Arizona Gay Segregation Bill Vetoed

Expanding the LGBTQ Conversation
Feb. 26 2014 7:50 PM

Arizona Gay Segregation Bill Vetoed

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer.

Photo by JIM LO SCALZO-Pool/Getty Images

Amid mounting pressure from gay rights activists, major corporations, constituents, and even fellow Republicans, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed SB 1062—a bill variously understood as a protection of religious liberty or Arizona’s own “gay segregation” measure—on Wednesday evening. As Outward’s Mark Joseph Stern wrote on Tuesday, the bill would have had disastrous consequences as business owners and even individual employees found themselves free to refuse service to gay people, especially at lucrative events like the 2015 Super Bowl currently scheduled to take place in the state:  

Should the anti-gay bill become law, any stadium employee—from a parking lot attendant to a hot dog vendor—could demand to know a spectator’s orientation and deny him service if he’s gay. A ticket-taker could screen all fans at the gate and refuse the gay ones entry. And due to the breathtaking breadth of the law, the NFL could do absolutely nothing to stop it. Every employee would have a right to turn away gay people, and no employer would be legally permitted to demand equal treatment of all customers.

The backlash against bills of this sort in states across the country has been surprisingly (and hearteningly) swift, with similar measures fizzling out in Kansas and Idaho in recent weeks. Indeed, in this case, state legislators responsible for sending SB1062 to Brewer’s desk last Thursday actually joined Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake and former presidential hopeful Mitt Romney in calling for the veto on Tuesday. While it would be nice to believe this change of heart was due to the sudden growth of one, it’s clear that the threat of boycotts and warnings from the likes of Apple, American Airlines, and Marriott—not to mention the NFL—were the main causes. 

J. Bryan Lowder is a Slate assistant editor. He writes and edits for Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section, and for the culture section.


Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race

How Facebook’s New Feature Could Come in Handy During a Disaster

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

View From Chicago

You Should Be Able to Sell Your Kidney

Or at least trade it for something.

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Terrorism, Immigration, and Ebola Are Combining Into a Supercluster of Anxiety

The Legal Loophole That Allows Microsoft to Seize Assets and Shut Down Companies

  News & Politics
Oct. 17 2014 4:21 PM Why the Poor Pay $1,400 for Old iPads #MuckReads: A weekly roundup of investigative reporting from ProPublica.
Business Insider
Oct. 19 2014 11:40 AM Pot-Infused Halloween Candy Is a Worry in Colorado
Oct. 17 2014 5:26 PM Judge Begrudgingly Strikes Down Wyoming’s Gay Marriage Ban
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 17 2014 1:54 PM Republican Midterm Debate Strategy: Be Pro-Life, But Not Anti-Abortion
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Oct. 17 2014 1:33 PM What Happened at Slate This Week?  Senior editor David Haglund shares what intrigued him at the magazine. 
Oct. 19 2014 4:33 PM Building Family Relationships in and out of Juvenile Detention Centers
Future Tense
Oct. 17 2014 6:05 PM There Is No Better Use For Drones Than Star Wars Reenactments
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 19 2014 7:30 AM Persistence Pays Off: The Smoking Trail of a Shooting Star
Sports Nut
Oct. 16 2014 2:03 PM Oh What a Relief It Is How the rise of the bullpen has changed baseball.