They Never Learn: Arizona Advances New Anti-Gay Bill
The same week Governor Jan Bewer vetoed SB 1062, State Representative Steve Montenegro’s (R) HB 2481 was passed out of committee. This bill targets same-sex marriages, which are illegal in the state. (The Arizona state constitution defines marriage as being between one man and one woman). Basically, it allows individuals or organizations to refuse to officiate or recognize marriages that violate their religious principles.
Montenegro said he introduced the bill after he saw instances where ministers were sued (in other states) for not officiating or recognizing same sex marriages and that he merely wants to protect Arizona residents’ religious freedom. However, he has yet to provide any instances where it has been infringed. The next step will be debate by the full Arizona House. HB 2481 has 35 sponsors. All are Republicans. No doubt all of the businesses, individuals and organizations that lobbied so hard against SB 1062 will follow the next anti-gay piece of legislation closely. It might take losing the Superbowl a second time (It was moved once before when the state refused to observe Martin Luther King Day.) to get the state to see the error of its ways on this issue.