Republican governor says it’s legal to discriminate against gay people
The Republican governor of Arizona has ruled out protecting gay people from discrimination, claiming there are too many laws.
Governor Doug Ducey dismissed calls to extend the state’s civil rights laws – which prohibit discrimination based on race, sex, colour, national origin, and religion – to also cover people based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Discrimination against LGBT+ people in employment and public accommodations is currently legal in Arizona and 28 other US states, due to a lack of federal or statewide laws.
Republican governor won’t protect gay people because there’s ‘too many’ laws.
However, according to Tuscon.com, the Republican official said that while he is “against discrimination in all its forms”, he does not see any need to extend legal protections to LGBT+ people.
He said: “I think we’ve got a lot of laws. I’ve been more in the business of wanting to repeal laws and regulations.”
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Ducey also expressed his support for a decision by the Arizona Supreme Court in favour of Christian business owners seeking the right to refuse service to same-sex couples.
He said: “The court was able to find a place where they could respect the First Amendment and religious freedom. And we’ll continue to be a state, because it was so narrowly decided, that doesn’t accept discrimination in these forums.”
Arizona Supreme Court ‘packed’ with conservatives.
The justices voted 4-3 in favour of permitting to discriminate, but campaigners pointed out that the opposite verdict would have been reached if Ducey had not “packed” the court by extending its size to appoint two more conservative justices.
Justin Unga of Human Rights Campaign said: “Governor Ducey’s Supreme Court [has] issued a license to discriminate against Arizona’s LGBTQ community in an alarming decision that puts the state’s people, reputation, and economy at risk.
“For years, Arizona’s economic councils, lawmakers, and leaders from every community, including faith and business leaders, worked together to build an Arizona that is open to everyone and attracts investments from across the country.
“Not only does this decision affect countless LGBTQ Arizonans, it sends a message about inclusivity to businesses and institutions seeking to invest in states that welcome all people.”
Unga added: “LGBTQ Arizonans pay taxes, own businesses, serve in our military and contribute to our economy, and they deserve a government that stands with them.”