Heritage Foundation, National Review Voice Support For Arizona Anti-Gay Bill

UNITED STATES - MAY 6: Former Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., president of the Heritage Foundation, conducts a news conference at th
UNITED STATES - MAY 6: Former Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., president of the Heritage Foundation, conducts a news conference at the Foundation's offices to discuss the U.S. Senate's 'Gang of Eight' immigration bill and how the amnesty portion would have negative effects on the economy. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Despite bipartisan opposition to SB 1062, Arizona’s controversial measure allowing businesses to refuse service to LGBT individuals on the basis of religious liberty, conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation maintained support for the bill in a blog post on Tuesday.

In response to a New York Times editorial criticizing the legislation, The Heritage Foundation’s Ryan T. Anderson wrote:

What the Times dubs “discrimination” is in actuality simply liberty. Liberty isn’t about acting only in ways that the New York Times approves of. Liberty protects the rights of citizens even to do things we might personally disagree with. ...

While the government must treat everyone equally, private actors are left free to make reasonable judgments and distinctions -- including reasonable moral judgments and distinctions -- in their economic activities. Not every florist need provide wedding arrangements for every ceremony. Not every photographer need capture every first kiss. Competitive markets can best harmonize a range of values that citizens hold.

The conservative National Review magazine made similar arguments in a Monday editorial, which praised Arizona lawmakers for protecting the state’s faithful from “organized homosexuality.”

“It is perhaps unfortunate that it has come to this, but organized homosexuality ... remains on the permanent offensive in the culture wars,” the editorial argued. “Live-and-let-live is a creed that the gay lobby specifically rejects … Like feminists and union bosses, the leaders of the nation’s gay organizations suffer from oppression envy, likening their situation to that of black Americans.”

The National Review claimed that LGBT opposition to SB 1062 was actually a ploy to achieve “official victim-group status under law and in civil society” and impose “their own values upon those who hold different values.”

The Arizona legislature’s passage of SB 1062 has sparked national criticism, as private sector leaders, lawmakers and human rights activists have urged Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) to veto the bill.

Three of the state’s Republicans who voted in favor of the measure have revoked their support for the bill and have asked Brewer to reject the legislation. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney have also urged Brewer to veto the bill.



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