Hats off to Governor Jan Brewer for finally putting an end to the circus and spectacle the state of Arizona had become (again) over the past week. Yes, it took her much longer to veto the bill than most logical, open-minded people expected, but so what? At least it is just an unpleasant memory now. . . Or is it?
Although we will still more than likely host the Super Bowl next year, and other businesses will remain in the Valley, this ordeal will continue to cause negative publicity for the state. On a national level, many LGBT travelers may choose to vacation and spend their hard earned money in more tolerant states, regardless of the vetoed bill. According to the Arizona Office of Tourism director, Sherry Henry, "Tourism is one of Arizona's top-export industries and generates thousands of jobs, millions of dollars in earnings and billions of dollars in tax revenues all of which directly impacts every Arizona resident,"
The stigma left on this state after the proposal of this bill is going to linger for quite some time. Lindsey Wagoner, a gay friend living in Boston states, "I guess Laura and I will cross Arizona off our list of places to move to for a warmer climate; at least where I live, gays are legal to marry and aren't openly discriminated against."
Several other friends and family members living in states across the country continue to make remarks like, "This is 2014 not 1954, how did this bill even make it that far in the first place?" And, "Way to set Arizona back 50 years. This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard."
With the elections approaching in November, it is more important than ever for everyone who opposed this bill and urged for the veto to get out to the polls and vote. The list of senators who actually supported SB 1062 is public information. So, it is time to do our homework and be diligent in voting more open-minded, rational politicians into office come next year.
Arizona is a beautiful, sunny, amazing place to visit and live. Let's not let a handful of conservative politicians drag us through the mud ever again.