I hope that by the time you read this, Gov. Jan Brewer will have vetoed SB1062, the ill-advised piece of legislation that allows business owners to cite their religious beliefs when deciding who to serve or not to serve.
It was still radiating on her desk at the time of this writing.
No matter its fate, many believe 1062 already has done its damage on Arizona’s image and it will leave treadmarks on tourism and economic development efforts.
The bill is all about giving business owners the right to refuse service to anyone who falls outside their religious beliefs.
Since the bill is about our right to refuse, I have a list of a few things I refuse to do.
I refuse to:
Assume that lawmakers are never small minded and always have the ability to see the big picture results of what they’re up to.
Compromise my values, which say everyone should be treated fairly no matter who they are or what they look like.
Visit any business that thinks they’ll benefit from SB1062.
Move so quickly I make bad – really bad – decisions by not understanding issues fully enough, especially issues that have the potential to have devastating long-term effects.
Look for reasons to refuse people, rather than for reasons to embrace them.
Lose faith in my adopted home state. I won’t surrender the idea that Arizona can be a rich vein of entrepreneurial excellence and innovation energy that also makes it attractive for big information-age companies to want to be here.
To let Arizona’s major business leaders off the hook. A lot of legislators who signed on to this had solid backing and financial support from major business leaders, many of whom now are leading voices against the issue.
Sway from the belief that diversity in all forms improves the greater good.
To ever think that it’s wise to rely on long-term visioning for the state to come from the legislative ranks – at least until we figure out a way to elect legislators who bring broader, more inclusive perspectives to the table.
Ignore the past. Arizona is full of misguided political moves that have cost the state a lot of money and momentum over the years. It’s time we learned what kinds of issues can virtually explode on the national scene, creating a mess so big it takes years to clean up.