So, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed SB 1062, did she?
Exactly as predicted.
Exactly as she was encouraged to do by an outraged country.
Are you impressed that Jan Brewer bowed to “common sense” and “human dignity” and the US Constitution?
Because you damned well shouldn’t be.
Brewer simply gave in to pragmatism and she deserves no credit for her moral cowardice whatsoever. None.
Brewer, along with Arizona conservatives such as John McCain who called for the veto, deserve nothing but contempt.
Brewer should have signed the bill instead of vetoing it.
Governor Jan Brewer should have put Arizona’s money where conservative mouths are and signed SB 1062 into law and made religious Apartheid a reality in Arizona right along with Russia and Iran.
And then – and then – Brewer and the ideological fanatics of her party should have been forced to live with the consequences.
Oh now, don’t get me wrong.
I’m sincerely glad that the people of Arizona won’t have to suffer for the bigotry of a handful of religious zealots.
I’m relieved that sanity, for whatever reason, prevailed in the eleventh hour and that LGBT people in yet another US state won’t be relegated to even worse treatment at the hands of Evangelical Christianity.
But, Folks, look here, nothing, and I mean nothing, demonstrates the bottomless hypocrisy and the absolute moral cowardice of the religious fanatics who’ve taken over the Arizona legislature than this veto.
Arizona Republican Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake urged Governor Brewer to veto SB 1062, because, according to McCain, implementation of the law would be “devastating.”
Devastating to the state. Economically.
Devastating to business. Financially.
Devastating to Republicans. Politically.
But not devastating to actual people – especially the gay ones who are apparently not John McCain’s concern.
Last Monday, conservative state senators Bob Worsley, Adam Driggs, and Steve Pierce sent a letter to Governor Brewer, asking her to veto SB 1062.
But just days before, all three joined the Arizona Senate Republican caucus in voting for the bill.
That’s right, they voted for the bill, but then asked the governor to veto it.
After Republicans passed the bill and sent it to Brewer’s office for signature, and only after the scope of the resulting national outcry became apparent, Worsley confessed to reporters. "I have not been comfortable with this for some time."
I have not been comfortable with this for some time?
Haven’t been comfortable with this for some time?
Jesus Haploid Christ, Worsley, what the fuck?
Worsley wasn’t comfortable with it, but he went right ahead and voted for SB 1062 anyway instead of taking responsibility for his own conscience.
He knew it was wrong, but instead of standing up and forcefully speaking out and holding his own party to public account, instead of demonstrating the superior moral conviction he and those like him loudly and repeatedly claim for their religion, he just went along with it anyway.
Worsely, Driggs, and Pierce weren’t comfortable with a bill that they voted for, that would have legalized blatant religious discrimination at their own dirty hands, but they voted for it anyway?
And what were they going to do then if Brewer signed the bill into law? Live with their discomfort?
Ask yourself something: if they could live with that particular discomfort, if their religious convictions could tolerate that discomfort without damning them to Bible Hell, then why can’t they live with the discomfort of being around gay people?
McCain, Worsley, et al, are so, so utterly typical of these hypocrites.
They are leaders in a party and a religion that has done nothing but villainize LGBT people at every turn – and then, what? They’re not comfortable when that same rabid fanaticism attempts to marginalize those self-same people?
This is so, so goddamned typical of John McCain. A man who spent his entire presidential campaign relentlessly demonizing his opponent, and then had the unmitigated gall to pretend that he wasn’t responsible when his own fanatical supporters – and his own running mate – resorted to calling Barack Obama an Arab and a Muslim and unAmerican and a subhuman mongrel in the national media and continue to do so to this very day.
McCain, Worsley, Driggs, Pierce, and Brewer are so utterly typical of this yellow-eyed breed of modern conservative fanatic – who, in the US House, voted last year to shut down the federal government, and then cried foul when they had to live with the backlash. And who, just last month, voted to shut the government down yet again … but then quietly urged Speaker John Boehner to make a deal with Democrats to increase the US debt ceiling in a clean resolution and keep America running so they didn’t have to suffer the consequences of their lunacy yet again.
These people know they are wrong.
They know it. Quod erat demonstrandum.
They know it, they absolutely know they are on the wrong side of history.
And yet they persist – just so long as they don’t have to live with the consequences.
Brewer vetoed SB 1062 for a number of reasons:
- because it could have cost Arizona the 2015 Super Bowl.
- because it could have significantly harmed Arizona’s tourist industry.
- because it could have cost Arizona business, particularly from Marriott Hotels, Apple, American Airlines and Yelp, in addition to hundreds of conferences, seminars, and retreats.
- because it would have inevitably resulted in endless lawsuits, costing Arizona millions upon millions of dollars in litigation.
- because it would likely have cost Republicans their majority in the Arizona state government.
- because it would have negatively affected Republican prospects in the 2014 midterm national elections.
- and because it would have had an impact on the 2016 presidential race.
- and most especially since it might have directly resulted in unintended discrimination against Christians.
And so, when it came right down to it in Arizona today, rather than do what was right because it was the right thing to do, rather than strike down the bill because it would have legalized religious segregation as if Arizona was a state in Russia instead of America, Brewer at the behest of her oh so smug religion and her oh so morally superior political party vetoed SB 1062 not because it was blatantly counter to everything the United States stands for but rather because it would have cost Arizona money.
When Brewer was forced onto the global stage to very publicly choose between state sanctioned Apartheid and the almighty American dollar, not to mention political power, Brewer did the predictable thing.
She did what these people always do when forced to chose between conviction and profit.
She took the money.
So much for republicans’ vaunted ideals.
So much for the superior morality of conservative religious conviction.
The simple truth is that if these people really believed in the rightness and righteousness of their religion, they would have passed the bill and to hell with the consequences.
Make no mistake whatsoever, Folks, if Arizona republicans could have gotten away with it, if they could have signed this bill into law and only gay people and non-Christians would have been negatively affected, they damned well would have – that was the entire point of SB 1062 in the first place.
Instead, Brewer’s veto lays bare the hypocrisy of this blighted ideology and shows it for what it really is: hate for hate’s sake and nothing more.
Common sense, human dignity, and liberty did not prevail today in Arizona.
Right won out only because these people worship power and money far more than they love their small and hateful God.
They won’t do what’s right, but they can usually be counted on to do what is profitable.
And let that be a lesson for future battles.
Previous essay on this topic: Arizona Goddam