back to article Apple, Symantec, other tech heavies challenge anti-gay legislation

Apple, Symantec, and other have put their weight behind efforts to defeat a law in Arizona which would allow discrimination based on sexual orientation. The companies are among a growing list of businesses that have publicly called on Governor Jan Brewer to veto SB1062, a bill that would expand an existing religious-freedom …

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  1. Sean Kennedy

    Guess I'll be the bad guy

    Why is it wrong to allow private businesses to refuse service to whomever they choose?

    Don't misunderstand me, I'm not taking the position of religious freedom here; Not only am I not religious, I happen to think the nutters behind this bill are small minded bigots. BUT, their business is their private property. In essence. Why should they be forced to provide service/product to people they don't want to?

    The premise for the bill may be reprehensible, but the results are something else again.

    It's worth noting that it's a two way street; businesses could decide to refuse service to those that refuse service. We aren't back in the Jim Crow days, where the minority is without power of their own; they could very well turn around and refuse service right back.

    1. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: We aren't back in the Jim Crow days

      And why is that? Oh yes, it's because we have laws against discrimination.

      Something tells me that a restaurant in Arizona refusing to serve white people or Christians would be in legal trouble pretty quickly.

      1. Sean Kennedy

        Re: We aren't back in the Jim Crow days

        But why do we have those laws? And why do they apply to private businesses? I should be allowed to discriminate against religious nuts by refusing service if I so choose to.

        As it stands, I can be compelled by law to perform service for people I may otherwise wish to refuse service for.

        ( granted, I'm guessing this only applies to protected classes and only if the reason to refuse service is because they exist in the protected class. Still .... )

      2. Charles Manning

        "Oh yes, it's because we have laws against discrimination."

        Oh no we (well, you, since I am not American myself) don't.

        Only some sorts of discrimination are illegal.

        Affirmative action. Discrimination. Legal.

        We (you) have thousands of companies and organisations that claim to be both equal opportunity and affirmative action employers. The mind boggles as to how you can be both simultanously, but they claim this.

        One of these is Motorola. I once emailed their HR people and asked them how that statement could be logically consistent and, surely, affirmative action was racist. They replied saying that racism only applied to minorities being discriminated against. Any other -ism was fine.

        1. James O'Shea

          Re: "Oh yes, it's because we have laws against discrimination."

          "Only some sorts of discrimination are illegal."

          You need to understand the concept of the protected class.

    2. BillG
      Megaphone

      Re: Guess I'll be the bad guy

      I have to agree with the "bad guy". It's not illegal for a shop in the USA to have a sign that says "We may refuse service to anyone for any reason". The reason behind this stupid law might be bigoted, or it might be religious, but it doesn't matter. If a person is running a PRIVATE business then they should have the right to refuse service to anyone, including LGBTs.

      Truth is, by a strict interpretation the only major religion that would object to LGBTs is Islam. A strict interpretation of Christianity and Judaism would mean acceptance and understanding of all. Gays are allowed at all Christian and Jewish religious services. But in Islam, being gay = death penalty.

      Let the law stand. Let the marketplace decide if these businesses should fail.

      1. John Tserkezis

        Re: Guess I'll be the bad guy

        "Truth is, by a strict interpretation the only major religion that would object to LGBTs is Islam. A strict interpretation of Christianity and Judaism would mean acceptance and understanding of all."

        By that reasoning, you can add christians to that list. Seen what's been happening in Uganda lately? (majority christianity, which is why I mentioned it) Not content with refusing business to anyone they please, they've just passed what they call the "Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2014". Apparently, it used to be called the "Kill the Gays bill" by the media, because it had a death penalty clause. Yep, they didn't want to leave it to chance that someone's "interpretation" might let a gay through the cracks, they passed law so you can't even question it.

        Seriously though, this is not a religious thing, it's a nutcase people thing. The nutcases will use religion to bolster their view regardless of what that is, even if it has no basis in their religion. Don't get me wrong, I'll be happy if they outlawed religion overnight, but like changing the tax laws, it's not going to make a damn of difference - the nutcases will restructure to get their point across one way or another.

