Rep. Michele Bachmann urged Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer not to veto the “Religious Freedom Bill” Wednesday because people with strong religious convictions are being treated “differently than other Americans.”
Bachman, R-Minn., appeared on CNN’s “The Situation Room” Wednesday night in support of the bill, which would have allowed Arizona businesses to refuse service to homosexuals based on their religious beliefs.
“We need to respect both opinions,” she told host Wolf Blitzer. “Just like we need to observe tolerance for the gay and lesbian community, we need to have tolerance for the community of people who hold sincerely held religious beliefs.”
When asked if Brewer should veto the bill, she said, “No, I don’t think that she should.”
“And open the door for less tolerance for gays?” Blitzer asked.
“In fact, it’s just the opposite,” she contended. “This is a decided level of intolerance. It’s effectively eviscerating the First Amendment rights of freedom of speech, expression, and religious expression for the people of Arizona. And it sets a terrible precedent.”
“But gay and lesbians won’t be able to get services like all other Americans. That’s discriminatory against them,” Blitzer argued.
“This isn’t one side or another. What we’re talking is tolerance on both sides and it is not tolerant to force people to violate their religious beliefs,” Bachmann said.
“It looks like she may veto it, but I think that will prove to serve us not very well in terms of tolerance in the United States,” she added.
“There’s a lot of tolerance,” Blitzer added. “Americans are very tolerant people and there is religious freedom.”
Brewer vetoed SB 1062 Wednesday night.