Harold Meyerson comments on the recent Arizona bill allowing businesses to discriminate against same-sex couples on religious grounds.
Citing a similar bill passed by Republican legislators in Kansas, Meyerson contends that these recent “absurd proposals” and “recent attempts to besmirch religion” signal that “Republicans, and some religious leaders, are willing to invoke religion as a cloak for their bigotry.”
Meyerson recalls “that religion has served as a shield for those who would deny their fellow Americans the most rudimentary equal rights. During the civil rights movement in the 1950s and ’60s, a number of Southern fundamentalist ministers preached that racial segregation was God’s design.”
“Just to be clear: No one is advocating that priests, the Catholic Church or other religious institutions be compelled to preside over same-sex marriages. The issue is whether businesses can refuse service to gays and lesbians based on the businesses’ religious beliefs, though you probably have to believe that corporations are people to grant that businesses can have religious beliefs.”