I have a confession: A part of me, a rather big part, was hoping that Arizona Governor Jane Brewer did not veto a bill that would have allowed businesses that asserted their religious beliefs the right to deny service to gay and lesbian customers.
It was a disgusting, irresponsible, and bigoted bill that I doubt would pass the constitutional threshold of the 14th Amendment. Clause one guarantees citizens due process and equal protection of the laws. But in vetoing the bill, Brewer did the crazies a favor. They can remain in their cocoons of insanity, ridiculously bemoaning how their misguided interpretation of the Constitution has been violated.
Those of us who believe in the holistic nature of justice have been long deprived the seductive and salacious emotions that accompany having a sacrificial lamb, or in this case, a state. In the spirit of ancient Rome, I was ready to render my thumbs down sign of disapproval of Arizona as I publicly watched the fiasco unfold.
Through my warped perspective, I would have preferred to see the bill pass, and then witness Arizona pay a heavy economic price for its insanity and hatred. I was hoping the bill would pass and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would take the unprecedented stand by finding a new location for the 2015 Super Bowl, which is now scheduled at Phoenix University Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Perhaps the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl would have done likewise.
I would have liked to have seen hotels and resorts in Arizona become ghost towns. This seems to be the only way to stop this Neanderthal nonsense that periodically raises its disgusting head in spite of the unrelenting winds of change that are methodically blowing down every aspect of opposition and hatred in its path.
I would have loved to have watched the sponsors of the bill explain why their detestation for gay and lesbian brothers and sisters could not make up for the economic shortfall that besieged the state.
In signing the veto Brewer said:
"To the supporters of the legislation, I want you to know that I understand that long-held norms about marriage and family are being challenged as never before. Our society is undergoing many dramatic changes," she said. "However, I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve. It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and no one would ever want."
With that statement the governor is simultaneously right and wrong. She is right in that had the bill become law it would have created more problems that it purports to solve. But in throwing a bone to the loony fringe that supported this divisive legislation, she's wrong. Marriage and family are not being challenged as never before. One need only examine the states that experience full marriage equality; the heterosexual marriages that dissolve do so based on incompatibility more than homosexual couples that marry.
In a democracy, like freedom, hatred also bears the burden of responsibility.
But Brewer spoiled my demented desires. Instead of allowing Arizona to leap back into the stone ages of hate she rescued them, at least for the foreseeable future.
Had she signed the bill, Arizona would have been a test case for other states contemplating a waltz down the primrose path of narrow-mindedness.
Alas, bigotry can bask in a near victory; bemoan those who opposed their irrational obsessions, without ever having to take responsibility. Here's hoping someone will again pursue the fool's errand of religious freedom in order to justify his or her ignorance. And here's hoping there is a governor ready and willing to sign it next time.
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