Monday, April 7, 2014

Arizona & Mississippi: A Tale of Two States and Anti-Gay Religious Bigotry

As most of you know, Arizona's SB1062 was vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer after passage by the Republican dominated Arizona Legislature.  What a lot of you might not know, thanks to our feckless media, is that Mississippi's legislature not only passed a bill almost identical to Arizona's vetoed SB1062, but that Mississippi's Republican Governor Phil Bryant signed it into law last week.

That's right, Mississippi now has legalized religiously based discrimination towards gays and lesbians (and anyone else they don't like).  Now, Mississippi has never been a hotbed of equality towards gays as it doesn't have an employment non-discrimination law nor does it have a housing non-discrimination law.  But this law codifies such discrimination toward gays and lesbians in all aspects of their lives in the state of Mississippi.

But why did Governor Brewer veto such legislation while Governor Bryant signed such legislation into law?  The short answer?  We gays and lesbians, with the help of our allies as well as state and national business interests, were able to shine a powerful spotlight on Arizona.  That spotlight forced Governor Brewer to put the needs of the state above religious bigotry.  It was fairly easy to shine that spotlight on Arizona as it has a recent history of discriminatory laws, such as the infamous "living while brown law", SB1070.

Mississippi was able to fly under the media wire and not be forced into the spotlight because it has no major league sports team, isn't vying to be the home of a new Tesla factory and a host of other high tech companies.  We gays and lesbians had no chance to stop the legislation, even though we all knew about it, even if the so called "liberal" MSM was asleep at the wheel.  We had no allies to bring to bear and assert political pressure.  As much as we wanted to prevent such legislation, let alone it becoming law, it just was never going to be.

Hopefully the courts will be able to strike down this religiously based bigotry law.

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