        I say nuke them from orbit - just to be on the safe side. Sure, the planet will be left a wasteland, but at least homosexuality will the the LEAST of your worries then.

      2. Sean Kennedy

        Re: Guess I'll be the bad guy

        BillG; does [h] mean anything to you?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Guess I'll be the bad guy

        "Truth is, by a strict interpretation the only major religion that would object to LGBTs is Islam"

        Erm, no. Jews and Christians also would object to similar sexual perversions:

        1 Corinthians 6:9-10 - "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

        Leviticus 20:13 - "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."

        1. Swarthy Silver badge

          Re: Guess I'll be the bad guy

          Leviticus 20:13 - "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman..."

          I'm still confused by that bit o' scripture; how can a man put his penis into another man's vagina?

          1. Stevie Silver badge

            Re: Leviticus 20:13

            Nonono, it has nothing to do with sex, it's about not telling your mates you are working late when you are actually down the pub with a bunch of women.

    3. Stevie Silver badge

      Why should they be forced to provide service/product to people they don't want to?

      Well, if you read the article it appears that there is no need for this law since in Arizona private businesses DO have the right to refuse business to anybody. The law being argued is needless qualification and so highly suspicious as to long-term goals of the people lobbying for it.

      I am so sick of being swatted with the Bible Belt. Sometimes I wish these hick States *would* secede, implement their stupid curricula and educate their children into an unemployable generation and be done with it.

      Of course, then it would all be everyone else's fault like it was last time. 8o/

      1. GrumpyMiddleAgedGuy

        Re: Why should they be forced to provide service/product to people they don't want to?

        There is a fundamental issue of freedom at stake here. Over here in the UK we have gone further down the line of deciding/codifying what behaviour is allowed and what is not. Hate-laws have virtually silence debate on immigration, people have been arrested for saying things as simple as "If you don't like xyz, then go home to your own country". The same goes for gay rights. (Some was even arrested for saying "Do you know your horse is gay"!)

        The results is that and old couple running a B&B and the Catholic Adoption agency partially closed down. These are not good things, and there is no evidence that there is any positive to come out of it.

        "Rights" always are going to compete with each other - and then judges will say what you can and cannot do. In short it is deeply coercive.

        If you are an atheist, that's fine you may not believe in religion. If you are religious you may consider atheist as deeply immoral and damaging (religious people work harder, are more honest, marriages last longer than cohabitants, etc). Live and let live is better than someone deciding who is right. I'm always stunned at the intolerance of atheist (I think they think everyone else is stupid). Anyway, it is not proper for the business to take a position on a such political matter.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Guess I'll be the bad guy

      Simple test to see if this stills feel OK.

      Change the reason you're refusing service from "because they're LGBT" to "because they're Black/Jewish/Muslim/Christian/disabled/gypsy/Native American/your personal belief group here[*]" and see if still feels right to you.

      "Sorrry we don't serve Blacks in here because they offend my beliefs" or "Disabled people make me feel uncomfortable, so please go away" doesn't quite feel right to me, but hey, what do I know?

      [*] I exclude Mime artists and quote Terry Pratchett 'Vetinari banned all mime performances from Ankh-Morpork shortly after taking power. Mime artists who violate the ban usually find themselves hanging upside down in Vetinari's scorpion pit while reading a sign saying "learn the words."'.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Guess I'll be the bad guy

        >"because they're Black/Jewish/Muslim/Christian/disabled/gypsy/Native

        So by this logic a Jewish restaurant couldn't turn down a Neo-Nazi group's booking for Hitler birthday party?

        1. James O'Shea

          Re: Guess I'll be the bad guy

          ">"because they're Black/Jewish/Muslim/Christian/disabled/gypsy/Native

          So by this logic a Jewish restaurant couldn't turn down a Neo-Nazi group's booking for Hitler birthday party?"

          Nazis are not members of a protected class. Yes, the Jewish restaurant could turn 'em down, and yes there would be nothing the Nazis could do about it, other than cry. This is one of the problems bigots have. They can't be bigots without violating the law, but others can step all over them just because they are, say, Nazis, and not violate a damn thing.

