Editor’s Note: The following article was originally posted on azcentral.com at 4:53 p.m. MST on August 27, 2014. It was authored by Arizona Republic columnist Linda Valdez, and can be found here.
On Election Day, Tempe took one step toward expanding LGBT rights and Arizona potentially took a giant leap back by nominating Doug Ducey as GOP candidate for governor.
If Ducey becomes governor, institutional discrimination could become law when Cathi Herrod returns with “SB 1062, The Sequel.”
Herrod of the Center for Arizona Policy is a key Ducey supporter, who lists his commitment to “traditional marriage” as one of the reasons.
She was a top backer of SB 1062, which would have allowed a business to deny service based on religious beliefs. It was a direct assault on the LGBT community, and the outcry against it led to Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto.
Herrod called the veto “a sad day for Arizonans who cherish and understand religious liberty.”
She said it was vindication for SB 1062 when the U.S. Supreme Court subsequently ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby. The court said employers could not be mandated to provide contraception in violation of their religious views.
You can bet SB 1062 will be back in the Arizona Legislature next session.
If Ducey is governor, will he cross a key supporter and veto it?
The return of SB 1062 may be just the start.
Herrod’s Center for Arizona Policy’s website says “No scientific evidence has been found to prove a genetic cause for homosexuality. . . . Even if a specific genetic marker were found which indicates a propensity towards homosexuality, it is hardly a case for creating special rights for homosexuals. Whereas race is based on physical, outward characteristics visible to all, homosexuality is a behavior, and behaviors are not visibly apparent to another person. Behaviors can also be modified or even stopped.”
In other words, back in the closet, people.
As for Tempe: It voted to change its charter, becoming the first Arizona city to protect its employees from workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. One step forward that could be negated at the state level.