Brewer made the right move.
Legally forcing religious people to contract with gays is a violation of freedom of religion. But that is a consequence of a broader rights violation. The issue of religionists' right not to serve gays is not fundamentally a religious freedom issue, as I have argued. The issue is one of freedom of contract, a right derived from the broader principle of the right to freedom of association.
The Arizona law specifically targeted gays and protected the contract and associational rights only in a limited way and only of a narrow segment of the population—religiously oriented social conservatives. This is grossly unfair. What about the underlying laws banning private discrimination? What about non-religious people? Why don't their sincerely held non-religious convictions matter? Is it right for any special interest group to be granted special exemptions from anti-discrimination laws, laws that in and of themselves violate the rights of all? I think not.
The issue can not and should not be considered outside of the context of the broader rights to contract and association. The reason: Rights are universal, meaning they are held equally and at all times by all people, and under a proper government must be protected equally and at all times. The Arizona law obviously didn't meet that test.
The proper course for these social conservatives is to call for repeal of all laws banning private discrimination. Anti-discrimination laws violate the rights of individuals to choose their associations. Such laws should be rescinded. Remove these underlying, unjust laws, and religious freedom follows.
But does rescinding such laws imply a moral statement in support of bigotry? I'll answer that question tomorrow.