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Friday, October 28, 2016

Boycott Arizona.

Somebody design the T-shirts. Somebody ready the bumperstickers.

Boycott Arizona.

Gov. Jan Brewer has not said at this writing whether she will veto a bill passed by the state legislature that would allow businesses to refuse service to gay people on religious grounds. Maybe she’ll do the right thing. Maybe we should be ready in case she does not.

After all, this is the state that resisted the Martin Luther King holiday for six years. The one that outlawed ethnic studies classes. The one where state lawmakers tried to redefine U.S. citizenship to snub so-called “anchor babies.” The one where brown people are required to show their papers.

Maybe it’s time the rest of us said, “Enough.” Maybe we should boycott Arizona.

Or, we could boycott Ohio, Mississippi, Idaho, South Dakota, Tennessee, Oklahoma or Kansas, where similar measures are or have been under consideration. Granted, such a law is unlikely to survive its first court challenge. Granted, too, these laws amount to little more than temper tantrums by last-ditch bigots who don’t realize history has passed them by as a Ferrari does a traffic cone. But perhaps there is something to be said for inflicting economic pain as a way of saying, “Cut it out.” Perhaps the right wing’s proud embrace of ignorance and intolerance has grown so toxic they demand to be confronted. Perhaps the forces of bigotry have held the floor long enough and it’s time those of us who value comity, concord and tolerance make our voices heard.

Boycott Arizona.

Don’t be fooled by pious babblespeak that claims these laws only protect the rights of religious people who object to homosexuality. No one seeks to compel any preacher to perform a same-sex marriage if doing so violates his conscience. But if that pastor works for a bakery during the week, it is none of his business whether the wedding cake he bakes is for John and Jan or John and Joe.

Remember in 2007 when Muslim cabdrivers in Minneapolis-St. Paul argued for the right to refuse to carry passengers with alcohol because their faith frowns on booze? Then as now, the answer was simple: This is America. Your right to follow religious conscience ends at someone else’s right to receive public services in public places. Do your darn job. Or quit and give it to somebody who will.

Boycott Arizona.

Yeah, the Canyon is Grand, but once you’ve see one hole in the ground, you’ve seen them all.

Boycott Arizona.

The sun shines in California, too.

Boycott Arizona.

  • sigrid28

    What it means to “boycott Arizona” comes into better focus if you can visualize some of other companies that would be involved as well as those mentioned in Leonard Pitts’s article. Imagine their HR departments acting on religious inhibition when hiring in Arizona. Imagine the effect a national boycott would have on these businesses. Here is a list of some of them, annotated on Wikipedia:

    “List of Arizona companies includes notable companies that are headquartered or were founded in Arizona–

    ABCO Foods
    Air Evac
    Allied Waste Industries
    America West Airlines
    Amkor Technology
    Apollo Group
    Arizona Diamondbacks
    Arizona Public Service
    Arizona Republic

    Bashas’ Supermarkets
    Best Western

    Carollo Engineers
    CSK Auto
    Cold Stone Creamery
    CyraCom International

    Davidson & Belluso
    Dial Corporation
    Discount Tire Company

    eFunds Corporation

    Fender Musical Instruments
    First Solar
    Freeport-McMoRan(Phelps Dodge)
    Fry’s Food and Drug, a division of Kroger
    Fulton Homes

    Giant Industries
    Go Daddy
    Grand Canyon Airlines

    Harkins Theatres

    Insight Enterprises

    JDA Software Group

    Knight Transportation

    Main Street Restaurant Group
    Meritage Homes
    Mesa Airlines
    Microchip Technology
    Mobile Mini

    ON Semiconductor

    P.F. Chang’s China Bistro
    Peter Piper Pizza
    Pinnacle West Capital Corporation
    Poore Brothers

    The Rainmaker Institute

    Republic Services
    RotorWay International

    Safety Services Company
    Salt River Project
    Shamrock Farms
    Sierra Pacific Airlines
    Swift Air
    Swift Transportation

    TASER International
    Tilted Kilt

    US Airways
    Unisource Energy

    Viad Corporation
    Voiance Language Services


    This page was last modified on 24 February 2014 at 08:31.”

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    Leonard, it’s still segregation. Whether the actions are taken against Catholics, Irish, Blacks, Italians, Poles, Jews, Hispanics, Women, Muslims, Sikhs, Gays, etc., it still stinks like last week’s fish!
    A number of years back when Arizona was pulling another of its “let’s shoot ourselves in the foot” moves, we were working on a training seminar schedule for the next year. I recommended we use Albuquerque instead of Phoenix for the location. When the manager of the place we usually used asked why we weren’t running the program in Phoenix, I advised him to check with his state legislature for the reason. Granted, we were only a small part of business, but we represented about 50% of that locations “conference business” for that week. While it did not affect other businesses in the area that much, we represented a significant potential loss of income for that company.

    • rose maryawn

      My Uncle Gabriel got a stunning blue Dodge
      Charger SRT8 from only workin part time on a home pc… hop over to here

  • JD

    The fault lies with the people of Arizona, not the sniveling toadies to the American Christian Taliban who have floated this piece of legislative excrement in at least six other states.

    The hate mongers in the Arizona state legislature got into office via a fair and free election. So either they reflect the values of their constituents or they lied in order to get elected.

    If they truly speak for the people then the population of Arizona is repeating the “German” mistake and is in drastic need of immediate moral assistance.

    If they lied and the people of Arizona were hoodwinked then the people should demand an immediate recall.

    In any case, the people are responsible for what is happening in Arizona and they are the only ones that can put this right. If they don’t then they deserve a nosedive in their economy and a boycott.

    • plc97477

      I am not sure we can say that anymore. With the voter suppression going on in the country our elections are not fair and free.

    • FT66

      You do not need to scratch the head to know one is crazy. Their actions tell all.

    • That is why political officials run for reelection every 2 to 4 years. The people of Arizona have a chance to get rid of the bigots and/or incompetents–if they want to.

  • Chalrley Walker

    Arizona is so short of water — out-of-staters will only stay until they must have a bath — and then they will leave.
    Rather than worry about a boycott — just start demanding your own senators and representatives reject any measure to help Arizona with its water needs.
    The same for ultra-conservative southern California — So long as they can steal Northern California and Colorado River water — they’re fine.
    Now that they are forced to consider desalinization and recycling their sewage water — they will want your dollars to pay for it.
    Demand your senator and representative reject any funding for their water.
    They want to be free and independent to trample upon the rights of others — Let them be FREE and INDEPENDENT of others’ tax dollars.

  • James Bowen

    This bill is despicable, but Arizona is right on with their efforts to crack down on illegal immigration. That has nothing to do with discrimination, and has everything to do with recognizing that there are limits to how many people can be provided for.

  • Lovefacts

    The actions of Arizona’s religious right goes beyond hatred of gays or anyone who doesn’t think as they do. To that end, they’ve used their religion to justify intolerance and hate behind the canard that their religious beliefs are being violated by doing business with gays.

    This argument will fail just as those of segregationists did when defending refusing service to Blacks at diners. SCOTUS has already ruled that that when a business opens it doors to the public, service can’t be denied based upon color. Yes, that case was about color/segregation and not sexual orientation. However, this law codifies discrimination based upon the business owner’s religious beliefs.

    Sadly, their use of First Amendment to support their legislation with it’s use of religious beliefs proves they don’t know or understand that Amendment. Unfortunately for them the First Amendment Establishment Clause DOES NOT guarantee religious freedom. It DOES guarantee “freedom from a state-sponsored religion.” Therefore,passing laws to support a religion’s views to validate intolerance, to make it an us versus them. I’m confident even “this” SCOTUS will rule these laws unconstitutional.

    Interestingly, IMO, this also applies to the harsh anti-abortion laws passed, given they’ve centered on specific religious beliefs and deny science and the rights of specific citizens–women–to own/control their own bodies.