          Note that under the equal protection and freedom of speech parts of the US constitution, even Nazis have a perfect right to march on the public streets. They have a perfect right to be protected by the police, including any blacks or Jews on the police force, while doing that march. They just have no right to step inside a Jewish-owned private business of any kind if the owner says they can't come in. Their rights stop at the front door. Unless and until they become members of a protected class, which ain't gonna happen any time soon.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Guess I'll be the bad guy

            So that gets into the even sillier rules of who you are/aren't allowed to discriminate against.

            In the UK there was a series of rulings on who is a race vs a religion - since races were protected and racial discrimination was illegal, but religious discrimination wasn't. IIRC Jews and Sikhs were classed as races (and so protected) Muslims and Hindus were ruled religions and not.

            Ultimately you get into discrimination top-trumps, is a black lesbian allowed to refuse service to a disabled native america? Who wins on points?

      2. BillG

        Re: Guess I'll be the bad guy

        Change the reason you're refusing service from "because they're LGBT" to "because they're Black/Jewish/Muslim/Christian/disabled/gypsy/Native American/your personal belief group here[*]" and see if still feels right to you.

        The law doesn't care how you "feel".

        If a private business decides to refuse service to a particular group, just allow the market to let them go out of business. But you can't jump up and down and claim that you don't like a law because it doesn't "feel right". Arguments like that tend to fail in court.

    5. raving angry loony

      Re: Guess I'll be the bad guy

      Replace "LGBT" in said law with "Jewish", "Black", or "Female" - all of which various religions have found to have reasons to discriminate against. Does it suddenly become reprehensible? Then perhaps it's a bad law, and the fundamental reason that "human rights" trump "local legislation" in most free democracies. "Freedom of religion" does not mean "freedom to infringe on the rights of others".

      If you're going to offer a service to the PUBLIC, then you have take ALL the public, not just a subset. It would seem to me that the whole "it's a private business so it can do what it wants" falls apart if that business if providing services to the public.

      1. The Dude
        FAIL

        Re: Guess I'll be the bad guy

        Replace "LGBT" in said law with "Jewish", "Black", or "Female" -

        Oh yeah... replace "LGBT" with "divorced father" and you have Symantec's business model and entrenched government policy in all the Great Western Democracies. It seems that discrimination is perfectly acceptable, as long as it is discrimination that the rich and powerful agree with.

      2. John Tserkezis

        Re: Guess I'll be the bad guy

        "If you're going to offer a service to the PUBLIC, then you have take ALL the public, not just a subset."

        The "right to refuse service" clause was created to stop the arses from coming in and making a nuisance of themselves. Without it, you would *HAVE* to serve that customer behaving like a right prick. You have no choice, it's embedded in law, and if you refuse, you will serve them one way or another anyway - but usually as the "defendant".

        The fact that clause gives the business the right to be arses themselves, is a separate issue entirely.

        Fortunately, the court of public opinion can fix that: view the recent spate of businesses refusing service to, or asking to leave, breastfeeding mothers in Australia. No need for court cases, a bit of media coverage for the name of the business exercising their right to choose their customers fixed that up nice and quickly. They can be all the arse they want to, but even they have to concede that a zero customer base equals zero business.

        1. David Cantrell

          Re: Guess I'll be the bad guy

          A business can say that they can refuse to serve you for any reason they like, just like they can put anything they like in a contract. But statute always trumps that so that, in civilised countries, businesses can *not* in fact refuse to serve people just because they're gay, just like they can't put clauses in contracts saying "and you can't sue us for any reason ever".

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Guess I'll be the bad guy

        "If you're going to offer a service to the PUBLIC, then you have take ALL the public, not just a subset."

        I disagree, why should a business serve someone who I do not want to?

        Maybe it is because they are Abusive or Violent, maybe last time they left the place a mess?

        Surely if a business owner has had trouble with a specific sector of the public and that is causing problems with their business they have the right to refuse service to them to save their business?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Gays leaving the place in a mess?

