Fox News blasts Arizona’s “Jim Crow laws for homosexuals”

Fox News, which spent repeated broadcasts helping promote Arizona’s new horrifically anti-gay law – a law that would permit people in the state to basically ignore any law they want, simply by claiming it violates their religious beliefs – has now turned around and condemend the law as being a “Jim Crow law for homosexuals.”

It’s great news for Fox to finally be on our side.  It’s just a little odd, is all.  As Media Matters shows, in the second video below, Fox was all about promoting the law, until they weren’t.

fox-arizona-gay-law

I did an extensive post on the Arizona law after it was passed last week. Here’s a snippet from that:

A draconian new law, on its way to the governor of Arizona for her signature, would make businesses “people” for the purposes of claiming “religious discrimination” in the state.

The law, SB1062, would also dramatically expand the scope of current religious protections for individuals under Arizona state law, making potentially every state law unenforceable in court, should someone claim that enforcement of the law impinges on their religious beliefs.

This is a particular problem for gay and trans Arizonans, whose civil rights are protected in only a handful of cities, but not under any state (or federal) civil rights law.  A restaurant could now claim that its religious beliefs are offended by serving someone gay, or a bank could say it has a religious problem with providing a loan to someone who is transgender.

The absurd over-reach of the legislation is leading some to call it the “Stand Your God” law.

In essence, the new law would undermine existing civil rights protections for gay and trans people in those cities – and that was in fact the original intent of the law, to permit discrimination against gays.  But the law also potentially harms every Arizonan.

And here’s Fox’s newfound support for tolerance – which I laud. (Hey, it’s better to have them on our side, than the opposite.)

And below that, you can find Fox News’ previous embrace of the anti-gay, and really anti-business (and anti-everything), law.

TANTAROS: What has happened, Martha, is this has spiraled totally out of control. And so, while the First Amendment is a really strong argument, I don’t know why you would want to bring Jim Crow laws back to the forefront for homosexuals.

MACCALLUM: I mean, that’s exactly what it sounds like.

TANTAROS: If you’re a business owner, I don’t know why you’d want to turn business away. And if you’re gay, let’s say, why would you want the baker of hate baking your cake anyway? Unfortunately, it has taken a really crazy turn and gotten way out of hand. And as Juan mentioned, a number of Republicans, three of them who voted to pass this said that they would change their mind.

MACCALLUM: It sounds like the lunch counter, Juan.

Those are strong words from anyone, let alone a host on Fox News.

Fortunately, there’s been a groundswell of business opposition to the law – as it would permit anyone to attempt to vitiate any contract in the state, simply by claiming that the contract offends their religion.  As the governor has yet to make her decision on whether she’ll sign it, we may still kill this thing yet.


(I’m told that in order to better see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me.)

Foxey Dooley hates bigotry…

…But loves intolerance.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • SteveW

    Almost every news report on the Arizona law leaves the viewer with the impression that the veto will prevent businesses from discriminating against gay people. Not so. The law in Arizona and almost every other place in the U.S. is that public businesses are free to refuse service to any customer just because the business owner believes the customer is gay. The vetoed Arizona law would have prohibited cities or other local governments in Arizona from enacting laws preventing discrimination, but the veto does not make it illegal to discriminate.

    If all of these Republicans are suddenly outraged about the proposed law in Arizona, then why don’t they enact laws that would prevent the discrimination they purport to oppose?

  • JaneE

    These people never intended the law to apply to anyone but gays, and only certain varieties of “Christian” would have used it. Unfortunately, the law has to be written in a religion neutral form to pass muster under the first amendment. That means that the law can be applied to allow discrimination against anyone who doesn’t adhere to the tenets of any business owner’s religion, whatever it may be.

    Once they realized that the law would allow other people to treat them the same way they want to treat gays, it didn’t seem like such a good idea. And they don’t seem to like being thought of as vile human being either. Of course, if they had actually tried to follow the teachings of Jesus, they might have realized that a little sooner.

  • jon

    yes we do. it is conversations, friendship, conversations.

  • Hillary 2016

    When you start a business in the main square then you have to cater to people unless they threaten your business or customers that the business owner can refuse to treat that person. But this Arizona law is a sneaky way for the Christians who support it to discriminate against gays. Muslims and Jew can then discriminate against people who eat pork and so on….this law does not protect a religious group in the public square as when you decide to enter it the money of the public taxes are being used for services and hence you cannot discriminate bases on religious differences!

