In another edition of our long-running feature, "At Least They're Not Your Legislators," we take you to Arizona, where…well, we'll let CNN explain:
Arizona's Legislature has passed a controversial bill that would allow business owners, as long as they assert their religious beliefs, to deny service to gay and lesbian customers.
The bill, which the state House of Representatives passed by a 33-27 vote Thursday, now goes to Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican and onetime small business owner who vetoed similar legislation last year but has expressed the right of business owners to deny service.
"I think anybody that owns a business can choose who they work with or who they don't work with," Brewer told CNN in Washington on Friday. "But I don't know that it needs to be statutory."…
…In a statement, Anna Tovar, the state senate Democratic minority leader, said: "With the express consent of Republicans in this Legislature, many Arizonans will find themselves members of a separate and unequal class under this law because of their sexual orientation. This bill may also open the door to discriminate based on race, familial status, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability."
The Greater Phoenix Economic Council, in a letter to Brewer on Friday, urged the governor to veto Senate Bill 1062, saying the "legislation will likely have profound, negative effects on our business community for years to come."
"The legislation places businesses currently in Arizona, as well as those looking to locate here, in potentially damaging risk of litigation, and costly, needless legal disputes," council President Barry Broome wrote, adding that four unidentified companies have vowed to locate elsewhere if the legislation is signed.
You know you've gone a bit too far off the deep end when your ultra-conservative, Tea Party-loving Gov. Jan Brewer can't even support you. Partisan politics aside, this is an absolutely disgusting piece of legislation; the very idea that you would specifically allow someone the right to discriminate against a particular group of people is incredibly sad. This is no different than saying business owners have the right to have separate "Whites Only" bathrooms.