Arizona’s anti-gay bill is dead, but the wailing of the “oppressed” lives on.

Arizona’s anti-gay bill is dead, but the wailing of the “oppressed” lives on. February 27, 2014

I fucking hate political language.  I wish people would just speak clearly, but that might alienate some voters who realize your exact position.

Anyway, the good news is that Arizona’s anti-gay bill is dead.  Governor Jan Brewer slapped it with a veto:

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a bill Wednesday that would have allowed businesses that asserted their religious beliefs the right to deny service to gay and lesbian customers.

However, her explanations afterward left me…disappointed.

On Wednesday, the governor said she made the decision she knew was right for Arizona.

“I call them as I see them, despite the cheers or the boos from the crowd,” Brewer said, criticizing what she described as a “broadly worded” bill that “could result in unintended and negative consequences.”

Well, the intended consequence of the bill was that gay people would be discriminated against.  If that’s not a negative consequence, I’m not sure what these unintended negative consequences would even look like.

Brewer said she’d weighed the arguments on both sides before vetoing the measure, which is known as SB 1062.

“To the supporters of the legislation, I want you to know that I understand that long-held norms about marriage and family are being challenged as never before. Our society is undergoing many dramatic changes,” she said. “However, I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve. It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and no one would ever want.

What problems did it purport to solve?  Religious people not being able to discriminate in a publicly run business is not a problem.  Were gay people running around not feeling humiliated and despised enough?  Is that the problem you wanted to solve?

And as for dividing Arizona in ways “no one would ever want”, yeah, people did want that.  Republicans wanted that and voted for it.  That’s why Brewer had to veto the bill – the way to her desk was paved for that bill by Brewer’s own political party/allies.

But all that aside, let’s take a moment to bathe in the tantrums of the defeated:

Doug Napier, an attorney representing the Alliance Defending Freedom, which helped craft the bill, criticized the governor’s decision.

“Freedom loses when fear overwhelms facts and a good bill is vetoed,” he said in a statement. “Today’s veto enables the foes of faith to more easily suppress the freedom of the people of Arizona.”

First, I’m glad to hear one of the crafters of this bill assert that faith played a role.  Again, that’s a refreshing bit of honesty.  Of course, it’s also counterproductive since the government is explicitly not here to bind every American to one group’s religious practices through law.  That would be illegal and against everything for which the Constitution stands.

And what facts were at play here?  I saw a few:

1.  This bill was religious based, which makes it illegal.

2.  This bill would have legalized a form of discrimination that remains one of the darker and more humiliating facets of America’s past: when “Whites Only” signs were allowed in businesses.  That’s enough reason to veto the bill and shake our heads and the moral confusion of those who voted for it.

3.  Because most Americans have figured out that discrimination is immoral, even if the god botherers of Arizona haven’t, there would have been consequences like nobody wanting to be seen interacting with Arizona.  That’s another reason to veto the bill.

And as for using fear tactics, we’re not the ones running around saying marriage and thus the United States will crumble if we let gay people see their spouses in the fucking hospital.  It’s the anti-gay rights side that’s throwing out a bunch of doomsday scenarios about religion being under attack because we won’t let you make second class citizens of your neighbors.

Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, accused opponents of the measure of distorting facts.

“The religious beliefs of all Arizonans must be respected and this bill did nothing more than affirm that,” said Herrod, whose conservative organization lent a hand in creating the bill.

The religious beliefs of Arizonans must be respected?  That’s a crock if I ever heard one.  I’m no more obligated to respect someone else’s beliefs than they are obligated to respect mine.  I don’t respect the religious beliefs of Arizonans and that wouldn’t change even if they were allowed to discriminate in their businesses.  In fact, my respect for them would plunge to even newer, lower depths than ever before if that were the case.

 “It is truly a disappointing day in our state and nation when lies and personal attacks can overshadow the truth.”

Yes, it’s truly unfortunate when people win through lies (like telling people that gay parents produce less well-adjusted children or that letting gay people marry will have any negative effects) or through intimidation (like when Cathi Herrod and her group killed an anti-bullying bill because it would protect gay teens).

You know what would be a really disappointing day in Arizona?  If a disingenuous, hateful, callous person like Cathi Herrod ever got more power than the inordinate amount she currently possesses.  Frankly, I could listen to her gripe about sour grapes all day.

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