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GOP Advancing License to Discriminate Nationwide

Updated on February 26, 2014

On the desk of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer sits a bill that would give Arizonans a license to discriminate based upon "strongly held" religious beliefs.

Given the strong reaction of the chamber of commerce, it is likely that Governor Brewer will either ignore or veto the bill.

Similar bills have been advanced in Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Oregon, South Dakota, and Tennessee, while Georgia has one in the works. None of these bills overtly describe the groups subject to discrimination (LGBTQ, single-mothers, divorcees, Muslims, Blacks, non-believers, mixed-race folks - its up to you!) which is how conservatives try and sneak them under the national radar. Time and again, once light is shown upon them, legislators scurry away in an effort to distance themselves from the bills they themselves authored and approved.

These proposed neo-Jim Crow bills suggest that the Civil War was fought and 14th Amendment passed so that corporations would have the religious freedom. To discriminate. Against actual human beings.

Not only could business owners refuse to serve certain groups of undesirables, a harkening back to lunch counter and drinking fountain segregation; not only could a gas station attendant or loan officer refuse service; but a police officer or ambulance driver or voter registrar or county clerk could refuse to deal with whomever they decide to feel a strong religious conviction against.

While it would be easy to dive into the hypocrisy of choosing which Levitical ceremonial rituals and laws should be enshrined into law in this, a democracy; or to point out that the arguments we hear today are the same heard in generations past to defend bigotry; we have to ask the question -

Why is this happening?

The simple answer is this - the same reason we have seen an explosion of anti-choice laws across the country since 2010 - gerrymandering! With districts drawn in such a way that the only valid competition comes from your own flank, and the evolution of the term primary into a foul verb, the only way to set yourself apart as a true-believer is to go more and more extreme.

This begs the more important question - what kind of despicable people do the Republican/Tea Party believe that conservative primary voters are that they would propose such vile and contemptible legislation in an effort to placate them?

How low an opinion of conservatives must their representatives have of them, that they would think sharia-esque Jim Crow laws would give them warm-tinglies?


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