PHOENIX – Claiming that a “modest clarification” was needed with regards to Arizona’s religious freedom law, Republican State Senator Steve Yarbrough has introduced Senate Bill 1062. The original text of the bill extended religious freedom to “any individual, association, partnership, corporation, church, religious assembly or institution, estate, trust, foundation or other legal entity,” but Yarbrough has since updated it to protect “any white, straight, Christian male.”
“I was bending over backwards trying to get the wording just right so no one would get upset,” said Yarbrough. “But then I figured, screw it. This is Arizona. If you’re a white Christian, you should be able to do pretty much whatever you want.”
The bill has been pushed for some time by the conservative advocacy group Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) specifically to protect photographers and bakers from having to work at same-sex weddings, even though same-sex marriage is illegal in Arizona. “This bill is incredibly important because no God-fearing, gay-hating businessman should be forced to immortalize gay people either through digital means or cake,” said CAP President Cathi Herrod. “Sure it can’t happen in Arizona, but what if they’re offered a job over the border, say in Needles, California? They need to be legally able to turn down that job.”
Yarbrough assured everyone that his bill would not only allow hotel owners to refuse to rent to LGBT individuals and let businesses discriminate against unmarried women, but that it would basically allow anyone to discriminate for any reason, as long as they were Christian.
However, Yarbrough insisted that his bill would not radically change Arizona law. “In no way does this bill allow discrimination of any kind,” he said. “At least not against white, straight, Christian males.”