It's interesting to see the kerfuffle over SB 1062. Three of the Senators who voted for it are now urging Governor Brewer to veto it and their reasoning is that the bill doesn't really do anything, but people find it so offensive that they regret voting for it.
Sen. Bob Worsley of Mesa, a co-sponsor of the bill, signed the letter along with Sen. Steve Pierce of Prescott and Senate Majority Whip Adam Driggs of Phoenix. Worsley said the bill would not change state law in any material way, yet would harm the state’s business climate and reputation.
They are right of course. The bill doesn't really do anything. Well, it does a little bit, but not much. The bill provides a great example of how fast misinformation travels and how badly the mainstream media differentiates between actual analysis and hyperbole.
Attorney Kory Langhofer has written a memo about what the bill actually does. You can read the whole thing here. Here's a key excerpt.
As you know, the proposed bills have been widely criticized as authorizing discriminatory acts. These criticisms are largely (but not entirely) unfounded.
The most alarming criticism of the pending bills alleges that, if adopted, the bills would permit individuals with certain religious beliefs to discriminate on the basis of race, religion, or sex. Such criticisms are inaccurate. Federal law clearly prohibits race-, religion-, or sex-based discrimination by the government or private parties in employment and in places of public accommodation.4 Even if the pending bills are adopted, federal anti-discrimination laws will “trump” Arizona laws and continue to prohibit such discrimination.
There is one significant caveat, however: The proposed bills likely would, in narrow circumstances, give private parties greater latitude in discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. Federal law does not currently prohibit discrimination by private parties on the basis of sexual orientation, so state statutes can narrow the rights of private parties to discriminate in this area. Although statewide law in Arizona does not currently prohibit discrimination by private parties on the basis of sexual orientation, certain local governments have such laws in place. As discussed above, current Arizona law already gives religious institutions the right to object to such laws if enforced by the government—but the pending bills would allow individuals and non-religious institutions to object to the enforcement of such laws, and would allow religious objections even if a law is being enforced by a private party.