Hundreds protest SB1062: Religious freedom bill

Hundreds protest SB1062: Religious freedom bill

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

Hundreds of people were fired up over what some call state sanctioned discrimination. FOX 10 spoke with them and the organization behind the bill as they defended the potential law.

Cries of injustice rang out at the Arizona State Capitol as opponents of the controversial bill SB1062 claim it targets members of the LGBTQ community.

"We don't want to be afraid to go somewhere just because someone believes different from us," said Jesus Castro.

"Kind of shocked that this even went through legislation and we decided we need to make a stand and so here we are protesting for our first time," said Cheri White.

The Center for Arizona Policy is the chief architect of the law, they argue the bill isn't discriminatory saying it just strengthens existing laws. "The law really did codify judicial precedent to ensure that people cannot abuse the law to say I can do whatever I want and get away with it," said Aaron Baer. FOX 10 asked Baer if a business owner could say "no gays allowed" , Baer responded with "No they can't, all of those types of crazy hypothetical's cannot happen under this law".

"Actually quite the opposite the bill does allow it. The african american community, the latino community , they are all protected classes they are all protected by federal rights. The gay community is not a protected class in Arizona, so if someone wanted to put up a sign like that they could do it, now wether they are stupid enough to do it then that's a different question, but already in the news you can see it did happen a couple of days ago in Kansas, yes it's allowed to be done and this law encourages it, it could happen," said State rep. Gallegos.

No matter what the intention of SB1062 supporters the perception is already set in stone for many rallying against the bill  "I just think we need to have equality for everyone and I want equality for my grand kids when they get older, I want a place of love and freedom and not of bigotry and hate," said Cheri White.

Governor Jan Brewer has this next week to either sign, veto, or do nothing with the bill. If she does nothing it automatically becomes law.

You can read the text of the law here: SB1062 - Arizona Revised Statutes; relating to the free exercise of religion.

RELATED COVERAGE:
Business groups urge Gov. Brewer to veto SB1062

Supporters of SB1062 reluctant to speak out, fearing retribution
Arizona's religious freedom bill riles gay rights supporters
Senate OKs bill boosting right to refuse service

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