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    And oddly enough, the same arguments put forth then are being used now by the forces of intolerance and bigotry. That it’s the business owner’s right to decide who they will and won’t serve. That forcing them to serve someone they don’t want to is a violation of their personal and religious freedom. That those who are being discriminated against are simply hurting those poor business owners with the boycotts and protests…

    It was BS then and it’s BS now.

  • Rambie

    A similar bill died here in Utah’s legislature as well. The idiot State Senator who sponsored it was on the local news decrying how it never got out of committee and continuing to defend it.

  • Rambie

    I vote for Positive Patty. ;)

  • Badgerite

    Like predictions for the end of the world that don’t come true, if marriage equality and equal rights in general have no bad effects, how can they enforce their religious bigotries on everyone else? What is their argument?
    So, they can’t let it alone. They have to make some argument as to how THEY are somehow the ones being oppressed. It seems to have worked for them in Uganda. I do not think it will work for them here. And it is hard to see what is happening in Uganda as a major ‘triumph’ for their mean spirited little hearts. Uganda has had its own troubled history with civil rights. Under Idi Amin, Uganda ejected all Indian people from the country and took their property. And it was a popular move at the time. It did not, in the long run, benefit Ugandans to the slightest degree. And neither will this current rejection of equal rights. So what they have done is served as the catalyst for the enactment in Uganda of a law that will be damaging and destructive to all Ugandans over time. And to go against the example of Africa’s civil rights icon, Nelson Mandela.

  • Badgerite

    We do have good music. Mostly.

  • Badgerite

    Very good point. They are testing the limits. Throwing a lot of crap at the wall (constitutional arguments wise) and seeing if anything will stick. But this one is sooo ridiculous and unworkable, all they did was admit that their real objection to letting gays be gay is a religious one and a religious one only. And we can see how the Scalia argument of criminalizing gay relations is working out in Uganda. It makes ‘criminals’ of everyone. Even friends and family.

  • penpal

    Ugh – I am so tired of the argument “they can go somewhere else”. Anti-discrimination laws are meant to protect ANY minority that is disliked by a majority. Gays happen to be liked in many areas of the country. In others, not so much. And beyond that, it’s not exclusively about gays. ANY MINORITY is at risk of becoming scapegoated at some point due to a confluence of circumstances, fomented by fear and latent prejudices in a majority. Anti-discrimination laws are meant to protect them. They are already in place and they work. The discussion should be how gays are too often left out of them, and how it’s time to change that.

  • http://hunteratrandom.blogspot.com/ rmthunter

    Good take. It boils down to 1) horrendously bad PR, and 2) threat of litigation. This bill has already been universally trashed in the press (and if Fox is against you, that counts as “universal”), and someone is going to get sued, no matter what. Corporations don’t want to deal with either.

  • samiinh

    I hear Sarah Palin talking about American Exceptionalism, and I think, what BS.

  • Anonymous

    Gays are the new blacks, the new class people are allowed to pick on. Bigots just don’t realize what they are doing until it’s too late. There always has to be a scapegoat.

  • Anonymous

    Of course it will be vetoed. But for now they wanted to deflect blame onto minorities and the poor. Cheney blasted “food stamps” today when the defense budget was cut. I mean spending 5x more than other world powers on defense is so inconsequential right? Just another rich guy roaring about losing money, as if it’s some kind of drug.

  • Anonymous

    These laws never pass. I’m convinced that these anarchists just think up laws to buy time. They cause a ruckus when there’s a significant problem with US leadership. Why didn’t we hear about this crap during the Olympics? Oh yeah, they already had something to keep us pacified. Now they just want to create fighting among us “little people” by worrying us about our rights. Not just minorities. They are scared of a revolt against the 1% after the Ukraine palace expose.

  • Anonymous

    Talk about a “wedge issue” in big flaming red letters. These bastards really need a distraction right now.

  • Anonymous

    They’re just irrational, you can’t make sense of it otherwise they’d have a consistent argument. Siding with flip-floppers does not count.

  • Dave of the Jungle

    Word around the campfire is that Governor Brewer will veto the thing.

  • chris10858

    So if gay people aren’t welcomed at a restaurant, they can simply go somewhere else where they would be served. Hmm… isn’t that what was said to those black people at the Woolworth’s lunch counter (and other places) back in the 60s? “You don’t belong here. Go be around your own kind.”

  • Anonymous

    Why would we? It makes people docile, so businesses promote that mentality. There’s no mechanism to undo obesity and education issues either. Those things would make people empowered, less consumer-like.

  • Anonymous

    “Nationalism” sums it up in a word…

  • AnthonyLook

    This is just the trial balloon legislation, –WHICH–, didn’t get very far. They are gauging the limits and Fox will be back patting itself on the back stating how they had this denunciation of the Arizona law– BUT— this new version of whatever reintroduce bigoted, racist and theocratic dogma garbage that –NOW–this is something they are going to be for because –Religious– garbage this that and the other. It’s just a calculated move.

  • meoldgayman

    Becca, “I’m no lawyer” I think I hear Harvard calling!!! as always, very insightful.

  • Indigo

    Fox? Somebody’s toes got stepped on. I wonder whose . . . ?

  • Indigo

    The scary part is that we have no mechanism in place to undo that indoctrination.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Because American children — especially those raised by far-right radical conservatives — are carefully indoctrinated to believe, unquestioningly, that the United States of America is the greatest, best, most perfect nation the Earth has ever seen or ever will. But only of course starting in 1776.

    Hence we have uneducated, ignoramuses who think the U.S. has the best healthcare system in the world. That we have the longest life expectancy and lowest infant mortality rate. The best education system and highest level of literacy. The lowest level of poverty. The most economic opportunity. The most freedom and liberty, in every way. And so on.

    And when you’ve been told your country is perfect and the best there ever was, there is no need to fix anything now, is there?

    Besides which, whenever the truth threatens to break through the conservative bubble, they have Faux News, right-wing hate-talk radio, fundamentalist leaders, and the Republican party to shore up any cracks.

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    …because it has never ever been about protecting marriage, or religious freedom, or any of the other pathetic excuses they dredge up from their arseholes. It’s only ever been about one thing: fear. They’re afraid someone, somewhere, somehow, might be slightly happier than they are, and that’s just not acceptable. So everyone has to be dragged down to their miserable pit of shame.

  • Anonymous

    His pockets aren’t infinite, but his time on Earth is shrinking…

  • Anonymous

    Crazy…but I think their new MO is to feign tolerance. We know extremists are still in power among Republicans. I don’t believe they are doing anything other than lying right now.
    We will see.

  • Anonymous

    No, we have to live in fear and chuck bricks and mortar at people who break religious laws. Because clearly our society is too “corrupt” for spoiled religious nuts, so stupidity will make it better. Omg, society isn’t 100% perfect, we need to take away people’s rights! *sarcasm*

  • mark_in_toronto

    Wow . . . we gay people are sure powerful and scary, aren’t we?
    I’ll never understand how (especially in the USA), other country’s experiences are TOTALLY ignored.
    Countries that are tolerant are thriving . . . marriage has NOT been compromised, people are enjoying their lives, religious freedom is still ‘free’, issues that are really important are being dealt with, people are happier and most important . . . people are free to pursue their dreams.
    Sounds nice, eh?
    Why not give it a try?

  • Drew2u

    Hey guys, I hate to be whatever the opposite of a Debbie Downer is (Ursula Upper? Positive Patty?), but let’s step back for a second and realize what’s going on:
    Big Business is saying that they will take a hit if they don’t support Equal Rights. There is a national outrage over this injustice. FOX NEWS is walking it back because they realize just how wrong they are (albeit in a selfish way, but still: point noted).
    The support behind gay sports players is record high, especially in stereotypical heteromasculine sports such as football and basketball.
    Can any of you imagine this scenario 10 or 15 years ago? This sure would have made my life at 15 years old so much better, I can tell you that. The journey still continues, but we’ve all made it very far, indeed.

  • iamlegion

    My bet is that the business interests this would actively harm (the NFL is set to play the 2015 Superbowl in Phoenix) started leaning on the network’s writers… As always, money trumps their morals, odious as their morals may be.

  • MyrddinWilt

    I think that this means nothing more than the Arizona business lobby suddenly realizes that this piece of bigotry will cost them real money and the GOP realizes that it will cost them votes.

  • http://twitter.com/rickroberts Rick Roberts

    And Apple.

  • http://twitter.com/rickroberts Rick Roberts

    And Apple has a new plant tooling up in Arizona to supply 200 million sapphire screens for new devices. I imagine Tim Cook, a mo, made a phone call.

  • http://twitter.com/rickroberts Rick Roberts

    This is all being centrally coordinated. Here in Georgia, a similar bill came to a surprising screeching halt today. The men who run the R. party realized that the fundie wing bit off more than the party could chew. What fools.

  • nicho

    We should stop calling them Jim Crow laws. These laws bear a greater resemblance to the anti-Jewish laws passed by the Nazis in the early ’30s. These are Nazi laws.

  • 2patricius2

    Exactly.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    ohferfuckssake… Definitely not a coincidence nor merely a bigotry meme. I think that as John remarked in another post, they’re trying for a ‘Citizens United’ SCOTUS case, so as to eviscerate every civil rights law, regulation, or policy ever passed.

  • nicho
  • Jimmy

    Well, hell, if you’ve lost Fox news then you’re kinda screwed.

  • nicho

    9-11 was a “faith-based initiative.”

  • usagi

    Oh dear, they’ve sent out Romney to give Brewer cover.
    I REALLY want to see the polling that caused this turn around. Someone with credibility high up in the party saw a 2016 electoral disaster if this gets signed.

  • http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Arel Harry R. Sohl

    Jim Crow? It’s Lindsey Jamison Cumberbatch von Sissy-Crow, III.

    We call him “Trey” for short.

  • chrislib

    They were for faith-based bullying before they were against it. But the free market has worked, and all cancervative republicons now put money over religious freedom.

  • usagi

    Let’s make it easy.

    Money.

    Rupert Murdoch has a lot of money, but even his pockets aren’t infinitely deep. This is why Stoli and Sochi were important. Coke, Visa, and the rest of the official Olympic sponsors are going to spend billions of dollars to recover their brands. Despite their best efforts to choke it off, the gay issue overshadowed almost every aspect of the Olympic coverage. They all know it’ll happen again.

    Arizona has built a “business-friendly” climate by taking a dump on worker’s rights. The true believers thought they could extend that by dumping on the gays as well. Small problem, functionally all of the big companies now have at least written policies on discrimination that protect sexual orientation. They’ve been around long enough now that their employees ever expect them to adhere to them. The financial gains of moving to Arizona for the business rules start to get offset by the PR and HR costs of doing business in a state that enshrines discrimination.

    Fox exists for one reason, to make money. One can only subsidize the propaganda arm for so long. Someone crunched the numbers about their potential advertising losses and sent up a very bright flare that this was going to end badly for them. Not to mention, as Becca pointed out in an earlier thread, the law functionally made the discrimination at the discretion of the employee, not the company. That is a very dangerous weapon to hand to anyone.

  • seamus21j

    For Fox, it’s all just money and business and money and business and… oh yea, money and business. And then the threat of Super Bowl pullout? Wow, that does not comport with money and business and money and…….

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Faux News is first and foremost a GOP mouthpiece. Keeping the mouth-breathing bloody-minded base all riled up and a’skeered is their job. But not to the point where it impacts something the Republican conservatives care about even more than social conservatism, and that’s money.

    Money always trumps the red-meat radical-conservative issues.

    In this case, money from lost business opportunities and tourism. As well as something I commented on in the other thread, that the language of the Arizona bill would appear to empower not just business owners to engage in any kind of discrimination they liked, against any group, but also quite possibly the employees of those businesses — even if such discrimination is contrary to the wishes of the business owner.

    Here’s the key phrase:

    4. Defines state action as any action by the government or the implementation or application of any law, including state and local laws, ordinances, rules, regulations and policies, whether statutory or otherwise, and whether the implementation or action is made or attempted to be made by the government or nongovernmental persons.

    http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/51leg/2r/summary/s.1062ge.doc.htm&Session_ID=112

    (Emphasis added.) I’m no lawyer, I’m seeing possible litigation in there if, for example, the Best Western motel chain has any kind of anti-discrimination policy and some franchise manager in Phoenix or Tempe decides he’s not going to rent rooms to gays, Muslims, or unmarried single women.

    How so? Because “state action” is being redefined so incredibly broadly as to include policies implemented by nongovernmental persons. And according to item #2, ‘persons’ has been expanded to include businesses of any size. Thus making any corporate non-discrimination policy subject to personal veto on religious grounds, no matter how heinous or specious.

    2. Expands the definition of person to include any individual, association, partnership, corporation, church, estate, trust, foundation or other legal entity.

    Either way, continuing the purely hypothetical example, Best Western is screwed. Either they’re forced into class action civil rights lawsuits, resulting in huge legal expenses and horrible PR. Or they fire the manager and are sued by him for wrongful termination since, according to Arizona law, his religious beliefs trump BW’s “nongovernmental” non-statutory company policy.

    As near as I can see it, BW’s only way out would be for them to declare it’s against their ‘personhood’ religious beliefs to employ people who have religious beliefs in favor of discrimination…and we’re back to expensive, publicly embarrassing litigation again.

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