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A Small Victory for LGBT Equality

Posted on the 27 February 2014 by Thepoliticalidealist @JackDarrant

A Small Victory for LGBT Equality

Posted: 27/02/2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Arizona, equality, gay rights, Jan Brewer, LGBT, Politics, republicans, Tolerance |Leave a comment »

Gay rights seem to be becoming more and more unequal in the United States. Some progressive states have been powering ahead with full legal and social equality for people of any sexual orientation. Same-sex marriage has been introduced in several parts of the country, as has tough anti-discrimination law. Nationally, progress is being made too: in just a few years, the federal government has moved from ridiculous policies like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (the policy which allowed homosexuals to fight for their country, provided that they kept their sexuality a secret) to the recognition of same-sex marriages.

But sadly, some parts of America seem to be moving in the other direction.

The Republican majority in Arizona’s state legislature passed a bill, asserting the “right” of business owners to refuse to serve people on religious grounds, last week. The policy was universally recognised as targeting the LGBT community. In a scenario eerily similar to the pre civil-rights era, entire groups could have been excluded from shops, restaurants and clubs for the crime of being in a minority. Naturally, the legislation provoked a public outcry, but there was also surprisingly vocal opposition from business. Organisations from Apple to American Airlines attacked the measure, as did local businesses worried that it would damage tourism associated with Arizona’s hosting of next year’s Super Bowl.

As if that coalition was not formidable enough to prompt a rethink, various figures in the GOP (Republican Party) rushed to condemn the bill. When Mitt Romney is more socially liberal than you on a given issue, you have either made a mistake… or you are a fascist. In any case, Arizona’s Republicans must have been torn between two of their most fundamental instincts: cronyism with capitalist interests, and draconian laws to assert “moral” behaviour. In the few days after the bill was voted through, three Republican state senators announced that they had changed their mind. I’m sure that would have been a great help. Nevertheless, the final decision was not theirs to make: it is the Governor who decides whether to sign bills passed by the state legislature into law, or to exercise her veto.

Governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer (Republican), decided to veto the legislation a few hours ago. That is wonderful news that allows the people of Arizona to turn their attention to the problem that their representatives want to drag their state back in time to become a stunted monosociety. I doubt those responsible for this throwback will pay for it, but attempts should be made to see that they do.

In the meantime, thank goodness for moderates like Jan Brewer.

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