What Discrimination?

Good news everyone, even if Arizona’s Jim Crow for Gays bill does become law, there’s nothing to worry about because people in Arizona are “people-friendly.”

During an interview with Anderson Cooper, Arizona state Senator Al Melvin (R), who voted for the law, implied that there’s no discrimination in Arizona.

via TPM

So Cooper asked Melvin if he could cite a case where religious freedom was “under attack” in Arizona. Melvin bizarrely responded “not now, no, but how about tomorrow?”

Cooper then tested Melvin with a hypothetical: what if he were a loan officer, and thought it was against his religious beliefs to do business with an unwed mother or a divorced woman?

That’s when Melvin’s argument imploded. “I think you’re being farfetched,” the lawmaker told Cooper.

“I don’t know of anybody in Arizona that would discriminate against a fellow human being,” he later added.

“Really? Discrimination doesn’t exist in Arizona?” Cooper asked.

“Well, maybe you ought to move to Arizona,” the lawmaker responded. “We’re more people-friendly here, apparently.”

If that’s the case, why did Melvin and his colleagues draft and vote for SB1062?

SB1062, the Jim Crow for Gays bill, shields those who discriminate from legal repercussions, effectively giving you a pass to discriminate.

If there’s no discrimination in Arizona, why do they need special protection for discriminating?

This idea that there’s no one in Arizona that would “discriminate against a fellow human being” is laughable.

Arizona is home to the infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio, former state Senate president Russell Pearce who palled around with Neo-Nazis, and in recent years the state found itself in front of the Supreme Court defending its “Papers Please” anti-immigration law SB1070 (drafted by Pearce) which codified racial profiling of brown people.

There’s plenty of precedent to assume that there are people in Arizona who would take advantage of a law that gives them free rein to discriminate.

  • Badgerite

    It goes beyond that. This guy doesn’t understand the simplest thing about what he is talking about. He says one of the reasons to pass the law is to protect priests. Protect priests from what?
    Gay weddings. Marriage equality as a legal principles would not apply to religious ceremonies.
    Only civil ones. So what the F–k is he talking about?

  • Christopher Foxx

    Watching the full interview (at that TPM link) Melvin’s answers rarely actually respond to Cooper’s question. It’s like he’s not (No, strike that. Not like, it is what he’s actually doing.) He’s not hearing the questions being asked. He’s got it in his head that this is the way things are and that these are the things he’s going to say. And he utterly doesn’t see that things aren’t that way and he’s being asked questions about other things. Typical Republican.

    The conversation might as well be:
    Cooper: What day is it today?
    Melvin: Yes, it is rainy but I’m hoping it will clear up.
    Cooper: Have you looked at a calendar? Do you even know the names of the days?
    Melvin: If it does then the good weather should work in the Seahawks favor and, who knows, maybe they’ll have a better year this next year and maybe even finally make it to the playoffs.

  • Christopher Foxx

    If that’s the case, why did Melvin and his colleagues draft and vote for SB1062?


    Everything Melvin said in that extract you include is just more Republican self-delusion. They believe, in their heart-of-hearts (for the sake of the idiom, we’ll momentarily imagine they have hearts) that there is no discrimination but it does exist. They believe they wouldn’t discriminate against gays, but must have a law that allows them to do so. They can’t give one example of any actual intrusion on their “religious freedom”, but believe absolutely that they are under attack.

    Vile, repugnant, morally bankrupt, shameless villains.

  • Mart

    As an atheist, I will refuse to serve religous bigots. Oh wait a minute…

  • GrafZeppelin127

    This is what happens when you have to defend the indefensible.

  • vgranucci

    It’s simple really, those who will be discriminated against are not “fellow human beings”

  • Al Iriberri

    I had no idea Colonel Jessup was elected to the AZ State Senate.

  • Norbrook

    Well, they had to pass it, since you never know but what with all them LGBT’s coming into the state and gaying it up, they might seriously infringe on “real ‘Muricans” rights to not be proselytized by “those people!”

    In terms of “don’t know of anybody in Arizona,” it’s amazing at how often Arizona ends up in the news with yet another act of blatant discrimination. Maybe he should leave his bunker, and start meeting people there.

  • ForsettiJustice

    No one would discriminate but we felt a need for a law to protect someone in case they changed their mind. Natch.