So You Want To Be A Legislator And Support Religious Liberty?

Guest Opinion by Anonymous (for obvious reasons)

Kudos to you.  But you had better be prepared for a whole lot of hatred coming your way from the hypocritical left.  They have a real habit of telling you to be tolerant while telling you to die.  As the public face of support for SB1062, Arizona’s Religious Freedom bill, State Senator Al Melvin’s Facebook page was deluged with vile comments.  We don’t have space for all of them, but here are some excellent examples of what passes for political discourse and tolerance on the left these days:

Some folks just want to blame the Mormons…  Like Kay here.  She is a former member of the church who thinks it is a cult.  Of course, Kay also thinks the majority of GOP legislators are LDS, and she intends to make sure that everyone knows that.

Kay Doesn't Like Mormons

Shane wouldn’t blame the Mormons, because he likely considers it narrow-minded to blame just one group of Christians when you can blame ALL of the Christians.

Shane Hates the Bible

Jett seems less upset at organized religion and more upset at the Bible itself.  A lot more upset.

Jett Smith thinks you're scum

Bart here is apparently still smarting from losing his job as a nutrition counselor.  In fairness Bart, we’re pretty sure that’s not the 5-A-Day plan most people think about.

Bart has a 5 lb bag!

Ciaran was in a bit of a hurry, so we just get the short and sweet from Ciaran.  It gets weird when Ciaran seems to have some inside knowledge though.  First you want him to die, then you celebrate that he’s almost dead?  Does Ciaran know something we don’t know?

And Ciaran can't wait for Al to die

Ciaran thinks Al's a cunt
Comparatively speaking, David here is one of the good guys.  He doesn’t want Melvin dead, but he’s liking the idea of tracking down a State Senator and beating him, you know, “for good measure”?

David Allen wants to beat Al

James wants lots of people to die, so it isn’t personal, okay Senator Melvin?  We mean, he does want you to die, but he also wants lots of other people to die.

James Jefferies Wants You To Die

Richard seemed like a pretty good example of the basic profanity laced “I wish you were dead” comment.  Not exactly Lincoln-Douglas, but we’re sure he’s doing the best he can with what he has.

Richard wants Al dead too

And what would a leftist outburst be without invoking a Nazi reference or two?  Gary, what’s with that profile picture though?  Seriously?

Gary Dailey Nazi

Chris Thomas has anger issues.  He isn’t alone in that.  Melvin’s campaign says they’ve deleted “probably two hundred” posts that were not what we’d call family friendly.  But Chris seemed to be one of the more inspired authors of hate-filled rants.  And oddly, Chris is very pro-Common Core, which ought to have been a completely different debate.  Looks like Chris doesn’t like Melvin’s position against Common Core either.  Show of hands here, do you agree with Chris’ assertion that he is “apart of the human race?”

Chris Thomas 2

Remarkably, it looks like part of Melvin’s team actually took the time to respond to this guy.  They probably didn’t make that effort twice.  Chris is not pleased.  Now Chris wants Melvin’s people dead.  Also, Chris would like to add his voice to those who do not like the bible.  We know, you’re shocked.

Chris Thomas wants CQ dead too

Chris and Kay ought to talk.  Chris doesn’t like Mormons either.  He wants them to die.  Graphically.  In fact, he’s already decided how he wants them to die.  We think we speak for civilized society at large when we say we’re glad Chris doesn’t have it his way?

Chris Thomas Hates Mormons

Looks like Melvin’s campaign started deleting Chris’ comments.  Well OF COURSE they did!  We’d recommend not just deleting them, but using the BAN feature offered by Facebook.  Apparently they didn’t go that route, because Chris is back and he wants Al Melvin DEAD, weirdly enough, with the bullet that hit Gabby Giffords.  Although he’ll apparently settle for a .357 round.

Chris Thomas 1

The statement we received from Melvin’s campaign was relatively patient, considering.  They said “Al’s been at this a long time.  He has voted for Constitutional Carry, protecting marriage, SB1070, and the list goes on.  So this isn’t the first time he has taken a stand on an important issue.  Receiving hate from people who disagree with you is saddening but not surprising.  Comments usually fall into four groups:  People who agree with you or thank you.  People who disagree with you and want to debate the idea.  People who just want to call names without adding anything to the debate.  And the really ugly folks who flat out hate you and tend to lost control of their thoughts and emotions in their haste to express their hate.  The third and fourth groups are just best deleted, otherwise they obscure any rational debate that might actually occur, and they tend to drive away the decent people who may agree or disagree with you.”

Point taken.  And if it makes our blog readers feel better, Chris Thomas, like most of the folks captured in this post, isn’t even from Arizona.  That makes us feel a bit better, even if now we have to feel sorry for Chesapeake, Virginia!

 

 

Statement from Honorable Fife Symington III, Former Governor of Arizona regarding SB1062

“It’s ironic that more than twenty years after the MLK controversy, the State of Arizona is once again thrust into the spotlight with its national reputation and perhaps a Super Bowl at stake.  What is often underreported in the wake of the maelstrom from two decades ago is the fact that Arizona did the right thing.  In reality, Arizona is the only state in the union to have a voter approved MLK holiday.

“Governor Brewer’s deliberative process is the hallmark of her leadership.  From righting the fiscal ship to restoring the will of the voters to protect the most vulnerable, her leadership has proven time and again to yield thoughtful and positive results.  I know that she’ll do the right thing for the State of Arizona.”

Ralph Heap: Bob Worsley on SB1062: A Flip-Flop Only John Kerry Could Love

“Worsley co-sponsors SB 1062, votes for it, campaigns on it, and then calls on the governor to veto it.” 

