A Boycott of Arizona is Justified if Anti-Gay Bill Becomes Law
CHICAGO – Truth Wins Out strongly urged Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer today to veto a noxious anti-gay bill disguised as an effort to protect “religious liberty.” The bill, SB1062, would essentially allow anyone in the state to justify blatant and brazen discrimination against LGBT people in services or accommodations based on a declaration of sincere religious conviction. The bill is a nightmare that would give bigots free rein to harm the lives of LGBT people and their families.
“We strongly urge Gov. Jan Brewer to veto this noxious bill that promotes discrimination in the guise of protecting religious freedom,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “If this bill becomes law, it will be a disaster for Arizona’s reputation and severely tarnish the governor’s legacy. Does she really want history to remember her as ‘Jan Crow’?”
“This seems to be a concerted Hail Mary campaign to carve out special rights for religious conservatives so that they don’t have to play by the same rules as everyone else does,” said Evan Hurst, Truth Wins Out’s Associate Director. “In this new up-is-down world, anti-gay religious folks are ‘practicing their faith’ when they’re baking cakes or renting out hotel rooms to travelers. On the ground, these bills hurt real, live LGBT people.”
According to Politico, “legislative action was completed last week, and if the state Senate officially delivers the bill today, it would start a five-day clock for the Republican governor to act on a proposed law.”
Having lost the culture war, social conservatives in several states are trying to place themselves above the law and carve out special rights to discriminate based on their faith. According to Mother Jones magazine:
Republicans lawmakers and a network of conservative religious groups has been pushing similar bills in other states, essentially forging a national campaign that, critics say, would legalize discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation….the states with such bills are Idaho, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Kansas, Arizona, Hawaii, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Mississippi.
The Arizona bill has drawn critics such as actor George Takei, who spends time in Arizona.
“This ‘turn away the gay’ bill enshrines discrimination into the law,” wrote George Takei. “Your taxi drivers can refuse to carry us. Your hotels can refuse to house us. And your restaurants can refuse to serve us. So if our appeals to equality, fairness, and our basic right to live in a civil society without doors being slammed in our face for being who we are don’t move you, I’ll bet a big hit to your pocketbook and state coffers will.”
Threats of a boycott have led to harsh criticism of the bill by Arizona’s business community. The Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce oppose SB 1062. Today, there will be gathering at the Capitol building between 5:30-6PM to urge the governor to veto this bill. (1700 W. Washington, Phoenix, Arizona 85007)
Truth Wins Out (TWO) is a non-profit organization that works to demolish the very foundation of anti-gay prejudice. Our philosophy is simple: We attack the underpinnings of homophobia by debunking harmful lies, discrediting hateful myths, and countering anti-gay organizations. By chipping away at the underlying ignorance that fuels anti-LGBT attitudes, we can ultimately win our fight for fairness and achieve full equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people worldwide.