This won’t take long.
The fact that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has to think longer than a heartbeat about whether or not she will sign legislation making it OK for private businesses in her state to discriminate against gay people by refusing them service is all the evidence anyone should need of what’s wrong with Gov. Jan Brewer, what’s wrong with Arizona’s political climate, and what is wrong with the right wing-infected political climate of the entire nation.
You don’t stop and pause to consider the politics of whether or not to support another person’s right to be treated as a fellow human being. You don’t consult your advisers to discuss whether or not this is the proper time to oppose discrimination. Human beings deserve the right to be treated equally as fellow human beings. This is not complicated.
This nation has waged vicious, unjust, and bloody wars against its native inhabitants, and the result of those atrocities are still felt deeply today by their descendants and all of us. This nation has endured slavery, and the result of that atrocity is still haunting us as well. The legacy of gender-based discrimination is yet another crime that must be answered for. The list is long. But after the Civil War, the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and so many other pieces of legislation and accomplishments that were fought and paid for – oftentimes in blood – over so many years, the mere thought that a gay man or woman should have to live in a state where their publicly elected officials are still granted the power to deny them basic humanity simply because gay human beings make them uncomfortable?
No. Never again.
No state should have the ability to even present such legislation, and no governor should be given the opportunity to give such offensive legislation any consideration whatsoever. The basic humanity of all of us is a given, and at this late date, after so much blood has been spilled to affirm that fact, it should never again be allowed to be put up for a vote.
Our humanity is a God given right.
Keith Owens (AKA Black Liberal Boomer) is a Detroit-based writer who has worked for The Detroit Free Press, Detroit’s alternative newsweekly the Metro Times, the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, and other newspapers. He was also a nationally syndicated columnist with Universal Press Syndicate for three years beginning in 1993.