Arizona is in the middle of a fierce battle over religious freedom. After years and years of Christians being sued, sanctioned or shut down, a new Arizona bill would protect Christians from legal action for refusing to provide services to homosexuals due to the Christian’s sincerely held religious belief.
The Arizona bill is about protecting religious beliefs, not about discriminating against homosexuals. In fact, most Christian businesses are not refusing to serve homosexuals; rather they are refusing to serve same-sex weddings.
The bill requires that:
- – Those covered by Religious Freedom Restoration Act would include “any individual, association, partnership, corporation, church, religious assembly or institution or other business organization.”
- – A religious freedom violation can be asserted “regardless of whether the government is a party to the proceeding.”
- – The person asserting a religious freedom violation must show three things: “1. That the person’s action or refusal to act is motivated by a religious belief. 2. That the person’s religious belief is sincerely held. 3. That the state action substantially burdens the exercise of the person’s religious beliefs.”
The bill has already passed the Arizona state legislature and is currently awaiting a signature by Governor Jan Brewer.
The NFL has said that it disagrees with the bill and has many worried that the NFL will pull the 2015 Super Bowl from Arizona. The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee said it flatly opposes the legislation.
Contact Governor Brewer today and urge her to protect the sincere religious beliefs of all Arizona citizens and sign this law today!
Call: (602) 542-4331
If you are an Arizona citizen, click here.
There is a systemic trend of Christians being sanctioned for this religious beliefs.
Recently Defend Christians was contacted by a Christian businessman who was approached by a homosexual “couple” wanting to use the Christian’s privately owned facilities to conduct a wedding. His property has multiple uses, one of which includes a wedding venue. This wedding business brings in around $400,000 a year.
After referring this businessman to a Christian attorney, the businessman decided to close the wedding business down. The respected attorney informed the businessman that he had two choices: accommodate homosexuals or get sued for discrimination and then be forced to accommodate homosexuals AND pay damages. The only other option was to get out of the wedding business altogether. So, rather than participate in homosexual marriages, this Christian decided to close down his lucrative business in order to protect his conscience.
Below is a list of similar attacks on Christian businesses and even churches who have been forced to either compromise or to stop offering any kind of wedding services. Some have even been fined for not participating in illicit homosexual marriage.
- Vermont 2005: The Christian owners of the Wildflower Inn were sued for refusing to host a homosexual wedding. In a settlement, owners ended up paying the homosexual couple $30,000 and agreeing to no longer host any weddings at their inn.
- New Mexico 2006: Elane Photography declined to photograph a homosexual civil union ceremony. The company was sued under the state’s anti-discrimination laws. A judge held the company in violation. The New Mexico Supreme Court upheld this ruling last month.
- Kentucky 2012: A T-shirt company, Hands On Originals, was approached by the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization about printing shirts for the group. When they politely declined, referring the organization to another t-shirt company instead, they were promptly sued by the group under Lexington’s anti-discriminatory laws.
- New Jersey 2008: A Methodist church was sued for not offering its facility for use during same-sex weddings. A judge ruled against the church.
- Washington 2013: A lawsuit was brought against a florist by the state for refusing to provide flowers for a same-sex marriage. The florist, Barronelle Stutzman, simply said “I could not do it because of my relationship with Jesus Christ.”
- Oregon 2013: A bakery owned by a Christian couple recently shut its doors after it was threatened with a lawsuit for refusing to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. Melissa and Aaron Klein, owners of “Sweet Cakes” bakery were the victims of an economic war when homosexual activists harassed and badgered their business for months. The business also came under investigation by Oregon state officials for violating the Equality Act of 2007 which states that people cannot be denied services due to their sexual orientation.