          I can't imagine gays leaving the place in a mess.

          They would probably tidy up and put up some nice curtains.

        2. Queasy Rider

          Re: Guess I'll be the bad guy

          If the black man Sam Jones comes into your establishment and causes a disturbance then I can see you banning Sam Jones, not all blacks. If the Uptown Lesbian Society comes into your establishment and causes a disturbance then I can see you banning the Uptown Lesbian Society, not all lesbians, etc. Somehow I can't see you bigots barring all white christian males because one redneck has given you grief in the past.

          If every black is disrupting your business and every gender bender too, then I suggest you examine your business practices because your problem is more likely internal than external. Businessman, heal thyself.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Guess I'll be the bad guy

            And yet every shop and petrol station is allowed a "only 2 school children inside" sign

    6. Trixr Bronze badge

      Re: Guess I'll be the bad guy

      And if you're the only business supplying that item in that location? There's enough trouble with religious bigot pharmacists refusing to supply "morning after" contraceptives in so-called more "evolved" locations (Australia, NZ, most recently).

      Sure, you may be able to obtain the item elsewhere, if it's not time-critical like the morning-after pill. But why should anyone - colour, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, whatever - be econonomically and time-penalised compared to their neighbour?

      Yeah, I don't like serving people with WWJD and religious trinkets dangling all over themselves, because I know what they nearly all think about my "lifestyle". But the social contract is that we deal/trade with each other until such time as someone goes out of their way to disadvantage us.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    7. David Cantrell

      Re: Guess I'll be the bad guy

      Because "no dogs, no blacks, no Irish" is disgusting and those who want it shouldn't be allowed to have it.

  2. Ashton Black

    As I read it.

    This isn't just about private citizens refusing business on their private property.

    This bill will allow the following:

    1) A doctor to refuse aid, based on his/her religious belief, and not get sued/fired

    2) A cop to refuse aid, based on his/her religious belief, and not get sued/fired

    3) A private citizen to refuse to server someone even when an employee based on his/her religious belief, and not get canned (without in turn suing their previous employer!)

    That was my understanding. It's basically "special pleading" for religious beliefs over the top of basic human rights.

    1. BillG
      Facepalm

      Re: As I read it.

      1) A doctor to refuse aid, based on his/her religious belief, and not get sued/fired

      Wrong. By separate law, because a doctor is licensed by the government, a doctor may not refuse life-saving aid to anyone for any reason (other than the doctor's own ability) that is presented to them. Because doctor is licensed by the government. You may also want to read up on the Hippocratic oath.

      2) A cop to refuse aid, based on his/her religious belief, and not get sued/fired

      Wrong. A cop is not an employee of a private business, they are a civil servant and therefore not subject to this law.

      1. Ashton Black

        Re: As I read it.

        Fair enough. But point 3?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: As I read it.

        Does this law exclude doctors? A new law supersedes old law. So the doctor's license might now be amended by the new law.

        And it isn't limited to gays. It could be used to justify excluding black people, Jews, or others who you don't like. Of course federal law supersedes that, and takes precedence, so the Arizona law would probably be overturned anyway. But they still look like fools.

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: As I read it.

          How does one "server" someone? Does it have to be rackmount or can you use pedestal?

      3. Suricou Raven

        Re: As I read it.

        The hippocratic oath has a few variations. Actually, a couple of Christian medical schools do ask graduates to swear obedience to God above all else.

  3. The Dude
    Mushroom

    Symantec - hypocritical liars

    So... Symantec lobbies against some forms of discrimination but practices libellous dishonest discrimination against hundreds (if not thousands) of people by labelling (and dns-BLOCKING) as "hate sites" any site that suggests legal reforms ensuring some sort of fairness for fathers in the divorce courts. Who do these clowns think they are fooling?

  4. Tikimon Silver badge
    Devil

    Meh, these always backfire anyway...

    Incredibly stupid bill, no doubt.

    I'm not worried though. These kinds of laws tend to injure few if any people in meaningful ways. What they DO is allow non-bigots to identify religiously oppressive businesses to deny custom (and profit) to. The first business to use such a law will probably be shamed online so quick they issue frantic apologies within hours of the rotten publicity. It always happens like that.