  • howa4x

    The most interesting thing to me about the religious right is that they are very brave in their intolerance when outside of the camera’s view, and now on the run as the spotlight of bigotry shines brightly on their state. It amazes me that the republican president of the Arizona state senate now claims he didn’t understand what he was doing, and only heard negative feedback from democrats that warned him of the potential blowback. Now he is pleading with the governor to veto the republican bill. Maybe this will send a message to the republican right that the rest of the country is not intolerant, and major business don’t want to be associated with bigots. You would think they would have paid attention when the president of Chick-A-filet made anti gay statements and touched off a national boycott of his food chain. He had to recant and said publically he made a mistake, even though he was backed by right wing media. Speaking of that where is the rogues gallery of the right wing media, where are they on this issue? They have been silent. Where is Sarah Palin when republicans in Arizona need her the most? You would think they would be running to the camera to show support for the intolerance they helped to foment. They are all a bunch of closed door cowards.

    • Seems like they are more willing to be seen as incompetent than as bigots. Strikes me they are incompetent bigots.

  • stcroixcarp

    What more can I do? I am already boycotting Arizona over that racist immigration thing! Is there anyway we could give Arizona back to Mexico?

    • jmprint

      Mexico doesn’t want the slime that runs the state.

  • MichelleRose3

    Personally, I don’t give a rip what someone thinks of me. “Ya can’t hang a man for what he’s thinkin’,” my daddy used to say. But you can damn sure string him up if he acts on it, Dad.

    I’m speaking metaphorically, of course. Much as I’d like to see those who lynched blacks in the last century (that would be the 20th, in case you missed the Millenium) get a serious taste of their own medicine, it’s stupid to fight fire with gasoline. My point is simple: it doesn’t matter what another American thinks of me while he or she stares and wonders how I escaped from my cage. What matters is how they treat me.

    The Arizona law is incredibly stupid for two reasons: 1) how does one identify an LGBTQ person? Someone should mention to the dunderheads who wrote this law that gay and lesbian (and trans and bi’s and queer-identifying) people rarely look the way they do as portrayed on TV and the movies. (Which is another form of bigotry called “signification” and we’re going to have to kick ass in the editing rooms of many television networks and many Hollywood studios before we can eliminate it) In short, NOBODY can look at another person and say: “THAT person is gay!” or “THAT person is a lesbian!” and be one hundred percent correct all the time. Can’t be done. Maybe that’s possible in the case of a trans woman (passable feminine beauty is an expensive option for ANYONE these days), but certainly NOT most trans men and NO WAY for a bisexual. Q-identifying? I dunno. I suppose, in some limited ways.

    The other reason it’s stupid? What if you’re wrong? What if you look at someone, decide he or she is homosexual, refuse service and then find out that the person you just discriminated against is in no way non-normative, ie: perfectly straight and cisgender. Then what? Does the discriminated-against individual get his/her day in court? Worse, does that discriminated person have to PROVE they aren’t LGBT or Q? How does one PROVE that?

    Imagine you’re a shop owner. You sell thingumabobs. A fellow comes in and maybe he has a slight lisp and maybe he “seems” a bit effeminate. Do you risk a BIG lawsuit by telling this guy that he can’t buy your thingumabobs? If you do and he whips out photos of his wife and three kids and nine grandchildren, what do you do then? Apologize? Pay him a cash settlement on the spot? You might as well. He’s going to clean you out when he takes you to court. Do you beg his forgiveness for making a “natural mistake”?

    Or do you behave like a civilized, semi-sophisticated member of our Twenty-first century society and simply IGNORE what is none of your friggin’ business in the first place?

    C’mon, get real! Is Jesus going to send you to Hell because you sold a thingumabob to a gay man or a lesbian woman? Apparently the empty-headed jackasses who wrote this law think so. Good riddance to them. Perhaps they need a taste of their own Hell and then they wouldn’t be so eager to send anyone there.