(Mesa, AZ) Earlier this week, in a flip-flop that only John Kerry could love, State Senator Bob Worsley urged Governor Brewer to veto the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (aka SB1062) after not only voting for the legislation, but also co-sponsoring and touting the legislation on the campaign trail.

“This epic flip-flop says a lot about what kind of politician Bob Worsley is,” saidHeap for State Senate spokesman Dan Caldwell.  “Instead of taking the time to understand the legislation and make an informed vote, Worsley instead tried to make a political decision to curry favor with conservatives only to flip-flop and call for the veto of a bill he co-sponsored when serious opposition emerged.

“It begs the obvious question,” continued Caldwell,  “does Bob Worsley even bother to read legislation he sponsors? Or does he just throw his name onto bills that he thinks will benefit him politically in his next election without any real consideration about what the legislation will actually do?

“The voters of Legislative District 25 deserve better,” concluded Caldwell. ”They deserve a State Senator who is willing to take a principled stand on important issues – not a state senator whose principles are completely dependent on which way the political winds are blowing.”

SB 1062 Analysis – Winners, Losers and Who Gets Stuck with the Bill

By Bill Beard

Politically it would seem that for the vast majority of folks in Arizona the signing of SB 1062 will lead to a lot of trouble. Every day that Governor Brewer waits to sign or veto this bill only prolongs the agony and entrenches all sides against each other. We still have an economy on shaky ground. Unfortunately the only winners in this will be attorneys for both sides that will rake in the big bucks. The other winner would appear to be the discrimination lobby consultants that will be able to squeeze out more dollars to muddy the water and further antagonize all sides.

Those ‘for’ the bill are well intentioned. The political wisdom of dragging the rest of us into this isn’t clear. The average outside observer could have seen this coming. In an attempt to secure Religious Freedom they have set things on a course where reputations will be damaged and leave the taxpayers hurting. The average guy and gal that earns a living related to tourism for business or pleasure will see smaller paychecks. I’m not exactly sure who would be against Religious Freedom but this approach seems doomed. A better alternative to alleviating the possibility of someone suing a business owner for discrimination because they don’t like gays or pick your cause du jour would have been a simple Tort Reform bill that allowed the marketplace to decide the wisdom of anyone denying anyone else the ability to do business. The court system does not need to be involved.

Politically this issue has gone beyond the intent of the supporters. At this point it will only be a loser for folks running for office this year. Forget any merits of the bill. If you have an R after your name you will have to address this in your campaign. Whether you run for Dog Catcher or Governor this issue will come up. Regardless of the real issues of your campaign you will need to take time to explain your position on the bill. Why you agree or disagree with the intent, the politics or the inevitable lawsuits. When the average citizen is more concerned with their personal economy your campaign will spend valuable time addressing this issue.

The average guy out there will not see this as a Religious Liberty issue. For them it will further separate them from their elected representatives. It will only add to the idea that the representatives just don’t get what’s going on in their lives. They struggle daily with paying bills, feeding the kids or trying to figure out where the money will come from to pay for the broken washing machine or car repair. They will get stuck with the bill for the attorneys, the bill for the loss of their representatives focus on keeping the economy moving forward and the bill for time defending what their leaders have done to their friends and family in the rest of the country. So much for of, by and for the people.

Poll: What is your understanding of Arizona’s SB 1062?

Fascist Constitutionphobes and Religiophobes Hope You Won’t Read

Reposted from The Playful Walrus

Have you heard about the legislation recently passed by the Arizona legislature? Have you heard that it is “anti-gay”? Do you know the name of the legislation? Have you even bothered to read it? It’s not very long or hard to find. I easily found it here. It is SB 1062.

The way the marriage neutering and homosexuality advocates have been engaging in their dramatic whining and over-the-top theatrics, and the way so many of their repeaters in the MSM have called it “anti-gay”, you’d think the legislation authorizes people to hunt down homosexual people where they live and burn down their homes.

Go ahead and search through the text.

You won’t find one mention of any of the following words or phrases:

gay
lesbian
homosexual
sexual orientation
same-sex
heterosexual

You won’t find euphemisms for those words or phrases, either.

What you will find is that the core language of the legislation is:

“STATE ACTION shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion…”

However, there are some very important and sizable exceptions:

“In furtherance of a compelling governmental interest.”
“The least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”

More core language:

“A person whose religious exercise is burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding…”

Again, there are some very important and sizable exceptions.

What is the big deal?

This seems to me like this is an application basic rights – rights specifically enumerated in the First Amendment.

If we consider this on the context of recent government actions, then this would appear to be a reaction to recent cases involving bakers and photographers who have opted out of participation in events that have offended their consciences and sincerely and strongly held religious convictions that have a long, public, mainstream, and widespread tradition can be informed by a basic reading of Scripture. These businesspeople have been sued or prosecuted by their own government. These situations have also been misportrayed as the someone “refusing to serve gay people”. I recall that one baker in particular had gladly served the homosexual people in question on different occasions. It was only when the baker was asked to participate in a specific event, a same-sex “wedding” ceremony, that the baker declined. Still, some people might insist that such a denial was “anti-gay”. However, I can demonstrate that it wasn’t. The same baker would have refused if two heterosexual women had asked for the baker to participate in their “wedding”.

Notice that the legislation does not mention such professions or events. The legislation could apply to many other things that have nothing to do with what homosexual people do with each other.

So why is it being called “anti-gay”?

I can think of two reasons right now.

1) Leftist homosexuality advocates are malignant narcissists. Everything in the world has to be about their orgasms. They see the entire world through their genitals and anal openings. Other people are to be judged by whether or not they think it is just groovy that one man likes to stick it in another man’s anus. They have some bizarre fixation on what other people think about their private bedroom (or public restroom) behavior. Legislation is to be evaluated by whether or not it will encourage one man to stick it in another man’s anus, or whether or not it empowers or celebrates such men nor not.

