Let’s take a closer look at the bill currently sitting on Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s desk, awaiting her signature. It is SB 1062 “AMENDING SECTIONS 41-1493 AND 41-1493.01, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES; RELATING TO THE FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION.” Full text available here (pdf) for now. (Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, take my analysis with a big grain of salt.)
First of all, this is amending an existing law, not creating a new one. Arizona already has a law to protect religious freedom. This amendment extends its reach to ridiculous and unenforceable proportions.
What are some of the key changes? (Additions to existing law in bold and caps).
In Section 1:
19 5. “Person” includes
a religious assembly or institutionANY
20 INDIVIDUAL, ASSOCIATION, PARTNERSHIP, CORPORATION, CHURCH, RELIGIOUS ASSEMBLY
21 OR INSTITUTION OR OTHER BUSINESS ORGANIZATION.
Cue Mitt Romney: “Corporations are people, my friend!” Apparently in Arizona, corporations may also have religious beliefs. This ought to be a warning sign that things are starting to go off the rails in Arizona when any business entity is given “person” status in relation to religious practices and beliefs.
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