On Wednesday, February 26, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed SB 1062, which was a bill that would give merchants the right
to deny service to people that they believed were homosexual. Governor Brewer said that she gave both sides a lot of thought before she made her decision. According to CNN Online, she stated, “I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to resolve. It could divide Arizona in ways that we cannot even imagine and no one would ever want that.”
As with most politics, there were probably many factors that influenced her decision. Governor Brewer said that she considered how the United States was founded on the philosophy of religious freedom, but, through the years, non-discrimination has also become a core value within the United States. Another important issue that was most likely considered was the probability that a higher court would have overturned this anti-gay law as unconstitutional, and those lawsuits would have wasted taxpayer dollars. Finally, money almost always factors into politics, and corporations including Apple, American Airlines, AT & T, and the Super Bowl Host Committee had all expressed concerns about this law.
I’m a theater kid, and I am lucky enough to surround myself with other theater kids. Many of my friends have already come out, and I’m sure there will be others who eventually come out as they get older. When I am at my summer theater camp, we all eat together, perform together, sleep together, and hang out together without issues. Everyone is equal. Everyone is safe. Everyone is respected. I cannot imagine walking into a restaurant with a friend and being denied service because some business owner makes an instant judgment call based on some behavior that they label as “gay.” What is to stop a business owner from denying service to another category of people and just say that they seemed “gay?” At my high school, we have an active and respected GSA where we discuss gay issues like SB 1062, and I love being at a school where differences are appreciated and not disrespected.
Why should high school girls care about gay rights in one state in our nation? I’ll tell you why. When one group of people in our country loses a bit of their freedom, it endangers the freedom of everybody. Fifty years ago, there were business owners who felt justified in refusing service to black customers. Today, it is clear that those business owners were on the wrong side of history. How is refusing service to gay customers any different? Furthermore, the politics that are passed today leave their impression on the future of this country. Where will any of us be in ten years? Twenty years? Thirty years? These laws could affect us in the future in ways that none of us can imagine now. Become educated and get involved in politics.
To find out how teens can get involved in politics, click below: