Last month, I cited SB1062 showing how the bill is a license to discriminate, using "sincerely held religious belief" as a shield against lawsuits.
The bill's author (Cathi Herrod, not Steve Yarbrough) doggedly holds to the position that she is a victim in this situation, rather than admitting what this bill is really about. In an interview on CNN, Herrod refused to answer questions directed at whether SB1062 would allow a business owner to discriminate against gays. Robert Boston, communication director for Americans United for Separation of Church and State answered for her, after she repeatedly refused. He indicated that YES, SB1062 would allow that discrimination.
Boston also said, "What legislation like this does is take a noble cause and turns it into a tool of oppression."
Anyone who doubts this (and that appears to include our friend John Kavanagh) needs to take a good hard look at the research in the Stanford Prison Study.
What happens when you put good people in an evil place? Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph?The evidence is stark. The proponents of discrimination, misguided at best. Giving Herrod, Kavanagh and other proponents of lawful religious discrimination the benefit of the doubt, they are willfully ignorant of the inevitable unintended consequences.
So, Kavanagh says (at the 7:50 mark in this video clip) that Brewer WILL sign the bill.
To demonstrate just how willfully ignorant he is, in the CNN interview, which included NYU law professor Kenji Yoshino, Kavanagh responds to the very first question posed to him -- about whether SB1062 would enable a hypothetically Catholic loan officer to refuse to do business (give a loan to) a gay couple or an unwed mother -- by saying "absolutely not." But he later (at 2:20) acknowledges that the question has been posed to courts for decades and will again have to go before courts to decide.
Kavanagh then launches into a rationalized explanation of whether this law changes anything. He says it does not. Yoshino, a constitutional law professor, however, says it does make material changes.
This illustrates what we have seen time and time again from Arizona's legislature, that it decides what it wants to do based NOT on legitimate dialogue with stakeholders representing opposing views. Instead, they take the bully approach. We're going to do this because WE CAN and you can't stop us.
In 2010, that gave Arizona SB1070. Immediately upon passage of that bill, citizen opposition mounted a ferocious fury. But Gov. Brewer seized on the political opportunity and a rising Tea Party movement and signed the bill anyway.
Arizona suffered economic losses immediately. But Brewer easily won her primary election and despite a meltdown (16-second lapse into confused silence on Horizon, and other incidents demonstrating questionable qualification and judgment), won re-election.
In 2013, voting rights advocates effectively pushed back from January until the last day of the legislative session, holding off voter suppression legislation. On the last day, with lobbying help from John Boehner, the GOP succeeded in passing HB2305, the Voter Suppression Act. They anticipated protest, but they did not fully appreciate the hornets' nest they had swatted at and hit squarely.
Far more than the minimum required number of signatures -- many of which were from Republican voters -- enabled the referendum to successfully put the measure to voters.
Thus far in 2014, they figured they could pull a fast one, repeal HB2305 and take the wind out of their opponents' sails. That repeal, HB2196, is now ready for Brewer's signature and may land on her desk on the same day as SB1062.
The legislature appears to not have learned the lessons of recent history.
Will Brewer have learned?
Will Brewer, despite John Kavanagh's assurance that she will sign SB1062, even dare to consider doing so?
Dare she hasten the inevitable political transformation of Arizona into a solid BLUE state?