State’s Mirror Arizona’s Anti-Gay Discrimination Bill
Though Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed the highly controversial SB 1062, the anti-gay legislation that would have allowed business owners to refuse service to LGBT customers if they cite their religious beliefs, Wednesday, lawmakers from around the country are considering legislation that is similar to the anti-gay discrimination bill.
Jay Michaelson of Political Research Associates, a progressive political think tank, told CNN that Missouri and Georgia are "right behind" Arizona, regarding measures that would discriminate against the LGBT community.
In Georgia, the Preservation of Religious Freedom Act has been introduced to the state’s Legislature and mirrors Arizona’s bill. It is currently moving through the Georgia House of Representatives and would permit private companies to override state laws that "directly or indirectly constrains, inhibits, curtails or denies" a person’s religious beliefs. Parts of the state have enacted anti-discrimination laws the protect people based on sexual orientation.
There’s also been a similar bill introduced in the state Senate, CNN reports, and like Arizona’s measure, the bills do not specifically mention LGBT people. Thankfully, the measure did not appear on the calendar for Monday, the last day for legislation to pass the chamber it was introduced in and transfer to the next chamber for consideration. Jeff Graham, the director of LGBT rights group Georgia Equality Executive, told CNN that the proposal still has a chance of popping up on Monday.
Republican state Sen. Wayne Wallingford of Missouri introduced SB 916 this week that would require "the government to show a compelling interest in any attempt to restrict a person’s right to practice religion," CNN writes. The measure extends civil protections to the Missouri’s "Religious Freedom Restorations Act," Wallingford noted. Those opposing the bill, however, say it will discriminate against LGBT people.
There are currently two bills being considered in Idaho: HB 426, which would protect people who make decisions based on their religious beliefs, like denying service to people, and HB 427, which protects people against legal claims against them in cases regarding religious convictions. HB 427 has been sent back to committee.