Gubernatorial Candidate Doug Ducey And His Double-Speak on Religious Freedom

Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Ducey is praising the US Supreme Court's decision on the Hobby Lobby case, calling it a "win for religious freedom," even though he said just a few months ago that he would, as governor, veto an Arizona measure with the same underlying principles.

We've got a call into Ducey's campaign for comment.

See also: -Phoenix and SCOTUS' Ruling that Private Corporations Can Exercise Religious Beliefs -Center for Arizona Policy Hates Gays, Abortions, Likes to Tell Politicians What to Do -Doug Ducey: Emperor of Ice Cream or as Sleazy as They Come?

A controversial 5-4 decision by the SCOTUS allows corporations (i.e., Hobby Lobby, et al) to deny contraception in employee health plans based on the owners' "closely held religious beliefs" against abortion.

On June 30, Ducey tweeted: "Today's #SCOTUS decision is a win for religious freedom and yet another blow to #Obamacare."

In February, he tweeted: "If I were governor, that I would veto SB 1062."

And Cathi Herrod, the architect of SB 1062 and a Ducey supporter, is the first to point out that the proposed state law and the federal case are "the exact same thing."

Democratic Party leaders blast Ducey, who is "locked into a contentious Republican primary for Governor," for "dog whistling" the issue.

Ducey is running against fellow Republicans Secretary of State Ken Bennett, Attorney Christine Jones, a Go Daddy consultant, disgraced and disbarred former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, former Mesa mayor Scott Smith and former Congressman Frank Riggs.

Ducey also told the Arizona Daily Star that "the religious liberty issues that SB 1062 attempts to address are legitimate ones, and I believe there is a way to draft language that would address the concerns of everyone involved and avoid the acrimony and notoriety that have accompanied this bill's passage. I would veto SB 1062, but would then bring together all the interested parties before this legislative session adjourns to forge consensus on acceptable language protecting religious liberty."

A couple days later, after Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the bill, Ducey published this statement on his campaign website: "Now that Gov. Brewer has deliberated and made her decision on SB 1062, it's time to refocus on the issues that I'm hearing most about from voters around the state -- how to get back to a full-strength economy and create jobs."

But now, Ducey sees a different opportunity.

DJ Quinlan, executive director of the Arizona Democratic Party, says in a statement this morning that Ducey is "dog whistling" the issue.

"After saying he would veto SB 1062, he promised to work to bring it back again," Quinlan says. "Maybe all those ice cream socials with his party's extremists gave Doug brain freeze or it's just another example of what we see coming from today's extreme wing of Arizona Republicans - and what Barry Goldwater warned about - their relentless attempts to restrict individual rights based upon their own religious beliefs."

So, if the former Cold Stone Creamy executive would veto SB 1062 and it shares the "exact" same principles as the Hobby Lobby case, why is he praising the SCOTUS' decision?

President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) mandates that employers make available various types of contraceptions within their employee health plan. So, the owners of Hobby Lobby, an arts and crafts outfit, sued, saying that forcing them to do so violated their religious rights.

It's worth noting Hobby Lobby's own dripping hypocrisy, as reported by various media outlets, including Mother Jones.

The corporation writhes in sanctimonious disgust at providing employees access to certain contraceptions and yet the company had "more than $73 million in mutual funds with investments in companies that produce emergency contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, and drugs commonly used in abortions. Hobby Lobby makes large matching contributions to this company-sponsored 401(k)," Mother Jones reported in April.

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