As JMG readers know, I get regular, often multiple daily press releases from all of the major LGBT rights groups when there’s big breaking news. Unless I’ve missed something, there has not been one response from any of these organizations in the 24 hours since the Arizona legislature voted to legalize anti-gay discrimination. I’ve gotten zero outraged press releases and there’s basically nothing about Arizona on the websites of the Human Rights Campaign, AFER, Lambda Legal, NCLR, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, Freedom To Marry, or GLAAD. Yesterday HRC did tweet out a link to five-sentence blog post and the Task Force today retweeted somebody else’s message to contact Gov. Jan Brewer. But that’s it, as far I can I tell.
To be fair, what happened in Arizona isn’t exactly on-mission for some of these groups – but they have been eager to stray in the past. And it also could be that cooler heads than mine are evaluating their responses or simply waiting for Brewer’s decision. But I doubt that I’m alone in being fucking bewildered that the media has thus far heard bupkis from the usual giants and are instead looking to bloggers and grassroots activists on social media to assess the reaction from our people. If you’ve seen something that I haven’t, I’ll be delighted to be proven wrong. Maybe tonight’s cable news shows will tell a different story.
UPDATE: Squeaky wheel? Just in from the HRC.
Following the Senate passage of Arizona’s so-called “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin released the following statement: “This bill is bad for business, bad for the LGBT community and bad for all Arizonans. Governor Brewer, who herself described it as very controversial, must veto it and send a strong message that legally sanctioned discrimination has no place in Arizona. “Religious groups have a long established first amendment ability to operate according to their own beliefs. However, when individuals or businesses go out into the commercial market, they must abide by legal non-discrimination provisions. “When providing a service to the public, a business owner shouldn’t pick and choose who they want to provide a service to and who they want to deny. Instead of protecting religious liberty, this bill gives license for discrimination to run rampant across the state.”
UPDATE II: Just in from Freedom To Marry, who sent this to their Arizona supporters tonight.
Yesterday, the Arizona House passed the anti-freedom SB1062. SB1062 would allow anyone — from businesses to employers — to openly discriminate against LGBT Arizonans on the grounds of “religious beliefs.” It’s a scary piece of legislation, and it poses real harm to thousands of Arizona families. The bill has already passed in the Senate, which means it’s now on its way to Governor Brewer’s desk. This is our last chance to stop it from becoming law. Contact Governor Brewer and ask her to veto this discriminatory piece of legislation. Religious freedom is a fundamental part of America, but those beliefs don’t entitle any of us to discriminate against others. Freedom means freedom for everyone. If SB1062 were signed into law, it would mean it’s legal to treat people differently because of who they are and who they love. Leading businesses from across the state have already spoken out against this legislation because they know it would create a reputation that Arizonans are judgmental and unwelcoming — and haunt the business climate for decades to come. Urge Governor Brewer to veto this dangerous bill. You can help stop SB1062 and defend liberty for every family who calls Arizona home.
UPDATE III: Just in from the Task Force.
“This bill cynically uses religion as a smokescreen to justify discrimination. It also has the unfortunate effect of signaling that LGBT customers are not welcome in Arizona — at a time when our economy is still recovering. We urge Governor Brewer, who was a business owner, to use her power to veto this terrible bill.” – Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund