Will Jan Brewer Legalize Discrimination?

A proposed Arizona law is bigoted, unconstitutional and bad for business.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer waves to cheering supporters in the gallery of the Arizona House of Representatives on Jan. 13, 2014, in Phoenix. The Republican governor hasn't said if she will sign into law a bill that would purportedly protect religious freedom.

Gov. Jan Brewer's refusal to call for an immediate veto speaks volumes about her character.

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I heard the Prince song "1999" today and had to laugh, because when I saw the legislation that the state of Arizona passed last week, it felt more like 1899. And now all eyes are on Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer.

Brewer has until Saturday to decide whether she'll approve or veto a bill allowing business owners the right to refuse service to gays and others on the basis of religion. The fact that she hasn't vetoed it quickly, despite Republicans in her state and in Washington crying out for her to do so, speaks volume about her character, or lack thereof.

[See a collection of political cartoons on gay marriage.] 

Let’s be honest folks. This law would be discrimination at its finest. I also think this law is unconstitutional. Although we do have a First Amendment right to our religious freedoms, the 14th Amendment clearly states that "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Isn’t ordering a latte, pizza or wedding cake a "privilege"? To withhold that from one, doesn't that deprive them of liberty?

That Arizona lawmakers spent time on this bill would make one think everything else there is just coming up roses, but it's definitely not. Unemployment, at 8.2 percent, is higher than the national average. The high school drop out rate is nearly 4 percent. And according to the Atlas Van Lines 2013 Migration Patterns Study, more people are leaving Arizona than moving there.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the economy.]

Yes, economic growth in Arizona is expected to be about 3.2 percent this year. But if Brewer does not veto this legislation, that will surely change. There are a number of large companies that have come out against this legislation, urging the governor to do the right thing, including American Airlines, Apple, Marriott and Delta, to name a few. At a time when businesses are desiring growth after years of cutting back and seeing fewer and fewer patrons through their doors, it would be foolish and very bad business to turn anyone away, for any reason. And as a post on Facebook I read today said: "Arizona will soon learn that the Gay community and those who support them and don't like this law have money and like to buy stuff." 

As Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain from Arizona warned, the law would “hurt the state of Arizona’s economy and, frankly, our image." But obviously Brewer doesn't care about that right? From prior legislation, we know that Arizona legislators don't like brown people. Now we know they also don't like gays. Who’s next?