ABC’s ‘This Week’ Plugs How ‘Major American Companies Came Out Swinging’ Over Ariz. Bill

Governor Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.) just vetoed SB 1062, and ABC’s This Week hyped the “spirited nationwide debate” that surrounded the governor’s decision. The bill would have allowed private businesses to deny service to certain individuals, such as baking a wedding cake for a gay wedding, on religious grounds.

Despite the cases across the nation where private businesses have been sued over the issue, the media was overwhelmingly biased in their coverage of the bill, portraying SB 1062 as an anti-gay bill without ever giving the religious freedom argument consideration.

On the March 2 This Week, reporter Cecilia Vega continued the distorted media coverage of SB 1063 and commented how “it was the Arizona bill that ignited a national firestorm” before playing a clip of an unidentified woman slamming the bill:

Nobody rides in the back of the bus and everybody sits at the lunch counter. We fought that battle once. And that's what this battle is.

Vega framed SB 1062 as a “so-called religious freedom” bill before confronting Maia Arneson, a supporter of the bill, over its merits. “What about the belief system, the sexual orientation, the identity of a community, where is the respect come in for that?” the ABC reporter condescendingly asked.

The ABC reporter then remarked how “Proponents of the failed bill are still hoping to push it forward in other states. While gay rights supporters predict the same outcome.” The segment ended with a quote from Marc Solomon of Freedom to Marry criticizing supporters of the Arizona bill: “I think it was a serious miscalculation on the part of our opponents and I would be surprised if any of these gained traction.”

 

See relevant transcript below.


ABC

This Week with George Stephanopoulos

March 2, 2014

10:16 a.m. Eastern

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Were going to switch gears to the culture clash in Arizona that sparked so much reaction this week over a bill that would allow businesses to refuse services to gays and lesbians by invoking the right to practice their religion. Governor Jan Brewer resolved the issue in her state by vetoing the bill. But as Cecilia Vega reports that will not end a spirited nationwide debate.  

CECILIA VEGA: It was the Arizona bill that ignited a national firestorm.

UNKNOWN PERSON 1: Nobody rides in the back of the bus and everybody sits at the lunch counter. We fought that battle once. And that's what this battle is.

VEGA: With polls showing a public shift on gay rights. A majority of Americans now support same-sex marriage. The pressure for Arizona governor Jan Brewer to veto the bill was fierce. Major American companies came out swinging, calling Arizona's law bad for business. In the end, brewer vetoed the bill.

JAN BREWER: Religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value. So is non-discrimination.

VEGA: This as some of the most conservative states have become the new battle ground in the same-sex marriage war. A federal judge just last week striking down Texas' ban. So-called religious freedom laws like the one so fiercely debated in Arizona, now seen as yet another weapon in the fight by supporters of the bill.

MAIA ARNESON: We want for people to have their belief systems respected without the threat of being sued.

VEGA: What about the belief system, the sexual orientation, the identity of a community, where is the respect come in for that?

ARNESON: There needs to be some sort of mutual respect here.

VEGA: Proponents of the failed bill are still hoping to push it forward in other states. While gay rights supporters predict the same outcome.

MARC SOLOMON: I think it was a serious miscalculation on the part of our opponents and I would be surprised if any of these gained traction.

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.