    Anyway you slice it, dice it, or carve it into tournedos, this is a dumbass law written by dumbasses who really meant to say: “Discrimination toward anyone whose appearance I don’t like is perfectly okay.”

    Put in that context, it’s not only stupid, it’s downright evil. Evil is essentially stupid (otherwise it wouldn’t be evil) and always meets the same end.

    • sigrid28

      I hope the dim legislators in other states contemplating similar legislation will read your post. You bring up a new point in this discussion so far. Americans have made winning a law suit, even frivolous ones, one of the two ways to strike it reach and enter the 1% . The other way is winning the lottery, and 35% of the 99% genuinely count on that–at least they buy tickets regularly. Until Americans of all stripes stop believing in their own dumb luck, business owners who put their faith in discriminatory laws like the one just vetoed in Arizona will be sitting ducks–no puns intended.

  • old_blu

    “Although religion is often seen as a force for good, in reality it is often a force for evil, too. One of the ways in which religion can cause problems is by causing people to become intolerant: intolerant of other religions, intolerant of other races, etc.” And now the LBGT community, and that is the most vile form of bigotry because they think they have some special stamp of approval because of religion.
    This is just another nail in the GOPTP coffin, sometimes you just let your opponent go and they’ll beat themselves. (just like shooting pool)

  • plc97477

    I am ready to boycott. I will have to take my vacation in some other state this year.

    • old_blu

      Yeah I wonder how many gay people and people like myself the support LBGT community that would love to see the Grand Canyon but can’t now. Oh well, you’ve seen one big hole you’ve seen them all.

    • CPAinNewYork

      Why restrict yourself to the United States? Go to northern Siberia…on a one-way ticket.

      • idamag

        People don’t come any more ignorant than you. You live in New York? And you are a CPA? You sound more like a bumpkin who never got exposed to people with diverse ideas.

      • neeceoooo

        Can I ask you what that comment has to do with the discussion? It appears nothing so get lost.

        • CPAinNewYork

          Screw you, too.

          • old_blu

            Nice! Conservative?

  • Boycott Arizona. Damn right.

    • lemstoll


      • This bill is only the latest of a long string of offenses against morality and common sense to come out of Arizona. Three words, “Sheriff Joe Arpaio.”

    • CPAinNewYork

      Why boycott Arizona? If a shopkeeper or any kind of businessperson doesn’t want to sell to a gay person, that’s his or her right and his or her economic loss.

      I heard the same thing about restaurants that want to start to refuse to serve couples with young children. I’m for that, because I’ve frequently been annoyed by noisy children whose inconsiderate parents don’t try to keep them quiet.

      • So if you do not like a restaurant because of noisy children you take your business elsewhere. That is different than a business owner saying I refuse to serve customers with children because my religion says children are evil.

        • CPAinNewYork

          No it isn’t. The question is whether the merchant has the right to refuse service based on whatever criteria he or she chooses to use.

          In the restaurant case, the proprietor doesn’t want other patrons annoyed by children. In Arizona’s case, the merchant doesn’t want to deal with people he despises.

  • lemstoll


    • So why did it take Governor Brewer so long to decide to veto the bill? I could see 24 hours to get legal advise. This bill is was so obviously unconstitutional, as well as being bad for business, that it should have been vetoed immediately.

      • Independent1

        I think it took some doing to convince her that signing it was a big mistake. Despite what James Bowden says, Governor Brewer doesn’t have one ounce of common sense.

  • Hima Layan

    In some ways, much of the current disrespect for liberty and individual responsibility results from misunderstanding the lessons of science.

  • idamag

    This morning Jan Brewer had the good sense to veto the bill. Better than what we have in Idaho.

    • pszymeczek

      Actually6, it was in the late afternoon – 5 PM MST.

    • old_blu

      She only did it because of the money, but it was still the right thing to do. I think Apple, and the NFL looking elsewhere opened her eyes real wide.

  • pszymeczek

    Great column, Leonard! We in Arizona dodged the bullet this time.