2) Homofascists want to reorganize all of society around their feelings, including the practice of religion, and anything that exempts anyone from being under the control of homofascists is labeled “anti-gay”. That would mean they are getting so upset because they fully intend to use the force of government to force everyone, even the deeply religious, to celebrate homosexual behavior.

Whatever happened to “leave us alone”? Now that’s not enough. Now they seek you out, quiz you, and if your answers aren’t right you’re facing a trip to economic Siberia.

Even if you disagree with the legislation, the hysterics from the Leftist homosexuality advocates, and the lockstep following of low information voters should concern you. Really, if signed into law and implemented, how would this law hurt a single homosexual person? Someone might ask a baker for a “wedding” cake with two grooms on top of it. The baker would say “Can’t do it.” Then the homosexual person could go to another baker. Who got hurt? Judging from the circus-like response to the legislation, there would be plenty of other people willing to participate in the “wedding” by making a cake. Comparisons to Jim Crow do not hold up. Jim Crow included government-enforced blanket segregation based on skin color. This would be a business, not government, deciding they could not participate in an event.

Is such legislation Constitutional? I don’t see how it isn’t. It is essentially a building upon the First Amendment.

Will it actually be implemented if signed into law? Don’t count on it.

As we’re seeing repeatedly, the Constitution doesn’t matter. The Executive Branch is under the control of Leftist homosexuality advocates who do not believe in letting states handle their own matters or being bound by existing legislation, and they have more and bigger guns than Arizona. Don’t kid yourself. That’s all it boils down to these days. Even if Arizona refuses to prosecute a baker for being true to their faith, Obama’s Department of Justice will.

Melvin Urges Governor To Sign SB1062

Challenges GOP Opponents to “Reverse Course”

Melvin Letterhead Art

“The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), also known as SB1062, protects the rights of every Arizonan to work and live according to their faith.  It prohibits punishing someone because of their faith.  It is common sense, it is good law, it was carefully crafted, it was supported by more than 90% of the Republicans in the Legislature, and I strongly urge the Governor to sign the bill.” – Al Melvin, speaking on SB1062.

Melvin spoke at a GOP candidate forum on Saturday and was the only candidate for Governor to support SB1062.

“I was disappointed how fast my fellow Republican candidates for Governor caved to the media and liberal pressure.  Each of them offered excuses, but none of them were willing to stand up and publicly fight to protect the religious liberties of Arizonan citizens and businesses.” said Melvin, adding “They need to look past the media-driven hysteria and look at the bill itself.  It is only two pages long and there is no excuse for them not to know better.”

Melvin went further, urging each of his opponents to reverse course and support the bill.  “We all make mistakes, but real leadership means being able to admit when you are wrong and correcting your course.  You don’t have to spend 30 years in the Naval Reserves as I did to know how important course correction is.”

SB1062 modifies Arizona’s existing protections and brings them into line with the federal RFRA.  Furthermore, SB1062 added language to ensure additional protection against the frivolous use of religious beliefs as a defense against behavior that might be considered discriminatory.

“The extremists on the left are using the same hysterical language they did when they opposed SB1070.  But SB1070 turned out to be right for Arizona, the hysterics were proven to be nothing more than simple fantasy designed to whip up opposition, and the Arizona Legislature and Governor Brewer were both vindicated for passing and signing it. My hope is that Arizonans will rally to fight for this bill by contacting the Governor and asking her to sign it.  If she does not, then I hope they will rally to my campaign so that we can elect someone who will sign the bill in 2015.”

Supporters of the bill are invited to join Al Melvin’s campaign for Governor at VoteAlMelvin.com.

Melvin serves as Chairman of the Commerce, Energy and Military Committee and founded the highly successful Mining Caucus and Tourism Caucus. He has had a long business career in international trade and transportation, is a graduate of the US Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, NY and received his MBA degree from Thunderbird-School of Global Management in Glendale, AZ.  Prior to his election to the Senate, he taught college level courses as an adjunct, in economics, international business and management.

Melvin is a military veteran and graduate of the US Naval War College. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for his service as Squadron Commander of COMPSRONTWO, then the largest ship squadron in the US Navy (14 ships) based at the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. In 1999, after 30 years in the US Naval Reserve, he retired as a Navy Captain, the equivalent of a full colonel.

He is a member of the VFW, American Legion, Military Officers of America and other military related organizations.  Sen. Melvin is a life Member of the NRA (National Rifle Association).  He is a member of the Elks, Rotary and Knights of Columbus, and he remains a proud Eagle Scout (class of ’61).

Al and his wife Kou reside in SaddleBrooke in Pinal County, just north of Tucson and attend Santa Catalina Catholic Church in Catalina.

# # #

Maricopa GOP Chair Rallies LD Censures

To all Arizona County and LD Republican Committee Chairmen -
Below is the front page article of the July 15 Arizona Capitol Times. I want to express my appreciation to those courageous and principled County and LD Republican Committees who have already conducted votes of “censure” and/or “no confidence.”
Jan Brewer, the legislators and their crony capitalist friends that support ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion have betrayed Americans, Arizona Republicans and the Republican Party Platform.  Their lack of ethics, integrity and egregious acts are motivated by only two things – greed and the lust for power – at the expense of hard working tax paying Americans.
The law was expected to cost $898 billion over the first decade when the bill was first passed, but this year the Congressional Budget Office revised that estimate to $1.85 trillion.  Money that will have to be borrowed from the Chinese or printed in the backroom of the Federal Reserve.  Latest polls indicate a majority of Americans are opposed to ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion with an overwhelming majority of Republicans in opposition.
During the past six months, we did everything we could to make a solid argument against ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion, we tried to reason with these people and even tried to make them see the light.  Unfortunately, our lobbying efforts fell on deaf ears and without success.
During one of Ronald Reagan’s difficult political battles he said,
               ”When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.”
I’m asking all the County and LD Republican Committees to make these people feel the heat by passing public censures for their actions.  They are elitists who think what they have done should be forgiven. They are mistaken.  We are not going to be able to defeat all of them, but we can defeat a majority of them in the 2014 Primary Election.
You can go to “MCRC Briefs” and get examples of public censures that have already been passed.  http://briefs.maricopagop.org/  Just type “censure” in the search field on the left.
Warmest regards,
 A. J. LaFaro
Chairman, Maricopa County Republican Committee
P.S.  Please encourage all of your PCs to keep up their daily efforts in getting petition signatures for www.urapc.org  Getting ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion on the November 2014 ballot will be historic for Arizona’s grassroots conservatives.

Statement from CAP President Cathi Herrod on the SCOTUS Decisions regarding DOMA and Prop 8

Statement from Center for Arizona Policy President Cathi Herrod on the U.S. Supreme Court Decisions regarding DOMA and Prop 8

“The key message for Arizonans from the U.S. Supreme Court today is this: Your right to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman is preserved. It’s important to note that the Court did not find a Constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Neither did the Court declare same-sex marriage a civil right on the order of ethnicity or nationality.” 

Though Center for Arizona Policy disagrees with aspects of the Court’s decision, we are grateful that the Court did not undermine the will of Arizona voters who strongly supported our state’s 2008 marriage amendment. In DOMA, CAP believes that the court erred in claiming that a state that has redefined marriage can force that definition on the federal government for purposes of federal marriage laws. 

In Prop 8, the court has ensured that the state-by-state debate about marriage is allowed to continue. Truly the debate over marriage has just begun.           

Marriage is more than just a personal promise, it serves a public purpose. It is society’s best guarantee of a limited government that stays out of family life. Social science data has proved this time and time again. 

Center for Arizona Policy is committed to continuing to stand for marriage and to defeat any efforts to redefine this essential union.”

Center for Arizona Policy promotes and defends the foundational values of life, marriage and family and religious liberty. CAP led the 2008 effort to constitutionally define marriage as the union of one man and one woman in Arizona. 

Taking Women’s Rights Forward With A Hard Left

Suzanne SharerBy Suzanne Sharer

Talk about a war against women! Currently ground zero is right here in my own back yard as Arizona is once again front and center when it comes to so called “human rights” vs. right and wrong! Women’s rights have just taken a giant step backward in the city of Phoenix this past month with the passing of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton’s infamous “Bathroom Bill”. This bill does nothing more than degrade women while putting us into dangerous situations and stripping us of our dignity and the respect we deserve. When was it; about two weeks ago that the left came out with some absolutely brilliant maneuvers to stop rapists? Now women are being legislated into questionable situations in the name of “civil rights” to where they have just made it easier for rapists and deviants to have easy access to women and children. Sadly it appears that Stanton has put special interests and a radical political agenda ahead of the personal safety and concerns of the ladies who grace his city. Grown men will now be allowed into girls/women’s restrooms in our parks and public places in the name of sexual equality and human rights.

The false argument; By passing a an expansion of the city’s human relations ordinance, known as the Bathroom Bill, much to the dismay of the mayor and his supporters, we are supposed to believe that under the guise of “prohibiting discrimination” on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, this new law will not have any devastating consequences for our churches, religious organizations, businesses, and families.

All I can say is move over Mayor Bloomberg it appears that Mayor Stanton of Phoenix is going to give you a run for your money when it comes to making false arguments on behalf of the ridiculous legislation you are putting out there! Oh and by the way this article isn’t even covering Stanton’s absurd gun “buy back” program that he just revealed! I can’t wait to touch on that soon! I truly hope people won’t rally behind that brain trust as women will need their guns locked and loaded now more than ever just to use a public restroom in the city of Phoenix!) Stanton has made his position clear. He is taking the City of Phoenix on a serious left turn at the risk of women and children, pandering for the dollars he feels the LGBT community will bring him. Now anybody who wants to wear women’s clothing will not be prohibited from entering into the girls/women’s bathrooms of our schools, parks and restaurants as well as our place of worship and any other public places in the name of prohibiting discrimination, tolerance and of course let’s not forget the mighty dollar in that forward thinking America.

If tolerance is so important in this new age of forced acceptance I have to ask the question; where is the tolerance for those of us who find this bill offensive to our rights? I find it very objectionable as a woman and as a mother to a beautiful young girl that I am being told I must be accepting of men who want to identify themselves as women, giving them more of a right than I have! Legislating people into uncomfortable and dangerous situations by telling them they are being narrow-minded of others rights if they disagree is not a step towards a future I feel we should be embracing! If you have an innocent young daughter would you want her exposed to a man irrespective of whether he may think of himself as a woman using the public restroom? Does how he feels on the inside change what is on the outside? There are clear physical differences that need to remain separate and regardless of how a person “feels”! I believe we need to base our decision on common sense and the fact that men and women have physical differences that need to be kept separate and private when it comes to these situations for everyone’s comfort and security not just those of the minority who are screaming the loudest.

Aside from all the problems this creates for women and young girls, local business’s and church’s now have to be concerned with being cautious not to violate these new “rights” if they wish to avoid any legal action that can now be taken against them by the passing of this new bill simply for standing up for their own ethics. Essentially what Stanton is saying to Phoenicians is that with the passing of his new “bathroom bill” the good people of Phoenix no longer have the right to speak out in defense of their morals or can use their judgment on an issue of common sense and public safety, now that we are living in a kinder more forward thinking society based on these new “human rights” given to us via Phoenix City Council.

What strikes me as odd is how Mayor Stanton put such urgency to this bill under a veil of media silence. With so many other more pressing issues that actually involve public safety, Stanton panders more to special interest groups that make public safety even more of an issue! If it wasn’t for a few media outlets such as Mike Broomhead of KFYI who dedicated some very valuable and insightful time on this subject during his radio show last week, most of Phoenix would not even be aware of what has just transpired. It appears that Stanton who made a promise to be transparent is getting a failing grade at this much like our current President. You can bet this bill was fast tracked through the city council to avoid media and public scrutiny to prevent the large outpouring of opposition it deserves! You can find some good links to read what is in the bill here on Mike Broomhead’s page; http://www.kfyi.com/pages/broomhead.html?article=10955139

After all is said and done what astounds me the most is the total lack of respect and the disregard for the comfort and safety of the women of Phoenix! The left flippantly states that it makes no difference which way the feet are facing in the stall but I couldn’t disagree more…First off it this is what they believe then why are we having this discussion? Second, I am 5’4” and weigh 112 lbs. What chance would I have if cornered in a secluded restroom by a man who weighs twice as much as me and much stronger? What chance do women really have, our mothers, sisters, wives and daughters? What are you going to worry about more, the so called “civil rights” of transgendered men to have access to women’s restrooms or the safety of your loved ones now exposed to any deviant who wishes to put on a dress?

Read more: http://www.kfyi.com/pages/suzanne-sharer.html?article=11017473#.UTSr1GNzu6E.facebook#ixzz2MaGTvVl1

Thoughts on the City of Phoenix LGBT Ordinance

A few thoughts on today’s culture war battle at the City of Phoenix.

I attended the meeting for the purpose of testifying against the tax on food. I signed a card for that specific agenda item having no intention of testifying on the LGBT ordinance.

My position on this has been very clear. I simply do not believe that the City of Phoenix should inject government policy into the personal and private lives of any Phoenicians except when a crime is committed. Some liberals and libertarians would say “keep government out of our bedrooms.” OK, so how about a little consistency by keeping government to a minimum in our private business matters? What the City of Phoenix did tonight was invite a huge conflict between Constitutional rights and individual sexual identity.

By now social conservatives should realize they have lost the culture war on issues related to sexual identity and behavior. The most reasonable position social conservatives can now take is to hold back any level of government from the power position of  picking winners and losers in the conflict between sexual identity and free speech, religious freedom and freedom of conscience.

Locally, social conservatives did not lose the culture battle in Phoenix tonight. Social conservatives lost the culture battle in November of 2011 when it failed to elect conservatives to the Phoenix city council.

We knew this was coming. The signs were there in 2011 when mayoral candidate Greg Stanton made wide overtures to the LGBT community and efforts to align Phoenix with San Francisco values. Anyone who dared to point it out was labeled a bigot. So goes the spirit of tolerance on the left.

(Too often, both sides fail to see this as a debate over public policy rather making it about personal attacks on individuals and their sexual identities.)

Tonight’s meeting was a reflection of the very intolerance those pushing for tolerance decry. Anyone who dared to oppose the ordinance was booed and jeered. No respect for human dignity and certainly no respect for the public policy process.

Social conservative did turn out at the meeting – certainly not in number. And those who did engage were speaking a different language to the huge LGBT majority who did turn out (probably with plenty of advance notice). Two different languages because there are two different worldviews – one based on faith, the other clearly sexual and secular in nature. There were translators in the testimonials – individuals who know the difference and can communicate between the two worldviews – Cathi Herrod from the Center for Arizona Policy, an attorney from the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Rev. Jarrett Maupin spoke. These individuals are bilingual on issues that tangle logic and emotions.

And there was a tremendous amount of emotion – mostly from the LGBT – about living with a sexual identity that conflicts with traditional societal norms. Who was going to argue with the dozen of transgendered individuals who gave personal stories of rejection, anger and sympathy?

Which brings me to my personal feelings on the whole matter.

My pastor, my church, my Jesus preaches love. The Word commands us to love God first and to love our neighbor as ourselves second. There are two commandments in the New Testament. That’s it – pretty simple. My pastor (who happens to oversee five campuses in Phoenix Metro) reminds us to look past a person’s self-identity and love them no matter what. We are to love them like Christ would love them – regardless of their sin(s) (I’m not going to name them here. You can look them up.) But most important, we are to bring others into a real and living relationship with Christ allowing Christ to work in their lives toward God’s glory.

This is where I separate matters of faith from the role of the state (in this case the City of Phoenix).

If I were Mayor of Phoenix I would have rejected the idea of injecting my sliver of government into the personal and private lives of individuals. To do otherwise is asking for the wailing and gnashing of teeth. This seems to be the only position a reasonable community of people can hold without forcing a cultural conflagration to take place.

Entangling sex and politics is a messy business as we learned tonight. Hopefully our politicians will take note and keep social engineering to a minimal melodramatic level in the future. Political social conservatives lost tonight but true Christianity continues to love on.

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NRO: The Chicken Inquisition

Worth reposting from National Review. Do not be surprised if Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton takes up the cause of Mayors Emanuel and Menino. Be sure to visit the Chick Fil-A Appreciation Day Facebook page.

Rahm Emanuel has been many things in life — ballet dancer, investment banker, congressman, White House chief of staff, now mayor of Chicago — and he apparently wishes to add another title to his curriculum vitae: Grand Inquisitor. He has denounced the fast-food chain Chick-fil-A and endorsed a Chicago alderman’s plan to block construction of a new outlet because the company’s executives do not share his politics. This is a gross abuse of power: Imagine if the mayor of Provo, Utah, had tried to punish a business for supporting same-sex marriage — the Left would demand his resignation, etc. The powers of government are not to be used for parochial political ends. Even in Chicago.

