Posted by 31 January 2020
This year’s legislative session in Arizona features two bills that would place legal limits on state residents’ ability to refuse service to gay, lesbian, or transgender individuals.
Currently, the state does not ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Some cities in the state have anti-discrimination laws, but a recent decision by Arizona Supreme Court established that business owners do not have to provide services for same-sex weddings. This has prompted statewide supporters of an anti-discrimination law to renew their efforts in the legislature.
Under the bills being considered, it would be illegal for business owners to refuse service to individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity in many circumstances. Under this bill, an employer could not fire an employee due to that employee being gay or a landlord could not refuse to rent to a transgender person.
Supporters say this bill is necessary to help ensure that Arizona law protects all Arizonans. They also argue that businesses will be attracted to the state because of it. Opponents counter that this could infringe upon the rights of religious Arizonans to conduct their businesses in line with their beliefs.
There have been anti-discrimination bills considered in previous legislative sessions, but none have advanced. It remains unclear what the prospects of this year’s legislation will be.
Do you think the law should prohibit business owners from discriminating against gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals?