Recently, the Arizona legislature passed a bill that gives Arizona businesses the right to refuse service to same-sex couples. This discriminatory piece of legislation, which is on its way to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, promotes social injustice in the guise of protecting religious freedom.
“When I heard about this legislation, I couldn’t believe it was an actual bill that had passed both houses of Arizona’s legislature,” said Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez (D-29- Bernalillo & Valencia). “It saddens me to know that elected officials from our neighboring state would get behind legislation that encourages unequal treatment based on sexual orientation. The legislative process should not be used as a vehicle to discriminate against anyone. As legislators, it is our duty to protect all people and stand up for what is right. I remain committed to fighting for equal rights for all in this country.”
According to a recent Huffington Post article, Arizona Democrat Representative Raul Grijalva described several conservative, right-winged movements as“anti-immigrant, anti-worker, anti-environment, anti-women, anti-education, and anti-gun safety.” In 2010 Arizona passed Senate Bill 1070, an anti-immigration law that gives authorities the right to search anyone fitting the description of an “illegal alien.” Arizona lawmakers have also tried to cut off family planning funding to Planned Parenthood, but they were overruled by the U.S. Supreme Court.
In December, New Mexico joined 17 additional states, when its Supreme Court unanimously ruled to affirm the right of same-sex couples to marry.