It is worth taking a look at precisely what has given the mayor of the nation’s most corrupt city such cause for concern. “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives,” said Chick-fil-A chief executive officer Dan Cathy in an interview that launched a million angry tweets. “We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.” Mr. Cathy, a purveyor of sweet tea and chicken sandwiches, has a better understanding of the American constitutional order than do the city fathers in Chicago and Boston, among other places, who also have threatened to use their municipal powers to punish Mr. Cathy and his company for this alleged anti-gay bigotry.

Bigotry should be made of sterner stuff. Mr. Cathy did not even target homosexuals, and his reference to being married to “our first wives” indicates that his criticism of the recent decay of marriage is by no means limited to the question of same-sex marriage. But even if it were, it would be worth noting that opposition to gay marriage was until the day before yesterday the official position of President Barack Obama and his administration. It was certainly the position of the administration while Mr. Emanuel served in it — not to mention the position of the Clinton administration when Mr. Emanuel served in it, too. If a Chick-fil-A franchisee is a detestable bigot because his boss — a private-sector CEO — opposes gay marriage, what does that make Mr. Emanuel, whose boss opposed gay marriage as president of these United States?

Chick-fil-A’s senior executives say that they are guided by Christian principle in both their personal and their professional lives, and the chain’s franchises famously remain closed on Sundays, but the company also pronounces itself committed to treating people with “honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.” Mr. Cathy’s own views are considerably more complex than his critics would have us believe: “We don’t claim to be a Christian business,” he said in the same interview. “Christ never died for a corporation.”

It is one thing for private citizens to stage a boycott of a company with associations that annoy them, though the gay lobby’s hysterical demands for absolute conformity to its agenda in all aspects of public life is both unseemly and childish. (The gay lobby is also wrong about the issue of marriage and should be opposed.) As bad as organized homosexuality’s bullying tactics can be, it is a far more serious thing when elected officials appropriate the instruments of government to punish those with whom they disagree. The analogue to the civil-rights movement is a defective one: Whatever indignities homosexuals have suffered in our history, they were not held as chattel slaves or systematically excluded from political and economic life in the way black Americans were, nor is homosexuality categorically comparable to race. Boston mayor Thomas Menino threatened to withhold a business license from Chick-fil-A until somebody reminded him that doing so would constitute an illegal abuse of official power, at which point he withdrew the threat but confirmed his simmering hostility.

Mayors Menino and Emanuel are not striking a blow for civil rights; they are exploring new ground in the abuse of political power. Their threats and posturing have been far more shameful than anything Chick-fil-A has undertaken, and their motives considerably less lofty.

CAP Survey: Ben Quayle not very socially conservative

A m e r i c a n  P o s t – G a z e t t e

Distributed by C O M M O N  S E N S E , in Arizona
Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Center for Arizona Policy has released its candidate questionnaires, and BenQuayle stands out for not being very socially conservative. Unlike Quayle, other well-known conservative Congressional electeds and candidates all answered 100% on the questionnaire (with the exception of Indian gambling where some are divided)  – David Schweikert, Trent Franks, Matt Salmon, Kirk Adams, Vernon Parker, Travis Grantham, Wendy Rogers, Gabriela Saucedo Mercer, Ron Gould, Leah Campos Schandlbauer, even Martin Sepulveda (and you thought he wasn’t conservative). Quayle left the question blank that asked whether he opposed embryonic stem cell research, and added caveats to the question about whether he would ban abortion except to save the life of the mother. Quayle was also known not too long ago for refusing to take a stand on the issue of gay marriage.David Schweikert, on the other hand, has always solidly been pro-life, even though his district which includes Tempe is not very pro-life. He has never “qualified” himself on the issues or ducked questions about social issues.

This is not the first indication that Quayle is not the conservative he claims to be. Last month he reversed himself on the issue of amnesty. First he said he supported a Dream Act kind of amnesty on Channel 12, watch the interview here. A day later he reversed himself, saying he doesn’t support Obama’s plan.

If you are conservative, would you trust him?

The Center for Arizona’s Voter Guide can be found here.

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City of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton Expands Efforts for LGBT Agenda

An article appears in the Arizona Republic this morning describing Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton’s latest drive to expand city authority in the area of  ”sexual orientation” discrimination.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton’s aides and a group of attorneys are working to draft ordinances that could outlaw discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents. 

The aides and attorneys believe that if rewritten, city laws would also give victims of such discrimination in restaurants and other businesses an opportunity to file complaints with the city’s Equal Opportunity Department for investigation — an option they currently do not have.

The effort comes as the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel near Van Buren and Third streets tries to recover from threats of boycott by the gay community over a decision by the manager of the hotel’s District American Kitchen & Wine Bar to expel a lesbian couple in late February. 

The hotel is owned by the city and managed under the Sheraton brand through a contract with Starwood Hotels and Resorts. 

Despite the incident at the hotel restaurant, the city’s Equal Opportunity Department, tasked with investigating discrimination complaints by workers or customers at businesses, has received no complaints of discrimination over sexual orientation or gender identity at downtown hotels. 

The department cannot investigate or respond to such complaints anyway because the city has not outlawed discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals or transgenders. Such protections exist for the disabled and for ethnic minorities in areas such as employment, housing and public accommodations like hotels and restaurants. 

Stanton’s policy adviser, Brendan Mahoney is leading the mayor’s charge to address any gaps in the city’s human-rights protections. 

