Mother. Fucking. Arizona.
I’m obviously from Arizona, I love my state, I love my hometown Tucson, and I love the Sonoran Desert, but when the Arizona state legislator votes yes on SB 1062 to allow businesses with “firmly” held religious beliefs to deny service to gays and lesbians, opening the door to all types of discrimination, it makes it really hard for me to not to have to preemptively apologize to people when I tell them where I’m from.
It’s kinda like realizing your kid is stupid. And not stupid in the way that you love it more because it needs a little extra help, but stupid in the way you wouldn’t mind accidentally forgetting it at the grocery store.
I guess this isn’t new. AZ doesn’t have a great track record with civil rights as of late.
There was that time in 2008 when Arizona voters approved a ban on same-sex marriage as a state constitutional amendment in 2008.
There was the SB 10170 fiasco that would have made racial profiling okey-dok.
There was that time in 1980 when Gov. Mecham decided we wouldn’t celebrate Martin Luther King Day.
And there are a bunch of other random things on the books that make me think everyone has, obviously, spent too much time in the sun.
Like the law that declared that donkeys can’t sleep in bathtubs.
Like the law that says if you are being attacked by a criminal or burglar, you can only protect yourself with the same weapon they are using.
The law that, probably wisely, decrees that you may not have more than two dildos in a house.
The apparently necessary law that says hunting camels is a misdemeanor.
(side note, where are all the camels roaming free in AZ? are they the long-lost descendants of the camel corps??)
The law that says any misdemeanor committed while wearing a red mask is considered a felony.
The Maricopa County (home of Phoenix) law that says it’s illegal for more than six girls to live in a house.
The Nogales law that outlaws suspenders. (I’m actually OK with this because I’ve never been all that confident in my ability to pull off suspenders)
And, for the COUP DE GRACE, the Tucson law that declares it illegal for women to wear pants.
Now, obviously, every state and every government has its weird, inane shit. But aside from this latest inane shit being a gross perversion of religious freedom, unconstitutional, and no-shit-bad for business, let me tell you something, Arizona legislature: it is not always so easy to tell when someone is gay. Trust me, when I was living in Arizona, trying to figure out if a lady may or may not “own more than two dildos” in her house was really, really difficult, because sometimes, not everyone is a walking stereotype.
Gov. Brewer hasn’t signed SB 1062 into law yet, and I’m actually not convinced she will. She told CNN that while a business has the right to decide who it wants to do business with (which I agree with), she’s not sure that needs to be statutory. Considering how adamantly the business community and activists oppose SB 1062, it would, economically speaking, be a pretty stupid move to sign this into law before something like Super Bowl XLIX, for example.
This particular bullshit aside, I’m always amazed by presumably rationale people’s ability, even enthusiasm, to see threats where there are none; to focus their energy on something that has no bearing on their life; to feel personally indignant and angry at the thought of treating someone different from themselves with the respect they would want to be treated with.
And while I understand that not being an asshole is difficult, I really do, I also know that I’m an example of something good that came from Arizona, that I’m someone the state should be proud of, and that I should spend my time worrying about Brandon Ashley’s ankle injury instead of whether or not someone’s going to serve me my gay coffee or sell me lesbian groceries.
So. You know. Stop Embarrassing Me. (and get better soon, Brandon! Bear Down!)