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5 Brilliant Reactions to Arizona’s Heinous Turn Away the Gays Bill

5 Brilliant Reactions to Arizona’s Heinous Turn Away the Gays Bill

Sitting on Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s desk and waiting to be signed is†Senate Bill 1062, legislation that would allow businesses and individuals to refuse to serve members of the gay community, supposedly based on religious conviction. This heinous law has provoked a heavy backlash, some of which have been outstanding. Here are just a handful of those reactions.

1. George Takei Threatens to Boycott Arizona

In what has been dubbed a “scathing” open letter, actor, campaigner and social media star George Takei has threatened to boycott Arizona over its law. And where Takei goes, so goes the Internet.

The letter begins:

Dear Arizona,

Congratulations. You are now the first state actually to pass a bill permitting businesses — even those open to the public Ė to refuse to provide service to LGBT people based on an individualís “sincerely held religious belief.” This “turn away the gay” bill enshrines discrimination into the law. Your taxi drivers can refuse to carry us. Your hotels can refuse to house us. And your restaurants can refuse to serve us.

Takei goes on to call out Arizona for this bill which he (rightly) equates to a Jim Crow law:

You say this bill protects “religious freedom,” but no one is fooled. When I was younger, people used “God’s Will” as a reason to keep the races separate, too. Make no mistake, this is the new segregation, yours is a Jim Crow law, and you are about to make yourself ground zero.

Takei then hits Arizona where it hurts: the wallet. He says should the bill become law, there will be a boycott of Arizona:

If your Governor Jan Brewer signs this repugnant bill into law, make no mistake. We will not come. We will not spend. And we will urge everyone we know — from large corporations to small families on vacation — to boycott. Because you donít deserve our dollars. Not one red cent.

And maybe you just never learn. In 1989, you voted down recognition of the Martin Luther King holiday, and as a result, conventions and tourists boycotted the state, and the NFL moved the Superbowl to Pasadena. That was a $500 million mistake.

You can read Takei’s full post here.

2. Pizzeria Offers Most Hilarious Jab at Arizona Lawmakers

Rocco’s Little Chicago Pizzeria in Tuscon has decided on a new admissions policy and it has set social media tongues wagging. The restaurant posted the following image to its Facebook page last week shortly after it was announced that lawmakers had passed the right to discriminate bill:

Rocco's Little Chicago Pizzeria

Rocco's Little Chicago Pizzeria says "We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to Arizona Legislators."

The picture has quickly gone viral, with people from across the globe flooding in with their messages of support.

Owner Rocco DiGrazia is quoted as saying he is appalled at the legislation and that†”The sentiment is that any expansion of discrimination is gonna hurt everybody and open the doors for more.” However, he’s keen to downplay this as political advocacy, saying on Facebook: “Funny how just being decent is starting to seem radical these days.”

3. Out Musician Tells Arizona We’r'e “Not Going Anywhere”

Musician Eric Himan, a Tulsa, Oklahoma native, is no stranger to using his music for good causes. He has previously written tracks that took aim at Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and even created a song dedicated to Malala Yousafzai. Now, Himan has set his sights on fighting Arizona’s Turn Away the Gay bill with a song called “Not Going Anywhere Tonight,” which he has performed up and down the country and has now recorded on vieo.

The lyrics send a very clear message of protest, reading in part:

“You can try to kick me out, but you can’t force me back in
the way you’re treating me and my friends, honey I call that sin
You want this land for your own, as if you grew right from the trees
but you can’t silence those who you think pose,
a threat to faith or greed
What’s been stolen can’t be claimed
What’s been written can’t be used to tame.

[...]

I can run pretty fast
I can drive all night long
with a big ol’ pile of money
I can fly from here to Rome
But I never asked for trouble
in Jesus’ name you wanna fight
you choose to hate a choice I never made
so I’m not going anywhere tonight.”

Watch the video below:

Himan is dedicating all proceeds from the song to fighting SB 1062. You can find more details at Himan’s website here.

4. Arizona Congressional Senators Decry the Bill

While Arizona Senator John McCain may have been on the wrong side of history on DADT, he has always had a moderate streak when it comes to businesses and discrimination rights.

