Re: NFL - Tells AZ- No or Else
posted at 2/26/2014 6:34 AM EST
I haven't seen a source that says the NFL said they will move the Super Bowl if Brewer signs the law. All I've seen is a quote from an NFL representative urging the mayor to veto the bill. Hundreds of companies have sent letters to Brewer urging a veto. Most businesses (at least larger ones) think this is a very bad bill. I know American Airlines, Apple Computer, Marriott, and a few other businesses have also made public statements in opposition to the bill.
Part of the problem with the bill is that it opens the door for people to do (or refuse to do) all sorts of things if they can justify their action or nonaction by a religious belief. The bill is clearly intended to allow people not to serve and possibly not to hire gays (it is, for all the rhetoric about "religious freedom" an anti-gay bill), but it also (and somewhat ironically given conservative fears about Muslims trying to make Sharia the law in the US) could be used by a Muslim as justification for following Sharia law in his business dealings. Of course, it also could likely be used to legalize polygamy for Mormons and legalize differential treatment for gays, women, the unmarried, the divorced, and other groups often viewed as "different" under religious rules. Some have suggested that the law would give medical providers or employers who provide medical insurance all sorts of ways to limit reproductive care (birth control, in-vitro fertilization, abortion). This would, of course, be seen as a "benefit" of the law by the religious conservatives who are pushing it.
Some of the supporters of the bill have taken to arguing that all these other possibilities are "far-fetched," which again somewhat ironically proves that their main objective isn't to allow free practice of religion, but to allow discrimination against gays. They are basically trying to defend the bill by saying it really wouldn't lead to other types of religious "freedom" just the "freedom" not to serve gays.
In reality, the bill responds to no real problem. The wedding controversies all occured in states where the law requires businesses to treat people equally regardless of sexual orientation. Arizona has no such law, so it's questionable whether the courts in Arizona would rule the same way as the courts in New Mexico or Oregon. In those states, the law explicitly prevents discrimination against gays, so the businesses that did discriminate were in violation of laws that Arizona doesn't have. There's no way to look at this bill other than a publicity stunt by the right wingers in the Arizona legislature designed to excite their base. The rest of the world, though, looks at the bill for what it is--a petty attack against gays that, if signed into law, simply reinforces the image of backwardness that Arizona has already cultivated for itself thanks to its anti-imigrant legislation of a few years ago and its stubborn refusal to recognize Martin Luther King day as a holiday.