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Published On: Sun, Feb 23rd, 2014

‘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.”

George Takei Star Trek Big Bang Theory appearance“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.”

 

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news for Examiner, starting and writing for several different websites including the diverse blognews site Desk of Brian. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Brent says:

    Race/ethnicity are totally different from the way certain people engage in specific sexual behaviors. You can choose to engage or not to engage in it. Race/ethnicity you cannot change. Trying to equate both is completely non sequitur.

  2. All the bakeries and photographers and caterers that people think are being so horribly put-upon? They aren’t in the business of providing spiritual guidance or enforcing moral doctrines. They are there to turn a profit. As such, they are obligated to abide by prevailing civil rights laws, whether those laws protect people from discrimination based on race, religion, or sexual orientation.

    Should a restaurant owner be able to refuse service to Blacks because he has “moral objections” to race-mixing? Should an employer be able to fire a Muslim employee because he wants to run “a nice Christian workplace”?

    If they answer to both questions is NO, what justification is there refusing service to a Gay couple who wish to get a wedding cake or celebrate their anniversary in a restaurant? Does this bill allow people to use “religious freedom” as a justification for discriminating against ANY customer, or does it simply single out Gay citizens?

    Either way, it’s going to do WONDERS for tourism. I predict Jan Brewer will veto this bill … though for economic reasons, NOT because she has any feelings for her LGBT constituents. She does NOT.

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