SB 1062: Say whaaat?

I often find the nonsense coming from our state legislators’ mouths to be distressing, but SB 1062 has brought out a special brand of crazy. Let us turn now to the wire services:

But Senate President Andy Biggs said he sees no chance of a lawsuit. He said women are not a “protected class” under Arizona law.

Your Senate President, ladies and gentlemen. I’m not sure which possibility here is more disheartening: That he simply doesn’t know what the protected classes in Arizona are, or that he doesn’t know what “sex” means.

Instead, Biggs prefers the example of a Catholic art gallery owner who refuses to put on display a painting of a crucifix immersed in urine. He said an argument could be made that being forced to display such a painting burdens the owner’s religious beliefs.

This is not how galleries work.

Sen. Steve Yarbrough, R-Chandler, the prime sponsor of SB 1062, prefers a different example: A corporation formed by some devout Jews to provide kosher catering that is asked to provide pork products at the event.

This is not how public accommodations laws work. Yarbrough should know this (and, like many legislators working on this legislation, probably does). Public accommodations laws require that, if you provide a product or service in your regular line of business, and you offer that product or service to the general public, that you offer it equally to all customers, regardless of their race, religion, national background, sex, or disability.

A Kosher catering service is not going to offer pork products in the course of their business. It it thus irrelevant what color, faith, nationality, gender, or ability the customer is. You are not owed pork by a Jewish caterer any more than you are owed top-notch surf & turf by McDonald’s.