Arizona. Again.

by , under personal, Pirate, politics

I know, I’m overdue on some posts. I have a post queued up where I berate myself for skipping my posting schedule, but I felt like this one was more important.

Recently, there have been some states that tried to pass legislation saying that businesses could discriminate refuse service if they felt the individual would violate their religious freedoms. Kansas had a bill that passed in the House, I think, but didn’t make it through the other in order to even make it to the Governor.

Arizona, on the other hand, has passed a bill that would allow business owners to deny service and refuse lodging. Gov Jan Brewer hasn’t vetoed it yet.

But it’s likely considering a number of high profile businesses (not to mention the Super Bowl committee) are urging her to veto it, and people are preemptively cancelling reservations.

I’ve seen a number of people saying that a boycott takes this too far, but honestly… threatening a boycott and urging large businesses to speak up is really all you can do. Arizona’s lawmakers have proven again and again that they don’t care about the rights of others, just sticking up for the conservative white voter (though ironically, this bill is getting minimal support from constituents). So unless you can show them that this would harm the livelihood of their taxpayers and in turn hurt Arizona’s own tax revenue, they won’t do anything.

It will be vetoed. The backlash is too public, and growing larger daily.

The sad thing is that we’ll never know if Jan Brewer would have vetoed it without the backlash. (She probably would have signed it, who are we kidding?)

I’ve seen people say they’d rather know upfront who the bigots are. I’d much rather the bigots have to smile and push down their hatred so that they can make a living. To have to live in a closet of their own making.

And frankly with Arizona, you have some major issues if people can pick and choose who they serve like that. Most of Arizona’s filled with small, small towns off the interstates. Places with one gas station, a restaurant, maybe one motel. That get business because they’re the only place for an hour or so. So what if those little places deny someone service? They could get stranded in the middle of nowhere or be forced to drive while being exhausted. It could actually lead to a dangerous situation. I’m not saying that discrimination is okay in a larger city, but in this particular state, these laws could theoretically cost someone their lives.

These proposed laws are Pandora’s Box, the more you think about it. It’s one thing to guarantee someone the right to practice their religion, but you have to consider whether these laws will protect all faiths – or just Christianity? Will they stand up to any sort of scrutiny by the Supreme Court? Will they be used to start denying service to atheists? To justify discriminating against anyone they perceive to be Muslim?

Which might seem ridiculous, but once you have laws to allow businesses to not serve LGBT individuals on the basis of the business owner’s religious beliefs- it opens the door to deny any services based on religious beliefs. It’s like a small leak in a dam. At first it’s just a little hatred, but soon, it’ll be used to cover everything.

Will I fight? Of course I will.

Update: Jan Brewer vetoed the bill, saying that it had “unintended and negative consequences” and it “has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve.”

Which essentially is political double speak for it’ll cost the state to lose money in Tourism and possibly from companies relocating. And frankly, the fact that it took her three days to come to this conclusion is ridiculous.

  • “To have to live in a closet of their own making.” Yep, that’s a good way of saying it. I’d rather we live in a society where people at LEAST have to act like they’re decent human beings. Do we have to change the hearts too? Of course. But one of the ways we keep the next generation from being as poisoned by hatred is to stop them from seeing acts and hearing words of hatred all day long as if it’s normal. So if that means laws making people act right, and public shaming of people who say horrible things, then I’m fine with that.