Dear 49 Other States,
Hi, I’m Rebecca, and I live in Arizona.
WAIT! Don’t leave! Seriously. Ok guys, please stop throwing rotten tomatoes at my blog head. I am reasonable. No, really, I am. Stop laughing.
We are not all gun-slinging, hate-spewing, immigrant-bashing, religion-twisting people who support government-sanctioned discrimination. That was quite a sentence. (We don’t all love hyphens as much as I do, either.) But it’s a true sentence. An awful lot of us are reasonable people.
Some members of our legislature, unfortunately, are not reasonable, and their antics make great television. The Arizona legislature, yet again, passed legislation that made national news. This time, in SB1062, my state legalized discrimination. It is now legal for an Arizona business to deny service to someone if it burdens the business owner’s “religious exercise.” Is this targeted at the LGBT community? Absolutely. But this bill is also broad enough to allow discrimination against just about anyone in the name of religion. It is absurd.
I am scared for my state. I am scared because I have read post after article after blog that suggest boycotting Arizona. I get it, and I don’t blame you. But as one reasonable person to another, I am asking you to reconsider. I am begging you to reconsider.
Arizona businesses oppose SB1062. The Greater Phoenix Economic Council wrote a letter to our Governor asking her to veto this bill, the president of the Valley’s Hotel and Resort Association opposes the bill, and on a smaller level, local businesses are displaying signs reading, “I Serve Our Whole Community.”
Boycotting Arizona harms the very businesses that are actively and vocally opposing this legislation. Boycotting Arizona harms every reasonable citizen we have, and feeds right into the hatred so many of us out here are fighting. A boycott by people who oppose discriminatory legislation? The extremists within my state don’t want you to visit anyway. Please don’t let them win.
I am asking a lot, I know. In exchange, we reasonable Arizonans will start to make a little more noise. We will start vocally expressing our disdain with our legislature. We will canvas door-to-door, we will make time to volunteer for campaigns, and we will promote the candidates who should be representing Arizona. We will speak with our votes.
Please give us a chance to prevail before you destroy us.