It took the Grand Canyon over 17 million years to form. That alone tells you all you need to know about Arizona: It’s takes a looooooooooong time to change things there.
Arizona SB1062 is a bill that, if it becomes law, would allow businesses to discriminate services and goods to individuals, if the individuals act in a manner contrary to a business’ (or business owner’s) religious beliefs. The law is specifically targeting gays, but it doesn’t take much imagination to see how this law could be broadly misconstrued to be applied to anyone in, well, nearly every circumstance. It’s a hate bill. It’s a bill of fear.
I’ve also seen and read enough history to know what it really is, Jim Crow. Part of the convenience of slavery and the institution of “separate but equal” in the South was the belief that it was all God’s edict. The behavior and relationship of master and slave is in the bible. Slaveowners throughout American history used the bible as the reason for enslaving African and executing Native Americans.
When slavery was abolished, and Jim Crow established, it was also religion that made it pertinent that blacks and white should never mix. That, as much as a need for independence is why many early black business were started – to expressly service black clientele that would be turned away elsewhere.
At least, comparatively, Jim Crow was easy. A black person walked in the front door, you told them to get out. Usually, it’s easy to spot a black person. If you turn gays away from your business because their lifestyle is contrary to your religious beliefs…
ONE: How do you know who’s gay? Gay’s don’t dress every day like it’s Gay Pride Day. People sometimes think I’m gay (because I’m a good dresser and really good-looking… and in show business. The trifecta.). Is there a gaydar set up by the door instead of a theft control gate?
TWO: If you discriminate against gays, don’t you then have to ask EVERYONE if their religious beliefs differ from yours? If you’re Evangelical, do you not serve Baptists? Catholics? Jews? Muslims? Scientologists? How about single parents? Divorced parents? Do you inquire if your customers have had or paid for abortions? Do they use birth control at all? How exactly does one turn on the discrimination scanner in their store? Do you discriminate all at once every day or do you let the Jews come shop on Saturday? Ohhh, I get it, you clever minx, you know they can’t come on Saturday…
If you’re a Christian gun shop owner in Arizona, it could be against your religion to sell to a gay person, but not against your religion to sell killing machines? I think my head will explode.
In the years 1986 – 1990, Arizona was at the center of a controversy surrounding the holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King, jr. The State’s legislature’s reluctance to adopt the holiday, cost the state a lot of money from fleeing businesses. By 1990, the NFL decided the Super Bowl would be held elsewhere.
It’s now 2014. Once again, Arizona is a candidate city for the Super Bowl and once again businesses are threatening to leave Arizona if this horrible bill becomes law. One can only hope. After all, those who cannot learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.
Georgia House Bill 1023 is basically the same thing and several other states seem to introducing similar bills.
Governor Jan Brewer, Republican, has said she needs time to review the bill before she can veto it. She’s been accused of stalling, especially since the bill seems to be only three pages long. It’s literally so short, she can read it during a commercial break on the Rush Limbaugh show. She has until Saturday morning or the bill will become law and Arizona will find itself once again living like it’s the year 1950, while suffering the economic hardships that came with 1990.