Well, Arizona's legislators are at it again, this time with a law allowing any business to refuse service to gays and lesbians. If that seems impossible, sadly it isn't. What makes it worse, people are allowed to do so if they state they are doing so based on their religious convictions.
What immediately came to mind are the laws which existed in many US states which allowed businesses including lunch counters to refuse service to people of colour. We were reminded in the film The Butler what it was like for those who ignored those laws. The governor has finally decided to veto this bill, after considerable pressure, but what would have happened in Arizona if this law is ratified by the governor. Would police have been called to arrest and haul away gays and lesbians who refuse to be refused? Surely this is unconstitutional?
What sickens me is that religion is being used as a shield for this travesty. We're not talking about what happens within a religious community with its stated expectations and rules for members. We might not agree with these rules, but we don't have to belong to that church or synagogue or mosque. But if the guy at the corner store makes a judgment call about someone's sexual orientation does he now have a right to refuse service and hide behind his interpretation of the bible? It feels as though the state is determined to crawl back into the dark ages of racism and discrimination. I shudder to think that some pastors will be delighting in this decision and supporting it from their pulpits.
I love that some stores have being stating clearly that they find this new law offensive and discriminatory. It's just hard to believe that it has come to this point.