cheek and watching their reaction.”
2/27/14 update: Governor Brewer has vetoed the bill. Those unfortunate business owners will be forced to find another way to discriminate against gays.