Legalizing Hate in Arizona: That Happened


ColumnIn Arizona, a bunch of lawmakers agreed that a “No Gays Allowed” sign would be totally cool.

You guys, breaking news: Legislators in Arizona have worked out time travel! They have dubbed their new machine: SB 1062. There are a few kinks to be worked out. First, it only goes back in time. Second, it lands just before civil rights existed.

Earlier this week, legislators in Arizona passed SB 1062, a bill that would allow business owners to refuse to serve gays, lesbians and other individuals for “religious reasons.”

All jokes aside, if the bill had passed, this could have been really scary in terms of civil rights. And, when SB 1062 made it to the desk of Governor Jan Brewer, it looked like this could actually happen.

The Governor posted this on Facebook on Tuesday, February 25: “I can assure you, as always, I will do the right thing for the State of Arizona.”

She was given until Saturday to decide what to do. If she didn’t sign or veto the legislation by the end of the day Saturday, it would have automatically become law. On Wednesday evening, she vetoed—but no one felt sure that she would.

Allowing a “No Gays Served” sign above the counter or on a store window is legalized discrimination. There’s no other way to look at this issue. None.

Logistically, this “turn away the gay” bill would have been hard to implement. What about bisexual people? Trans people? And worse: people who might look straight—but totally aren’t.

How, exactly, would business owners identify a gay person who tries to sneak into their establishments to spend money because, as well all know, gay people have zero self-control. Especially the men.

Oh. Duh. If he’s a gay man, it’s likely that he’s shopping while simultaneously engaging in a sex act—because gay men are slutty. So that’ll be easy.

The ladies could be more difficult to identify. Hmmm. . . a neighborhood watch dedicated to mullet-reporting? Maybe just don’t serve any woman who might hate men—you’ll be able to tell because she will not have at least one baby with her and will be wearing pants. Also look for flaming brassieres!

This sounds like a lot of work—but would have created jobs in Arizona, which is definitely something Brewer is interested in.

In a televised address on Wednesday evening, Brewer said that she hadn’t heard of one case of a business owner’s religious freedom being violated and went on to say, “Religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value, so is non-discrimination.”

I would like to think she vetoed this bill because it is disgusting and wrong, but given her focus in the speech on Arizona’s economic Comeback (with a capital C in the text released to the public) and the pressure from huge corporations, including the Arizona Superbowl Committee—the big game is scheduled to be played in Phoenix in 2015—it’s not hard to be cynical.

The good news is that so many people, and corporations, stood up and said, “No, this is wrong; this cannot happen.” And those who fought for the bill? They will be remembered for who they truly are and that will be their punishment.

Related on EcoSalon

The Bachelor is a Homophobe

No Gays Here

North Carolina Pastor Advises Fencing Gays In to watch them Die

Image: Human Rights Campaign