    1. John Tserkezis

      Re: Meh, these always backfire anyway...

      "What they DO is allow non-bigots to identify religiously oppressive businesses to deny custom (and profit) to."

      It probably varies from country to country, but here in Australia, religious businesses CAN AND DO discriminate based on religion - and it's legal!. Try working for one, and part way through, casually mention you're an atheist. It is with absolute certainty your days there will be numbered.

      However, as you say, one right they can't take away from us is our ability to vote with our wallets. Paid any taxes lately Sanitarium?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meh, these always backfire anyway...

      That's what the Jews said about Hitler. Also Gypsies, homosexuals and itnellectually disabled people.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too much energy wasted

    Extremely effeminate men and severely butch women may make me (straight male) feel slightly uncomfortable, but that's my issue to deal with, not theirs. I'm not bothered by their sexual preferences, I'm just stuck with 'classic' male & female patterns of behaviour in my head.

    In any case, my mild discomfort is certainly not grounds for discrimination (and never has been) and people who put so much energy into actively hating another group have, I think, deeper questions they should be asking themselves (I'm reminded of the dad next door in 'American Beauty').

    I'm left utterly confused by the degree of opposition to same-sex marriage. Isn't it good that people want to make a life-long commitment to one another?

    1. The Dude
      Devil

      Re: Too much energy wasted

      "utterly confused by the degree of opposition to same-sex marriage. Isn't it good that people want to make a life-long commitment to one another"

      It isn't the "life-long commitment to each other" that is a problem, it's more the "life-log commitment to slavery to the state" that is the problem with same-sex, different-sex and no-sex marriage.

      Personally, I think it is very nice of the people who know about the slavery aspects of marriage to try and help people who might not (due to historical lack of experience) know enough to avoid. The legislated slavery problems with marriage, and the huge legal expenses if you ever want to escape the contract, render marriage a very foolish option for everyone except those with the money/power to purchase something resembling justice. For most of us (no matter how-sexed), marriage IS slavery. Well... for men, anyhow.

      1. Suricou Raven

        Re: Too much energy wasted

        The religious lobby in the US has been pushing what they call 'covenant marriage' - a voluntary agreement couples can enter into on marriage which makes divorce legally near-impossible, and always very expensive, baring exceptional circumstances like domestic abuse or abandonment. They are currently a little disapointed that few couples are aware they have this option, and even fewer are taking it. It's the 'burning bridges' form of romance.

  6. Daniel B.
    Mushroom

    Easy

    Apple should simply say "this law passes, I'm shutting down that glass factory". Kick 'em in the nuts to get stupid laws turned down.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Easy

      Apple is probably being paid several times the cost of the glass factory in incentives and tax breaks to open it there. As soon as these incentives are paid/expire the factory will be closed anyway

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Easy

        Surely Apple could turn around and say "Bumfuck, Iowa: you we're my second choice, time to play first string! Now - how about those kickbacks eh?"

    2. Michael Thibault
      Mushroom

      Re: Easy

      That would be extortion, unfortunately -- with potential for a ha-uuuge blow-back. However, building the factory on steel wheels would make the same point without crossing the line.

  7. Colin Wilson 2

    "Apple, which recently kicked off work on a sapphic glass display manufacturing facility in Arizona..."

    How appropriate!

  8. dan1980

    What am I missing?

    If I am reading this correctly, this law will provide no additional 'freedom' for its supporters and remove no existing protection from the detractors.

    Right now, a business in Arizona can legally refuse to serve a same-sex couple and cannot be sued for it. So, after the bill, what, exactly, will change?

    I get what people are saying about having the right to refuse service on any ground in a private business but, personally, I am glad that Australia has federal anti-discrimination laws that state that a business cannot refuse service based on gender, sexual orientation, race, age, religion, etc...

    You should of course be able to refuse service to someone who is abusive or disruptive, but that is discrimination based on BEHAVIOUR and not based on the person themselves.

