Some religious leaders speak out on SB1062 - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Some religious leaders speak out on SB1062

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

We've heard a lot about big business coming out against S.B. 1062 but what about religious communities? Many are staying quiet on the topic, but FOX 10 talked to a few faith leaders who are speaking out. What they had to say might surprise you.

Under the proposed law, businesses and individuals could refuse to provide services to those they believe go against their faith. Some church leaders we spoke with wouldn't say if this was a good thing for them or not. Other faith leaders are taking a public stance, even preaching about it in their Sunday sermons.

Supporters of the bill passed it in the name of religious freedom.

"I'm quite frustrated and angry that they are using religion to couch their own hatred bigotry and discrimination," said Rev. Stephen Govett, pastor at the Asbury United Methodist church.

"I believe it is a right of mine and anyone else's to have services that provided to all, so if one gets it, another should get it as well," said Michelle Whittington a senior minister with the creative living fellowship.

But supporters of the bill argue no person should have to do business with someone who goes against their faith. Rev. Govett disagrees with that view.

"In all that we hold sacred, no where do I find it anywhere where it says it's okay to discriminate with someone you don't agree with," said Rev. Govett.

The Arizona Catholic Conference though is urging governor Jan Brewer to sign the bill.

In a statement, the organization writes, "The threats to religious liberty have become very real... S.B. 1062 will help avoid the situations being experienced around the country where businesses are being forced to close because of their owners' faith."
 
Over the last 48 hours businesses around the state have been putting up signs letting people know where they stand.

"It's hard enough as people of faith and people view us as discriminatory and we are not.  We are very much against this bill," said Rev. Govett.

The Church of Latter-Day Saints did release a statement saying they encourage their members to decide on the issue for themselves. Gov. Brewer gets the bill Monday and has until Friday to decide what to do.

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