Actor and gay activist George Takei who played Lt Sulu in the original Star Trek series has issued a public letter to Arizona. Following is the text of that letter:
Congratulations. You are now the first state actually to pass a bill permitting businesses–even those open to the public–to refuse to provide service to LGBT people based on an individual’s “sincerely held religious belief.” This “turn away the gay” bill enshrines discrimination into the law. Your taxi drivers can refuse to carry us. Your hotels can refuse to house us. And your restaurants can refuse to serve us.
Kansas tried to pass a similar law, but had the good sense to not let it come up for a vote. The quashing came only after the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and other traditional conservative groups came out strongly against the bill.
But not you, Arizona. You’re willing to ostracize and marginalize LGBT people to score political points with the extreme right of the Republican Party. You say this bill protects “religious freedom,” but no one is fooled. When I was younger, people used “God’s Will” as a reason to keep the races separate, too. Make no mistake, this is the new segregation, yours is a Jim Crow law, and you are about to make yourself ground zero.
This bill also saddens me deeply. Brad and I have strong ties to Arizona. Brad was born in Phoenix, and we vacation in Show Low. We have close friends and relatives in the state and spend weeks there annually. We even attended the Fourth of July Parade in Show Low in 2012, looking like a pair of Arizona ranchers.
The law is breathtaking in its scope. It gives bigotry against us gays and lesbians a powerful and unprecedented weapon. But your mean-spirited representatives and senators know this. They also know that it is going to be struck down eventually by the courts. But they passed it anyway, just to make their hateful opinion of us crystal clear.
So let me make mine just as clear. If your Governor Jan Brewer signs this repugnant bill into law, make no mistake. We will not come. We will not spend. And we will urge everyone we know–from large corporations to small families on vacation–to boycott. Because you don’t deserve our dollars. Not one red cent.
And maybe you just never learn. In 1989, you voted down recognition of the Martin Luther King holiday, and as a result, conventions and tourists boycotted the state, and the NFL moved the Superbowl to Pasadena. That was a $500 million mistake.
So if our appeals to equality, fairness, and our basic right to live in a civil society without doors being slammed in our face for being who we are don’t move you, I’ll bet a big hit to your pocketbook and state coffers will.
You can find the original at the following link:
Personally I think the following words illustrate the REAL reason Arizona passed this legislation and it is to let it be known that Arizona dislikes gay people. Like Takei says they legislators know full well the courts will strike it down but they got their message out which appears to be “If you are LGBT stay out of good-ole boy Hillbilly Arizona.” PROBLEM is there ARE LGBT people living in AZ paying taxes and being good citizens. What comes next? Legislators pass a bill imprisoning LGBT or pass a bill giving them 24 hours to leave the state or face the NEW INQUISITION?
I heard several Arizona state Senators and Reps today say that when they voted for the bill they were not fully informed of the possible ramifications and they are now calling on Governor Brewer to veto it even though they voted for it. WTH? Let me see if I got this straight……you are supposedly an educated elected legislator and you need someone to tell you the possible ramifications over a bill like this? You mean you couldn’t figure it out yourself? Just what did these legislators think the ramifications would be? Frankly, I don’t believe them as I think that those who voted for the bill thought nothing would happen and now that a fire has been lit in Arizona they are jumping ship trying to avoid controversy…..again! And btw the Democrats in the legislature WARNED both House and Senate members in debates what the ramifications of passing this bill would be and everything they warned about has now come to pass!! But the GOP in Az went ahead and passed it anyway and, as I stated, just to get their hate-filled, prejudice good-ole boy opinion out to LGBT loud and clear. Every legislator who voted for this should be IMPEACHED as obviously they have now proven they are incompetent and lack any foresight whatsoever! And if Brewer signs it into law she ought to be impeached as well.
Jim Crow Law? You bet! The New Segregation? That’s exactly what this is!
Now shall we discuss a bit of theology and What Would JESUS Do????