    What behaviour of a homosexual couple is causing the problem for these businesses? If it is the fact that they have had sex with each other then never fear - public decency laws mean they will be arrested if they start having sinful gay sex in your cafe. Phew - dodged a bullet there!

    But back to the point - can anyone shed some light on exactly what this law will do?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What am I missing?

      Being a private business that serves the public, they legally can't arbitrarily refuse anyone. That law is probably very specific as to the behavior or dress of the person that they can refuse. Federal law would pretty much beat the hell out of a company that violated Constitutional protections... the 14th would be used by gays to have this struck down. This isn't about religious freedom, it's about religious priviledge to force beliefs on others. If a private business is serving the public, then they serve everyone equally (notwithstanding the legally allowed specifics for behavior/dress that would be considered hazardous to a business/other customers). There are a lot of religious writings that would prevent women from being served, some that could be used for colour, the standard anti-gay crowd... pretty much you could find a religious passage to justify refusing to serve anyone.

    2. P. Lee

      Re: What am I missing?

      As has been noted in the biblical quotes and as outlined by mainline Christians, it is the behaviour and not the person which is considered undesirable. Homosexuals should be welcome in church. Homosexuals who flaunt their sexual-behavioural preferences however, would be considered to be setting themselves up against God's explicit instruction in the same way a hetero having an affair would be. Under Christianity, everyone is expected to control their sexual conduct.

      I doubt that there is an expectation that gays will be denied the ability to buy potatoes at a grocer's shop (though I realise this is the US we are talking about...), but those offering services where morality does come into play, should be different. The classic case is the B&B, where a UK couple had their business shut down. They had been denying service to unmarried heteros for years as part of their practise of not allowing their business to support behaviour which they could not approve of, but a gay couple took them to court and with their "protected" status forced them to close or go against their conscience. They closed. It is effectively illegal for Christians to run businesses in the UK in alignment with their personal beliefs.

      This is not the same as racism. I've never heard anyone say that their religion tells them not to serve a different race.

      It appears that liberalism is the new intolerant autocracy - we can no longer agree to differ, we must all agree or be banned.

  9. mickey mouse the fith

    America, land of the stupid shopkeeper (probably)

    Why would any sensible business turn away customers in the current financial climate?

    How hateful and petty would you have to be to suffer a financial loss over such pointless bigotry?

    This smacks of religious nutters trying to plant ideas in peoples minds that gay/trans etc people are beneath `normal` and therefore open for persecution. Whats next, `no blacks, no irish`?

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: America, land of the stupid shopkeeper (probably)

      No, Arizona, land of blither drool etc. Didn't we all just go through the State/Federal law thing only two days ago? Why is this concept so hard to grasp FFS? Anyone who can figure out the scope of a variable in a computer language should be able to understand the difference, or at least, acknowledge that there is one.

      And 'about as hateful and petty as people' is the answer to your second paragraph, question.

      People (both in America and the UK) I'd never have suspected of being so idiotic have told me in as many words that they felt their own wedding vows were "lessened" by the advent of Gay Marriage laws. I can't even parse the logic behind that myself. When I jumped the broom I made a promise to my wife founded in my own ethics, not some third party's. How an external change in law could impinge on it in any way is beyond me.

      Which is the same wellspring from which such bigotry comes I guess. If one's core belief is that behavior x or condition y is wrong then no amount of education or legal restraint is going to change it. It's an emotional problem and you can't shift those with intellectual levers. Such stuff requires a profound personal epiphany to loosen, and those don't come around often in a lifetime.

  10. silent_count

    My thing is this...

    ... how would they know who is gay/straight/whatever?

    I've got this image in my head of devout religious types standing by a grocery store's entrace with a stack of skin mags: "Excuse me sir, you don't seem aroused by 'Busty Biker Babes' therefore we refuse you service because you're obviously gay."

    Is that how it's going to work?

    And incidentally, I recall reading of a man who, on occasion, kissed other men, and who never entered into a sexual relationship with a woman. That Jesus guy seemed a little on the homo side. Does he get refused service too?

    1. Suricou Raven

      Re: My thing is this...