In that vein, McCain has spoken out against the bill, saying in a simple message on Twitter:

I hope Governor Brewer will veto #SB1062

Junior Arizona Senator Jeff Flake posted a similar message to his own Twitter account.

These might be simple statements that hardly speak to the ills of the legislation. That said, however, they do carry weight and add to the growing pressure on Brewer to veto the legislation.

Meanwhile, John McCain’s daughter Meghan McCain, considered by many young moderates as a leader in the young Republican ranks, had hit out with much stronger message, calling the bill a step backward:

“It is embarrassing, it is backwards, it is the absolute last thing this state needs, and I am horrified, horrified at the legislators that passed that [bill],” she is quoted as saying. “When you have bills like this, it makes me not want to come home. I am born and raised in Arizona — [a] proud Arizonan — and my father is a senator there, and I just don’t understand.”

While not from Arizona, Mitt Romney–whose pandering to the religious conservative Tea Party probably helped lose him the presidential election–has also tweeted against the bill. It appears there is a line, and this bill crosses it.

5. Senators Who Originally Voted for the Bill Now Want Brewer to Veto It

Class this one as brilliant stupidity: three state lawmakers who voted for the bill have now sent Governor Jan Brewer a letter asking her to veto the legislation.

“We feel it was a solution in search of a problem,” Sen. Bob Worsley, R-Mesa, is quoted as saying. He is joined by Sen. Steve Pierce, R-Prescott, and Senate Majority Whip Adam Driggs, R-Phoenix. They are, though, essentially blaming the gays for “mischaracterizing” the bill, with the letter quoted as saying: “While our sincere intent in voting for this bill was to create a shield for all citizens’ religious liberties, the bill has instead been mischaracterized by its opponents as a sword for religious intolerance. These allegations are causing our state immeasurable harm.”

The letter also notes that Arizona businesses, including the Arizona Chamber of Commercem are against the bill, as are many Arizonan citizens who feel this legislation is a step too far.

So, what does Governor Brewer make of the bill? Despite reports that she’s said she’ll veto, Brewer’s office maintains she is still considering the controversial legislation, with a decision due by the end of the week.

While it is true that Brewer is no friend to the gay community, she has vetoed similar bills in the past and did so last year, but that was before the Supreme Court’s ruling against the Defense of Marriage Act Section 3 and a number of other rulings in favor of gay rights over discrimination. As with much in Arizona politics, which way she will decide to go with the bill, sadly, remains unclear.

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Photo credit: Thinkstock.

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98 comments

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6:56PM PDT on Mar 16, 2014

GOOD, the Gov VETOED this bill!!!!

1:29PM PST on Mar 3, 2014

I don't understand why anyone owning a business who wants to pick and choose their customers based on their faith doesn't simply post a sign stating clearly that they are rabidly evangelical Christian (or whatever) and judge everyone by the word of their particular version of God (s). It would make it so easy for those who care where their money is going to say, Oh, OK, buh bye and go shop elsewhere. It would be win win.....those who are not welcoming could reap what they sow and welcoming inclusive businesses could reap money.

1:02PM PST on Mar 3, 2014

Hard to believe that this still goes on in this country...in 2014, no less.

9:03PM PST on Mar 2, 2014

Excellent! Someone with clout giving the ol' one-two to Brewer is refreshing!

4:45PM PST on Mar 2, 2014

john h. "Why can't a business say no to anyone it's there GD business not yours....And don't give me any crap over this have never turned down anyone's money for service but by god it's my business i have the right to say no for any reason... My business my rules don't like it go somewhere else."

john, Your problem only happens when your business serves the PUBLIC. Why don't you start a private club? The members of your club can pay dues and do business exclusively with you. Let's say you are a clothing company. We'll call it Kasual Klothing for Kinfolk, or KKK for short. You sign up your members and you can have some secret KKK club meetings, and all of you can dance around the fire and share in whatever bigotry the members wish.

Maybe you are already in such a Klub.

7:00AM PST on Mar 2, 2014

interesting

5:27AM PST on Mar 2, 2014

Thanks for the article!!

1:29PM PST on Mar 1, 2014

Francis B....you nailed the issue down so well..thank you.

9:50AM PST on Mar 1, 2014

lol ty!

8:14AM PST on Mar 1, 2014

Crazy!!

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