He has convened a group of attorneys — some from gay-rights organizations — who are analyzing the city code to determine how the laws could be amended to ensure equal rights for anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. 

Mahoney said that, while the incident at the hotel restaurant “certainly brought the issue to the forefront,” the timing of the city effort is coincidental.

“This issue was on the mayor’s agenda,” he said.

“This issue was on the mayor’s agenda,” he said. (read entire article)

A few items for discussion here:

Should this even be considered an issue, let alone, a high priority issue for the City of Phoenix and Mayor Stanton? Is this even a serious problem for the City of Phoenix or will it be perceived as an effort to promote LGBT issues?

Was the Arizona Republic article fair or even necessary?

Any sound minded critical thinking person can argue the position that any property or asset the city owns is controlled by the City Council. (He who pays the piper, calls the tune.) But should this effort extend to non-governmental stakeholders or private property owners?

Would these efforts extend to segments of the faith-based community such as Evangelical churches, orthodox Jewish or Muslim mosques? For example, would these faith-based communities be prohibited from using city parking or other assets unless they adopt policies that codify sexual orientation into their bylaws?

Don’t get me wrong. I am sensitive to this issue (family members) and actually prefer that the government stay entirely out of this arena, but is this issue forcing itself to center stage unnecessarily? Is the LGBT community overextending their efforts on this? It’s no secret that Equality Arizona invested itself into the Phoenix Mayor’s election in 2011. Was that on purpose in order to use the City of Phoenix as a platform to push its agenda?

Would love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this. Please be respectful.

Marriage: It’s What’s Good for Children

Marriage: It’s What’s Good for Children
Many today have forgotten the common good marriage between one man and one woman provides for our culture. A challenge we all face is how to restore marriage to its valued place of honor and importance. Marriage is a positive good for our country – it’s life-giving.Over the last few decades, marriage has been devalued through no-fault divorce, cohabitation, and even those that want to redefine marriage altogether.Perhaps no one has suffered more from the decline in the value of marriage than children. Yet many deny and fail to understand the negative impact divorce and court decisions redefining marriage have on children.Thankfully, as more research becomes available on the harms of cohabitation and divorce on children, policy makers are stepping up to address these problems. Last session, the Arizona Legislature passed a CAP-supported divorce reform bill, which adds information about the effects of divorce on adults and children to the mandatory parenting education classes for divorcing parents of minor children and allows couples to ask for additional time to reconcile before a divorce is finalized.On the Witherspoon Institute’s Public Discourse blog, Professor Helen Alvaré writes about how across the country more officials are beginningto recognize the impact bad policy on marriage has on children.Another excellent resource is Why Marriage Matters by the Institute for American Values, which documents thirty conclusions from the social sciences on why marriage is good for our country.
Alan Chambers in the Lion’s Den
World magazine has named Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International, as their 2011 Daniel. Exodus ministers to those struggling with homosexuality.
I applaud World for their selection. Take time to read the article. Most importantly, take time to pray for Alan and the Exodus team who daily come under constant assault and attack from the media and opponents. You can send your encouragements to him on Twitter, @alanmchambers.

Frontline Public Policy Experience
CAP is now accepting intern applications for policy and communication interns to serve during the upcoming legislative session. Interning with CAP during session provides college students with real-life experience down at the state Capitol working in public policy. Click here for details of both positions. Please forward this opportunity to those who might be interested and qualified.

Exploiting the Poor
On the Foundations blog this week, CAP Legislative Coordinator Dave Ernest explores how gambling – either at a casino or through the lottery – exploits the poor. He presents yet another case why the expansion of gambling is never right for our state.

Good, But Unexpected, News
The abortion industry has a long history of putting their agenda ahead of the health and safety of women – and especially of minor girls. Pushing for over-the-counter availability of the “morning-after” pill is just one of the many ways their lobbying puts women at risk.
In a surprising turn of events this week, Kathleen Sebelius, the head of the federal Health and Human Services Department and an outspoken abortion advocate, overruled an FDA decision that would have made the morning-after pill, which can act as an abortifacient, available over the counter to girls younger than 17 without a prescription. Read more about this decision from Family Research Council.

CA Marriage Amendment Back in Court
Yesterday, our friends at ProtectMarriage.com and Alliance Defense Fund were back in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to defend the majority of Californians who voted to protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Read more about this hearing, and why a lower court’s ruling, which overturned the marriage amendment, had some serious problems.

Tuesday’s Election Results

Tuesday’s Election Results

For some conservatives, Tuesday’s elections across the country were a disappointment. I caution you to not read too much into these election results. No doubt, though, our work is cut out for us in the 2012 elections to register voters, educate voters, and turn out values voters.

I’ve been asked about the defeat of the “Personhood Amendment” in Mississippi. The intent of this amendment was to define life as beginning at conception and stop legalized abortion. Previously, Colorado had defeated a similar amendment twice. Nevada proponents are working to put the amendment on their next ballot.

While I support the goal behind “Personhood,” I join with many other national pro-life leaders and strategists in favoring a different approach in our efforts to protect preborn life and mothers. I do not consider the Mississippi results to be a setback for the pro-life movement. Rather, the pro-life movement continues to move forward with 86 new pro-life laws passing this year alone in states. Those laws are resulting in fewer abortions. Our U.S. House has a pro-life majority. Further, in recent years, more and more people continue to identify themselves as “pro-life” instead of “pro-choice.” The dream of living in a country that respects the sanctity of human life from its very beginning to its natural end is not far-fetched. To get there though, it will take wise leadership, patience, and most importantly prayer.

