‘Star Trek’ star George Takei targets Arizona’s ‘Turn Away Gay’ bill coming it to Jim Crow era
Critics are targeting the Arizona bill which is designed to protect the religious freedom of business owners. Calling it the “Turn Away Gay” bill, Star Trek star George Takei wrote an opposition piece called “Raising Arizona.”
“You’re willing to ostracize and marginalize LGBT people to score political points with the extreme right of the Republican Party. You say this bill protects “religious freedom,” but no one is fooled. When I was younger, people used “God’s Will” as a reason to keep the races separate, too. Make no mistake, this is the new segregation, yours is a Jim Crow law, and you are about to make yourself ground zero.”
The bill protects businesses from lawsuits for refusing services based on religious beliefs. While the photographer or baker can refuse a gay wedding, presumably a Muslim business could refuse a Jew or a gay owner could refuse a heterosexual customer.
“This “turn away the gay” bill enshrines discrimination into the law. Your taxi drivers can refuse to carry us. Your hotels can refuse to house us. And your restaurants can refuse to serve us.”
Takei then outlines and predicts the fallout from passing the bill into law.
“The law is breathtaking in its scope. It gives bigotry against us gays and lesbians a powerful and unprecedented weapon. But your mean-spirited representatives and senators know this. They also know that it is going to be struck down eventually by the courts. But they passed it anyway, just to make their hateful opinion of us crystal clear… We will not come. We will not spend. And we will urge everyone we know–from large corporations to small families on vacation–to boycott. Because you don’t deserve our dollars. Not one red cent.”
“And maybe you just never learn. In 1989, you voted down recognition of the Martin Luther King holiday, and as a result, conventions and tourists boycotted the state, and the NFL moved the Superbowl to Pasadena. That was a $500 million mistake.”