The president of the conservative group that pushed Arizona’s anti-gay “religious freedom” bill earlier this year took Hobby Lobby’s victory Monday at the Supreme Court as a vindication of sorts for that since-vetoed legislation.
“This decision underscores the purpose of Arizona’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act – to balance a compelling governmental interest with every American’s freedom to live and work according to their faith,” Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, said in a statement. “The Court’s ruling exemplifies how the CAP-supported SB 1062 would have protected individual liberty, while protecting against unlawful abuse of religious freedom.”
“Like the proposed SB 1062 would have affirmed,” Herrod continued, “the Supreme Court said today that no one should be forced to surrender their First Amendment religious freedom protections merely because they start a business.”
Herrod’s group was the major force behind the legislation, even reportedly meeting with aides to Gov. Jan Brewer (R) to help refine the bill’s language. Brewer vetoed the bill in February after widespread outcry that it would enable businesses to discriminate against LGBT people.
Herrod also hinted at more to come. Some law experts said Monday that they expect groups that have pushed bills like Arizona’s will see the Supreme Court’s ruling as an opening to reopen that effort.
“This is a decisive victory for religious freedom. Center for Arizona Policy is committed to carrying on our passionate defense of religious liberty for all,” Herrod said. “We will be analyzing this decision to determine what else can be done to strengthen religious freedom protections in Arizona.”