Regarding the recall of Senate President Russell Pearce in Legislative District 18, I thank Sen. Pearce for his unwavering stands through the years in defense of preborn life, school choice, religious liberty, and marriage. Sen. Pearce never hesitated to support CAP’s legislative agenda. He always was available to help us move bills through the process and speak out in support of life, marriage and family, and religious liberty.
The Arizona legislature is still overwhelmingly pro-life and pro-family, with a two-thirds majority in both the House and the Senate. I am looking forward to working with the legislature in the upcoming session to promote and defend foundational values.

Marriage Opponents in Corporate America
You may be surprised to learn that 70 corporations – including some of our country’s most recognizable brands – filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of overturning the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in a federal lawsuit.

Microsoft, Starbucks, Google, NIKE, Levi Strauss and Co., CBS, Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mass., Time Warner Cable, and Xerox all signed onto the brief filed in the case of Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, urging the court to deem DOMA unconstitutional.
This is a growing and disturbing trend in the country. Individuals determined to completely redefine marriage are working behind the scenes in positions of power throughout corporate America to radically change the most important institution in our culture and isolate those of us who believe in the true definition of marriage.
Other examples include when TOMS Shoes, a for-profit organization that donates shoes to children in Africa for every pair sold, broke off a partnership with Focus on the Family due to pressure from homosexual activists. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz buckled under the same pressure and canceled a speaking engagement at Willow Creek Community Church because of their biblical views on sexuality.
Pray that those within these corporations who support foundational principles, especially marriage, would stand up and oppose these moves.

William Wilberforce Award
I was honored to receive the news that I will be awarded the William Wilberforce Award at the First Annual Students for Life West Coast Gala tomorrow for my efforts to promote and defend life in public policy.
Defending the sanctity of human life has been one of God’s great callings in my life, and I am truly blessed to be receiving this award named for one of my heroes, the great abolitionist William Wilberforce.
I am grateful to Students for Life for the recognition, and I share this award with our amazing team at Center for Arizona Policy – both past and present – and with all of our ministry friends.

Forced to Perform Abortions
Read the story of the 12 nurses whose employer is trying to force them to participate in abortions on the Foundations blog, and how, thanks to the Abortion Consent Act, Arizona’s healthcare professionals are free from this type of persecution.

 

The Turning Point

The Turning Point 
A new study by the National Conference on Citizenship reports that Arizonans have become more engaged in the political process. Since 2006, voter turnout has surged, raising Arizona’s ranking from 33rd to 18th in the nation. The spike in voter registration is even steeper – boosting our rank from 48th to 27th.Consider what’s happened in our state to understand why this is so significant. In 2006, Arizona became the only state to vote against a state constitutional amendment to protect marriage. This wake-up call was a turning point for values voters. In 2008, Arizonans passed Proposition 102 to define marriage in Arizona’s constitution as only the union of one man and one woman. The victory resulted from a strong campaign to register those who supported one man, one woman marriage and to turn out those voters. The victory also resulted from a strong coalition of Arizonans from differing faiths, ethnicities, and political persuasions coming together around a shared value.But that’s not all. Those same voters elected a pro-life, pro-family legislature in 2008 and again in 2010. In the last three years alone, 38 CAP-supported bills that promote and defend foundational principles have been signed into law, raising the total number of CAP-supported bills that have become law to 101. People are waking up in Arizona to the fact that what happens at the polls and at the state Capitol impacts their family. You can make a difference! As we look ahead to the 2012 elections, the stakes are even higher than before. It’s critical that we all are registered to vote, are informed, and turn out to make sure our voice is heard.
New Lawsuit Attacks School Choice 
The Arizona School Boards Association and Arizona Education Association (the teachers union) have sued to overturn Arizona’s new law establishing empowerment scholarships. The law, advocated for by CAP and our school choice allies, provides parents of children with special needs the opportunity to redirect state funds for the education and educational services that best meet their children’s needs. The facts are parents know what’s best for their children, and the state should empower them to make decisions about their education. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen school board members allow your taxpayer dollars to be used to fight school choice measures. CAP is committed to standing with school choice and parents’ rights advocates to defeat this lawsuit.

Congress Investigating Planned Parenthood 
The U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee will be investigating Planned Parenthood Federation of America for improprieties regarding how Planned Parenthood uses federal dollars. This is a great first step to holding America’s largest abortion franchise accountable. Click here to read the letter Rep. Cliff Stearns sent to Planned Parenthood. Click here to read Americans United for Life’s report on Planned Parenthood.

Maricopa County Community College’s Bad Move  
In a 3-2 decision this week, the Maricopa County Community College Board approved adding “gender-identity” to their non-discrimination policy. In a letter I sent to the Board prior to the vote, I explained why this vague policy should be rejected. You can read my letter here.It’s important to realize that the Maricopa County Community College Board is accountable to the voters. We see again why every election matters, especially when it comes to promoting and defending foundational principles.
Gov. Brewer Fights Back Against Radical Ninth Circuit Court Decision  
Also earlier this week, Governor Brewer filed a petition requesting all of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to review a recent ruling by a three judge panel that would essentially force the state to provide health insurance benefits to domestic partners. Domestic partnerships devalue marriage – the cornerstone of our culture. The legislature and Governor Brewer were acting within their authority when they said that only spouses should receive health benefits from the state, and I applaud Governor Brewer for not allowing this bad decision from the Court to stand.

If You’ve Been Through The Truth Project  
For those of you who have been through The Truth Project, you won’t want to miss two big events featuring some familiar faces from the small group study. First, on October 16, Ravi Zacharias is speaking at the new Grand Canyon University Arena. Click hereto get your tickets.Then on October 29, CAP and Truth in Action Ministries are bringing in Dr. Del Tackett for the Faith in Action Tourto help you discover how to transform your community through service.If you haven’t experienced The Truth Project, these are great opportunities to hear from two of the country’s most inspiring and thought-provoking teachers.