One Equal World

George Takei Takes Down AZ’s Hateful SB 1062 in Open Essay

Posted on: March 4, 2014

Overwhelming public opposition rose in response to Arizona’s recently vetoed bill, SB 1062. The bill, which has just been vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer, was a hateful piece of legislature that would have mad it legal for businesses in AZ to discriminate against LGBTs on the basis of “religious freedom.”

Activists, politicians, celebrities, and people all over the country showed their outrage and opposition to the bill on social media and other major public platforms. Everyone from John McCain to local Arizona businesses to LGBT advocates like actor George Takei voiced their passionate and disbelieving concerns about the horrific implications this bill would have on society if passed into law. Takei, who has a massive online following with more than 6 million Facebook followers alone, recently penned an open essay about SB 1062, making it clear that he and his powerful network of allies would not stand silent while a bill so blatantly discriminatory got passed.

George-Takei

George Takei’s recently penned open essay made his (and others’) opinion on SB 1062 abundantly clear.
s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

Takei wrote,

“Dear Arizona, Congratulations. You are now the first state actually to pass a bill permitting businesses – even those open to the public – to refuse to provide service to LGBT people based on an individual’s ‘sincerely held religious belief.’ 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…” of the way that SB 1062 would deeply impact the quality of life and dignity of LGBT people in Arizona.

He goes on, “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,” calling out the hateful message hidden within the rhetoric of the bill. Takei, like countless others, was floored that this kind of legislature would even be considered by policy makers in 2014.

Takei finished his essay with a promise, citing a 1989 incident wherein Arizona refused to recognize Martin Luther King Day as a holiday and faced massive financial backlash: “So let me make [my opinion] just as clear. If your Governor Jan Brewer signs this repugnant bill into law, make no mistake. 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.”  Takei and his partner Brad have ties to family and friends in Arizona, but the actor promises to revoke all support of the state if SB 1062 comes into law. His compelling words mirrored what many felt in regards to the discriminatory bill, and it seems as though they actually helped persuade Governor Brewer that passing SB 1062 would be a grave mistake.

Read Takei’s entire essay here.

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1 Response to "George Takei Takes Down AZ’s Hateful SB 1062 in Open Essay"

[…] even the White House has called “vile”, but is the best form of action to do nothing at all? George Takei, a famous gay author, actor and human rights activist, had this to […]

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