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New Battle for Religious Liberty in Arizona; Where Do Corporations Stand?

Earlier this week, The Daily Caller reported that a calligraphy studio in Phoenix, Arizona had filed a lawsuit challenging the city’s so-called “Bathroom Bill”. The owners, two Christian women, allege that Phoenix’s non-discrimination ordinance could coerce them to violate their freedoms of speech and religion by forcing them to participate in same-sex wedding ceremonies.

The studio is represented by attorneys from the Alliance Defending Freedom, which will seek to “vindicate the free speech and religious liberty rights of [their] clients”.

Legislative and legal battles in states like North Carolina and Oregon appear to have spurred the effort to circumvent persecution of the business and its owners. Cake bakers and florists in Oregon and other states have faced fines and the loss of their businesses due to the aggressive prosecution of similar policies.

While the legal fight in Phoenix appears to be just starting, the Arizona legislature is currently considering a bill that would add “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” to the state’s non-discrimination statutes, a move that would implement statewide policies similar to the ordinance in Phoenix.

ONE Community is an Arizona-based coalition of businesses and activists that support these radical policies. For three years this organization has been recruiting businesses to sign its UNITY Pledge, which is a “concerted effort” to advance liberal LGBT policy goals in Arizona.

Last week, ONE Community posted a statement standing with the City of Phoenix against the artists. Like many advocacy organizations that have promoted similar policies, ONE Community and its supporters believe that the freedoms of religion and expression are less important than the advancement of the liberal agenda.

Even though the situation in Arizona is not yet in the national headlines, several national corporations have indicated their support for this activist group’s goals.

2nd Vote has identified these major corporations as signers of ONE Community’s UNITY Pledge (links to citations can be found below):

AllState
Bank of America
Coca-Cola
Fry’s Food Stores (Kroger)
GoDaddy
PetSmart
Nationwide Insurance
Liberty Mutual
Uber
Yelp

Also the following corporations were featured on ONE Community’s corporate membership page:

Southwest Airlines
AllState
PetSmart
Blue Cross/Blue Shield
Mayo Clinic

2nd Vote will update this list as necessary and continue to monitor this story in Phoenix to see where these corporations and others will stand on the fight to protect religious liberty.

Citations:
AllState: https://www.facebook.com/notes/one-community/bank-of-america-signs-unity-pledge-in-support-of-diversity/10152010802690310
Bank of America: https://www.facebook.com/notes/one-community/bank-of-america-signs-unity-pledge-in-support-of-diversity/10152010802690310
Coca-Cola: https://www.onecommunity.co/arizona/phoenix/news/openaz-unity-pledge-turns-three-one-community-offers-complimentary-listings-178
Fry’s Food Stores: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/blog/business/2015/11/arizonas-third-largest-employer-signs-unity-pledge.html
GoDaddy: https://www.facebook.com/GoDaddyCares/photos/a.660178304001489.1073741825.518386751513979/944483995570917/
Nationwide Insurance: https://www.facebook.com/notes/one-community/bank-of-america-signs-unity-pledge-in-support-of-diversity/10152010802690310
Liberty Mutual: https://www.facebook.com/notes/one-community/bank-of-america-signs-unity-pledge-in-support-of-diversity/10152010802690310
PetSmart: https://www.facebook.com/ONECommunityAZ/videos/10201649064407565/
Uber: https://www.onecommunity.co/arizona/phoenix/news/uber-signs-openaz-unity-pledge-159 https://www.onecommunity.co/arizona/phoenix/articles/uber-offers-phoenix-riders-discounts-in-celebration-of-phoenix-pride-244
Yelp: https://www.onecommunity.co/arizona/phoenix/news/uber-signs-openaz-unity-pledge-159