      It comes up. Two men renting a single-bed hotel room would be rather suspicious. Catering, transport and photography contractors for a same-sex wedding would quite quickly realise there may be gay involvement somewhere. Even just going to a restraunt, the staff might well notice the holding of hands and longing gazes, and ask the couple to leave.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My thing is this...

        I've often had to share a room with my traveling colleague when the hotel was full. No big deal (apart from the co-ordinated snoring)

        AZ seems to have more than its average quota of people trying to turn the clock back to the 1840's.(or worse)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My thing is this...

      "who never entered into a sexual relationship with a woman. That Jesus guy "

      But he did - with Mary Magdelene - and Jesus was married...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It would have a problem with the American constitution, specifically the bill of rights. One clause of which invokes the right to pursuit of happiness. If they are happy being gay, then you aren't allowed to do anything to stop them from being happy.

    1. James O'Shea

      err... no.

      1 'pursuit of happiness' is from the declaration of independence. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life,_liberty_and_the_pursuit_of_happiness

      2 even if it were in the BoR, it just guarantees _pursuing_ happiness, it doesn't say a damn thing about _catching_ it.

  12. Equitas

    Perhaps that Apple logo ....

    really is related to Turing's poisoned apple after all. Perhaps using an Apple product can be treated as a public statement of one's gender preferences,

  13. Yugguy

    So if I have a business and I refuse to serve you, do I have to prove it wasn't because you're LBGT, or do you have to prove it was?

    1. James O'Shea

      If you refuse to serve, and if the person so refused can establish that s/he is a member of a 'protected class' (black, Hispanic, gay, disabled, some others) and if said person can also establish that the reason why you refused to serve is because of his/her membership of the protected class, you're in deep, deep, DEEP trouble and sinking fast. Even if it can't be proven that the reason why you refused is because the person is in the class, you've got a problem. Unless you can establish some clear, precise, and compelling reason which does NOT have anything to do with your problems with the class.

      This means that if you are in the business of making wedding cakes and a gay couple orders a cake, you're gonna have to make that cake unless you want to go to court and establish why not. And you'd better be able to establish that you _couldn't_ make the cake for reasons entirely unrelated to the gay couple's gayness, or it's game over. If you have a waiting list three months long and couldn't make a cake for the couple anyway, you're okay. If you have workers standing idle and an unused oven, you're in trouble.

      Now, if the persons who want the cake are _not_ members of a protected class, then you can refuse to make the cake all you want. At the current time, gay couples _in Arizona_ are not members of a protected class. This may change. This means that this idiotic law is completely unnecessary; Arizona businesses could, and can, simply post a note that they refuse to serve gay couples, and that's that. There is one gentleman who has posted a large sign in his business that he reserves the right to refuse to serve members of the Arizona legislature. http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/26/opinion/rocco-pizzeria-arizona/index.html?hpt=hp_t1 As members of the legislature are not members of a protected class, he is free to do so. And he has.

      This 'law' is nothing more than religious-themed imbecilic grandstanding, and _will_ bite the Arizona legislature on the ass. And it won't last long before it gets challenged and gets to the US Supremes and they rule that it's unconstitutional... and place gays in the 'protected' class. I suspect that this is not something that the religious nuts want.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Are police a protected class?

        We decided we aren't going to sell our system to municipal police departments because the costs of support are astronomically higher than any other set of users.

  14. DocJames
    Facepalm

    The difference between group and individual

    The new law is proposed to permit discrimination based on the potential customer belonging to a group of people - gay, Jewish, whatever: the shopkeeper can pick their preferred brand of bigotry.

    The current law allows businesses to discriminate against individuals, for individual reasons. "He smelt so bad, he was putting off other customers" would be acceptable; "he was so black, he was putting off other customers" would not be.

    Discrimination is essential - there are enough complaints here about a lack of discrimination by HR regarding intelligence and knowledge in other employees - but should only be based on individuals' characteristics, not perceived characteristics of a group we think they belong to. It is an interesting question as to how far this should be pushed to permit affirmative action or similar.

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