In case you haven’t been watching the news lately let’s bring you to speed on what’s been happening down in Arizona.
The State’s House and Senate passed a bill allowing people to deny someone goods and services on the grounds that doing so would go against their religious faith. The bill was meant to ensure that people of faith could deny doing business with LGBTQ people. It is important to note that, save a few municipalities with state with anti-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation, the state of Arizona does not currently have any anti-discrimination legislation in place that would stop people from denying service, employment, housing, etc. to LGBTQ people. The House and Senate instead saw the need to further entrench discrimination into the state with this new bill. What they have ended up with is a bill that would also make it legal to for people to deny service to atheists, unwed parents, divorced people, people of a different faith, and the list goes on.
As LGBTQ groups and activists decried the bill so too did some unlikely sources. The NFL came out publicly against the bill, even hinting that the upcoming Super Bowl next year that is to be held in Arizona could be moved. Republican John McCain, and even talking heads at Fox News questioned the bill. Meanwhile back in Arizona legislators either back tracked on their vote or tried to justify their homophobia and discrimination by talking about possible future threats from same-sex marriage (which the state does not currently recognize or perform), even though it is already completely legal in the state to deny someone goods/services if they are LGBTQ (the current anti-discrimination legislation in Arizona doesn’t not recognize sexual-orientation or gender identity/expression, as grounds for discrimination).
Fortunately the Governor vetoed this law reminiscent of the 1950’s.
Another issue that came out of the state was that of racially charged and offensive jokes that were made by a state Republican politician at the roast of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Several offensive remarks about Hispanic people were made with little to no apologies being given.
All of this makes you wonder, WTF is going on down there? Did someone poor a bunch of hate in the water? Did Vladimir Putin visit recently?
What do you think Arizona needs to do in order to improve its image?