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CEO of economic group equates law to Ku Klux Klan 'with a bible in their hands'

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The president and CEO of a "major economic development group" in Phoenix, Arizona is pressuring Governor Jan Brewer to "veto legislation expanding the ability of businesses to use their religion to deny services," as reported at verdenews yesterday.

Barry Broome of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) compared the legislation to the Ku Klux Klan using their Bibles to justify "persecution in the name of their religion."

Broome takes issue with Senate Bill 1062, which seeks to "protect businesses, corporations and people from lawsuits after denying services based on a sincere religious belief," as reported by Josh Frigerio of the local ABC affiliate.

Frigerio writes in part,

"Opponents of the bill fear that the legislation would lead to businesses discriminating against people, such as those in same-sex unions, based solely on the owner's religious beliefs."

Passing the bill would not result in rampant anti-gay sentiment. A similar law passed in Kansas, as reported by Ben Brumfield and Dana Ford of CNN earlier this month. In Kansas, state chairwoman Sandra Meade lamented,

"HB 2453 is a blatant attempt to maintain second-class citizen status for taxpaying gay and lesbian Kansans."

In Arizona, Secretary of State Ken Bennett said that the legislation was "an unnecessary measure to protect a God-given right already assured by the Constitution."

In other words, Senate Bill 1062 is covering what is already addressed in the First Amendment to the Constitution,

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." [added emphasis]

The mainstream media has deemed the legislation "anti-gay." This seems to be much ado about nothing. Is there an epidemic of discrimination against same-sex couples? It seems that the only time this ever comes up is surrounding wedding services for a same-sex marriage.

An example of this would be of Jack Phillips in Colorado, as explained by Ken Klukowski at Breitbart. Phillips is a baker "who declined to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because his Christian belief is that marriage exists only between a man and woman." According to the court documents posted at ABC News, Phillips told a same-sex couple,

"I'll make you birthday cakes, shower cakes, sell you cookies and brownies, I just don't make cakes for same-sex weddings."

Indeed, Jack Phillips "has served homosexual customers in the past, creating all manner of baked goods for a variety of occasions..." Interestingly, the men who wanted the cake were actually married in Massachusetts, not Colorado.

Shockingly, Administrative law judge Robert N. Spence ordered Phillips to bake the cake despite his religious beliefs and Phillips is appealing the decision, as reported last month at the Catholic News Agency.

Protesting the legislation, President & CEO Barry Broome of GPEC said,

"The Ku Klux Klan in the South, their main argument was with a Bible in their hands,' he said. "There's a long history of people engaging in persecution in the name of their religion."

It seems that Broome harbors his own prejudices.

The Ku Klux Klan, it should be noted, was generally anti-Catholic with racist and political motivations. According to the History Channel, the KKK "waged an underground campaign of intimidation and violence directed at white and black Republican leaders."

A statement signed by Broome was a bit more diplomatic, saying that the this legislation "will likely have profound, negative effects on our business community for years to come..."

Follow Renee Nal on Twitter @ReneeNal and Facebook.

Check out her news and political commentary on Liberty Unyielding, the Brenner Brief, and TavernKeepers.com for news you won't find in the mainstream media. Renee is also a guest blogger for the Shire Blog.

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