The Arizona state Senate voted along party lines Wednesday to pass Senate Bill 1062, a measure that would allow businesses to reject service to any customer based on the owners’ religious beliefs.
The most polarizing part of the bill reads, in part:
“'Exercise of religion' means the practice or observance of religion, including the ability to act or refusal to act in a manner substantially motivated by a religious belief whether or not the exercise is compulsory or central to a larger system of religious belief.”
Freedom of religion should not be used as a tool for discrimination. If this bill is allowed to pass it could open the door for discrimination based on faith, race, sexual orientation, etc. In addition, the potential for and increase of religious organizations may be an unexpected outcome, in order to promote and perpetuate discrimination.
The legislation is now headed to Republican Governor Jan Brewer for her signature or veto.