Don’t get me wrong… I’m glad that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has spared her state a bitter set of legal battles by vetoing a controversial bill aimed at codifying discrimination under the guise of freedom of religion. It was a terrible piece of legislation, and everyone from the Progressive community to business leaders to even common-sense conservatives could see it was terrible a mile away. People are now celebrating the bill’s defeat, and claiming victory (forever!!) over discrimination.
But here’s the truth folks… SB 1062 is just a symptom of a much larger disease, and that disease can only be cured through the ballot box.
The real question should be: Why do we keep electing these people?? And by people, I don’t just mean Republicans, but anyone that chooses Legislate their narrow-minded beliefs as a substitute for reality. The “this I believe” caucus isn’t just in Arizona, but it’s a disease that has spread throughout every GOP-dominated legislature in this country. These lawmakers refuse to see our nation for what it really is… a diverse mosaic of peoples that will never agree on everything, especially a single set of morals and values. No matter how one chooses to live their personal lives, that choice cannot be enforced upon someone else successfully. The purpose of law is to solve issues, not create them. But for “this I believe” lawmakers, creating problems seems to be the only thing they are good at. Remember before the outrage of SB 1062, both houses of Arizona’s legislature had numerous hearings where people testified, warning them “This bill is discriminatory” “It will cause an uproar throughout the state”. They’re the ones that listened to all arguments for and against, and after (supposedly) weighing things carefully, STILL decided to vote for a ridiculous 2-page prejudice fest.
The central issue here is not the bill, it’s the lawmakers that are cruel enough to send this bill and ones like it to the Governor’s desk. They’ve done it before, and they will do it again.
As much as the populace would like for these lawmakers to learn their lessen, it’s just not going to happen. The only way to break the cycle of extremism in these legislatures (including the US Congress) is to vote the extremists out of office. It’s great that sanity won the battle on SB 1062, but the war can only be won at the ballot box. If you really care about equality, go educate yourself and vote for candidates that support your views.