Appearing on CNN’s The Situation Room, and speaking before Arizona governor Jan Brewer vetoed SB 1062 which would have effectively legalized discrimination based on religious grounds, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) explained to Wolf Blitzer that a veto would “eviscerate” freedom of speech.
Asked by host Blitzer what she thinks Governor Jan Brewer should do with the bill sitting on her desk, Bachmann replied that we need to have “tolerance” for people on both sides of the issue.
“I think what we need to do is respect both sides. We need to respect both opinions,” Bachmann replied. “And 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 belief.”
After stating that she thought that Brewer should not veto the bill, Blitzer asked her if that wouldn’t open the door for less tolerance of gays. Bachmann replied that it would be “the opposite.”
“Oh in fact, it’s just the opposite,” Bachmann explained. “This is a decided level of intolerance — it’s effectively eviscerating the rights of freedom of speech, expression and religious expression for the people of Arizona, and it sets a terrible precedent.”
Bachmann then pointed out that we need to “respect the gay and lesbian community, and they need to have access to services –”, only to have Blitzer interrupt her, pointing out that treating gays differently “isn’t respectful.”
Bachmann then insisted that people who hold certain religious beliefs are the ones being discriminated against.
“But remember, we’re treating people who hold sincerely held religious beliefs differently than other Americans, either. This isn’t one side or another.” she said. ” What we’re talking about is tolerance on both sides. And it is not tolerant to force people to violate their religious beliefs. That’s not tolerance.”
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Tom Boggioni is based in the quaint seaside community of Pacific Beach in less quaint San Diego. He writes about politics, media, culture, and other annoyances. Mostly he spends his days at the beach gazing at the horizon waiting for the end of the world, or the sun to go down. Whichever comes first.
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