Sunday, March 02, 2014

Backlash Over Arizona's Anti-Gay Bill

From The Christian Science Monitor article and video:

The veto of Arizona's anti-Gay bill is welcomed at the same time there is the question of how homophobic Arizona still is since the bill managed to get passed by the legislature. As we also see Arizona is one of the few states which allows for discrimination against members of the GLBT community they can be fired from their jobs just for their sexual orientation and as couples denied various government services and employer benefits and tax breaks which are granted to hetereosexual couples hetereosexual couples are given adoption preference over gay couples and so on. So things are far from progressive in Arizona when it comes to the rights of members of the GLBT community.

see video at CSMONITOR

Arizona vote moves gay rights into the mainstream (+video) Why did Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer veto a 'religious rights' bill? The gay rights movement’s allies now include Chambers of Commerce, major businesses, and Republican lawmakers.By Brad Knickerbocker, Staff writer / March 1, 2014

...The outcome in Arizona showed “there are economic consequences to discrimination,” Todd Sears, a former investment banker and the founder of initiatives focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality in business, told Politico.

“You’re seeing corporations weighing in on the side of LGBT inclusion and social justice in a way that you would not have seen 10, 15, 20 years ago,” Mr. Sears said. “This is about good business and discrimination and helping our employees be better at their jobs.”

It was a message quickly heard and acted upon by officials in other states considering similar “religious rights” legislation.

The president of the Kansas Senate announced this week that his chamber would not take up a similar bill in the Kansas House, the Washington Post reported, and Ohio legislators withdrew their measure.

Lawmakers in South Dakota and Utah tabled bills similar to Arizona’s, and a bill in Georgia is unlikely to make it out of committee. The sponsor of Tennessee's bill withdrew his sponsorship in early February.

Meanwhile, a federal judge in Texas ruled against that state’s ban on same-sex marriage. That makes six states where judges have so ruled. (The others are Virginia, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Utah, and California.)

Today, same-sex marriages are legal in 17 states and the District of Columbia. Given public opinion polls showing a majority of Americans – including a large majority of younger voters – now approving gay marriage, it seems likely that the number of such states will increase.

While conservative churches and political organizations have fought that trend, a new study of public attitudes over the past decade indicates the challenges to that cause.

“In the decade since Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage, Americans’ support for allowing gay and lesbian people to legally wed has jumped 21 percentage points, from 32 percent in 2003 to 53 percent in 2013, transforming the American religious landscape,” the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) reported this week.

A history of hate: 4 ways anti-LGBTQ discrimination is still completely legal in Arizona SB 1062 may be dead, but discrimination against LGBTQ people is still the law of the land in Arizona
KATIE MCDONOUGH,, Feb. 27, 2014

Criticism of the bill reached a fever pitch this week, which perhaps makes this a good time to look at existing laws in Arizona that do very similar things to what this measure would have done. The bill may be dead, but LGBTQ rights are still precarious in the state. Discrimination of the sort sanctioned by SB 1062 is still in many ways perfectly legal in Arizona. (And while Arizona is the chosen object of scrutiny in this piece, it’s important to note that these problems exist across the country and also stem from a lack of federal protections against LGTBQ discrimination. Get it together, America.)

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