Since the bill legalizing discrimination on religious grounds passed the Arizona Senate, three of the Teapublicans who voted for the bill are now calling for our finger-wagging governor to veto it. They claim that they really didn’t understand all of the bill’s implications in their rush to vote it into law. But now that the state has, once again, become a laughing stock, they have changed their minds.
That presumes, of course, that they had minds to begin with.
You see, the Tea Party brand of hate is so strong in Arizona, it seems that our legislators are always in a hurry to embarrass the state. No time to listen to Democrats. No time to seek advice from leaders in the business community. No time to seek the advice of mainstream religious leaders. No time to listen to reason. If it will harm minorities, including Democrats, they must act fast.
And this isn’t the first time. Last year, the Teapublican-led legislature passed a bill making sweeping changes to the state’s election laws that would make it more difficult for non-Republican candidates to get on the ballot and to raise campaign funds. When Democrats, Libertarians, and other parties collected more than enough signitures to place the issue on the ballot, this year’s Teapublican-led legislature repealed the law. They’re now in the process of trying to sneak the law past the electorate one piece at a time.
In other words, they haven’t changed their minds. They’ve merely changed their tactics.
And now that the public outcry against SB 1062 has made it difficult to institutionalize discrimination in the state, they’ll look for new ways to demean and diminish the rights of minorities. After all, this is the state that refused to accept Martin Luther King Day until it cost Arizona the opportunity to host a Super Bowl. It’s the same state that passed SB 1070 making it illegal to have brown skin and speak Spanish, then spent tens of millions trying to defend its racist agenda in court.
Make no mistake. SB 1062 certainly won’t be the end of discriminatory and mean-spirited laws in Arizona. As long as Teapublicans control the legislature, it will always be in a hurry to embarrass the state.