Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoes discriminatory bill that would have given state business owners the okay to refuse service to LGBTS’s. The bill’s itself is controversial and would have allowed religious beliefs to deem the standard of treatment for certain populations.
There were no criteria in place, or boxes for business owners to check off in determining who was gay or lesbian and therefore worthy of service. The discriminatory bill would have left the criteria up to individual owners. Giving them carte blanche in deciding who was gay and therefore not worthy of being seated and served in restaurants. This would have been the tip of the iceberg, discrimination is ugly and has the ability to reach far and wide.
On any given day, patrons could have refused services had the bill been signed into law. Two same-sex friends with a long-term strictly platonic relationship but who were intimate enough in their conversation deciding to hold hands might have easily been refused service. Even if they were stopping in for lunch following an uplifting church service. The bill was out-of-bounds and would have placed a 1950’s segregation tone on business doors, unwelcoming to those who love differently than heterosexuals.
Gov. Brewer likely considered the fallout that would have followed around Arizona serving as host state for the 2015 Super Bowl. NFL spokespersons stated just days before Brewer was to make a decision on the bill, that the league does not support discriminatory practices. Include on the list was sexual orientation. This put Arizona in the position to lose thousands of dollars from the biggest football game of the year. Football fans spend large amounts of money for the game traveling from other states, requiring lodging and meals. While visiting Arizona they may decide to site see a bit and enjoy the sun especially if, they hail from cold climates. February, sun, and warm temperatures gives people the opportunity to soak up sun rays and explore the wide outdoors in a way that frigid temperatures, ice and snow, don’t.
Perhaps, it was the bills sweeping wording s that gave Gov. Brewer pause. She says, “it was broadly worded.” Any time that something is far-reaching and discriminatory to certain segments of the population there is controversy. Gov. Jan Brewer had to make a hard decision where some would be upset if she signed, and if she elected to keep dollars flowing within the state, vetoes make sense when looking at the big picture and how it affects the economy. While this fact clearly impeded the passing, it also begs the question of how much and how far proponents of the bill were willing to go to make the point that they are somehow spiritually superior to others.
While people have the right to specialize in services, there is a way to do it. Closed memberships, crafty pricing have been successful in blocking entrance to patrons. The difference here is that many of the businesses who were pushing for the law are open to the general population. This would seem to make discriminatory practices concerning.
The 2015 Super Bowl will happen in and for Arizona. Downtown and places around the Phoenix stadium will be full of fans and tourists happy to be in the sun and spending money freely. That makes good business sense. The hope is that Arizona business owners will also glean how to love people a bit more too. After all they are religious folk. Shouldn’t that account for loving thy brother under religious law? The nasty anti- gay bill was discriminatory and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer used her pen and vetoes a bill that would have placed Arizona in horribly bad light.
By C. Imani Williams
NY Daily News