Ed Said: Edward Gelernt’s Comments on the World
This Week: Arizona Bill SB1062
Daily Show host Jon Stewart is frequently right on target, but his characterization of Arizona’s bill SB1062 as “morally repugnant” stood out as particularly apt. The bill, which would have permitted small business owners to deny service to gay and lesbian couples on the grounds of their religious beliefs, represents a new low point in our repulsively anti-progressive debate over equality for all sexual orientations. The Constitution may be open to interpretation, but how one takes “freedom to practice religion” and extrapolates “freedom to discriminate against others” simply perplexes me. Did Arizona’s state legislators forget their duty to protect everyone’s right to the pursuit of happiness, as so famously posited by none other than Thomas Jefferson? When asked by Anderson Cooper, State Senator Al Melvin couldn’t mention a single example of anyone suing for a violation of their religious freedom by being forced to serve gays. His defense of the bill? “It’s a preemptive measure.” Stewart, in reviewing/parodying the story, articulated exactly what many of us were thinking, exactly as we wish we could have articulated it: “Here in Arizona, we’re all about protecting ourselves from…possible futures. That’s why I also co-sponsored the Robot Voter ID Bill of 2042!” Even though the bill was vetoed by Arizona’s governor (thank goodness), the fact that it ever got to her desk is sickening and frankly offensive to all the decent human beings who live there. If only the Arizonans would take up Jefferson on the Declaration and overthrow the state government that has clearly abused its power over the people.
(As an aside, this is not the first time Arizona has been in the news. If you’re up for a good gut-busting laugh, watch this video.)