Aaron Borders, Second Vice Chair of the Republican Party of Maricopa County, is asking Arizona legislators to consider a Ministers & Clergy Rights Bill in the upcoming 2016 legislative session.
Borders is not so interested in rehashing the controversy surrounding 2013’s SB 1062 bill as much as affirming right of conscience protections.
In a recent interview, Borders said, “this is a completely separate issue. Now that it’s legal in Arizona to have same sex marriage, it is not my business to interfere. There are clergy in Arizona who will happily perform same sex marriage ceremonies. However, many who have chosen to stand behind their constitutional right to practice and uphold their religion by not performing these marriages feel threatened with lawsuits against them and their congregations and frankly, that requires legal protection. Such a law as a Ministers & Clergy Rights Bill would protect the rights of Arizona ministers and pastors from costly, frivolous and unconstitutional lawsuits that would bring undue hardship on local congregations who are simply excising their religious beliefs in their place of worship.”
Borders is referring to a 2008 account of a lesbian couple in New Jersey seeking use of a beach side pavilion operated by a Christian organization as well as the recent US Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges as reported in Christianity Today.
Aaron Borders is not new to standing up for the First Amendment’s religious freedom. He has been an outspoken Christian activist participating in his local church since he was a boy.
Nearly 15 years ago he and his older brother and one of his sisters recorded a Southern Gospel Record when he was barely 15 years old. He recently performed with his siblings in a ‘reunion of voices’ at the church he grew up in during a visit to Ohio.
Ken Bennet isn’t the only Republican politico who has a love and proclivity for music.
Borders is currently serves as one of the music directors at his local Church in Phoenix. It is a small, but growing congregation in the valley. He also serves as the project manager and building fund raiser for the church.
Aaron Borders stated, “Our congregation is growing and we need to do a solid remodel to make better use of our building to accommodate the growth God has blessed us with.”
Borders also periodically fills in for his 90-year old World War II veteran pastor and bringing sermons before his congregation.
Borders believes that Ministers & Clergy Rights legislation will especially help smaller churches continue to operate without fear of legal threats and lawsuits.