Will Arizona Let the Money Do the Talking?

Governor Jan Brewer

The money men have lined up in what appears to be a concerted effort to make sure that gay couples can force every baker in the state of Arizona to provide them with wedding cakes.

This burning wedding cake issue, which has been likened to the Jim Crow segregation and lynchings that once plagued African Americans, has brought corporate interests from coast to coast into the argument. They are speaking with one voice, and that voice is demanding a veto of the religious freedom bill recently passed by the Arizona legislature.

Two Republican senators who voted for the bill have seen the dollar sign and are now asking Governor Brewer to veto the bill.

I have not read this legislation. I’ve been busy with legislation on which I am going to actually have to vote. But I can tell you from experience that the various chambers of commerce and money people tend to talk to Republican legislators who step out of line like they were dogs who fetched when they should have sicced. I don’t doubt for a minute that this is what changed the senators’ hearts and minds on this issue.

Even Newt Gingrich has chimed in, calling for the governor to veto the bill.

The power of money on the legislative process can be breathtaking.

Governor Brewer has until Friday to make a decision.

From Bloomberg Business Week:

Companies from Apple Inc. (AAPL:US) to American Airlines Group Inc. (AAL:US)called on Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to veto a bill allowing businesses to refuse service on religious grounds, a measure that opponents say is meant to allow discrimination against gays.

The measure passed last week prompted tourists to cancel reservations and companies to say they would locate elsewhere if it became law. The bill threatens to reverse an economic recovery in a state among those hardest hit by the housing crash, opponents said, and to cement a reputation fostered by a 2010 anti-immigration law and a fight in the 1990s over celebrating the Martin Luther King holiday.

After residents and businesses protested the bill over the weekend, three Republican senators who voted for the measure changed their minds and asked Brewer to veto it. NBC News reported today that three people close to the governor said she is likely to do that. Brewer wasn’t immediately available for comment.

“There is genuine concern throughout the business community that this bill, if signed into law, would jeopardize all that has been accomplished so far,” Doug Parker, chief executive officer of Fort Worth, Texas-based American, wrote in a letter to Brewer yesterday. He said that it has the potential to reduce the desire of companies to relocate in the state and to repel convention business.

  • oregon nurse

    This bill is so ridiculously broad and so deserving of defeat that I wonder if it wasn’t actually designed to whip up emotion and destroy support for religious objection. I think religious leaders ought to come out against it and explain why.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      If you say so, I believe you. And in that case, the behaviour of the Arizona Republicans would be even more despicable.

  • SisterCynthia

    It’s a load of bull to pretend that this is “bad for business.” There are no where NEAR enough activists (on either side) to impact anyone’s bottom line. The only reason these money-loving, amoral cowards are putting pressure on is that they don’t want to have to DEAL with gay activist tantrums and the media coverage. They know conservatives will throw tantrums, too, but the media will not cover it, except to praise the companies for their “bravery.” These suits sure as heck aren’t taking this stance because they give a hoot about gays. They don’t care about anyone, gay or straight, Christian, Jew, Atheist or Muslim–they just want to make the most money possible with the least hassle. Be that as it may, I will look into who these particular big biz lap dogs are and if they are in my district I will be voting write-in Mickey Mouse before I vote for them for county dog catcher.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      Sister, you forget one thing: how many of them may themselves be in the area. There is a well-know kind of homosexual person who climbs to the top of any bureaucracy, and who tends to form rope teams with other gays on the make. People have paid attention to their presence in academia, the media, and the public sector, but there is no reason why they should not be present in similar numbers in the corporate sector. That is the way I read it.

  • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

    Because once again profit is the only value. I’m no longer shocked.


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