Written by Issa Napon
Edited by Caitlin Cruz
Arizona Senate Bill 1062 was on the lips of everyone in last week. It was another controversial state bill, which “would allow parties in lawsuits” to use religion as a defense for their actions even if the other party isn’t the government.
”To me at this point it was about what is good and what is right but also what our background. Days before Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the bill passed by the State Senate, Anderson cooper litteraly demolished a lawmaker with only a yes-or-no question: IF somebody is fired in Arizona because of his sexual orientation, gay or lesbian, is that discrimination or not? Republican Arizona State Sen. Al Melvin lost face with no clear response. But in fact it was clearly a discrimination to me since it was targeting LGBT people as an old law has been targeting Hispanic people who can be arrested for simple presumption by law enforcement because of their dark skin.
The defenders of the SB-1062 just raised to me a problem of intolerance since on a federal level gays rights issues has getting solved under President Obama and his administration. It is a junction between the fear of extreme Republicans-conservatives- who are not open to change, and human rights, shortly. This junction raises several questions and points to consider:
- It is not a new data, hearing about gays in the United States. So a way to bypass the clear rights of those people, was the good weapon of “religious freedom”.
- If religion belief has nothing to do with sexual orientation, then it seems to be a pure political miscalculation that led to a huge and unpopular -as seen in Phoenix- discrimination of a component of the people.
And like I said, the background is important as in many of African countries. LGBT people are just getting in little by little but are still hiding since they know that many of African tribes’ culture totally and hardly forbid a same-sex relationship. People who get caught may suffer from tribe punishment, let alone legal punishment on the federal level. Examples in Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe or Museveni’s Uganda are here to teach us our traditional and embedded belief can stand against trends of life.
At the end, it is universally clear that everybody should have the right to go the way that fits his need, and do not go across the law or having something dangerous or threatening to their kind life. But human beings are some one that nothing can ever satisfy. This powerful African saying to conclude and keep up reflecting: “The one who rows in a river current makes crocodiles laugh.”
3 Comments on “SB-1062 or when belief, fear and politic bump into each other”
The philosophical debate here is anthropological and ethical. Of course, a lot of people that are in politics do not look for that approach.
I liked the fact that you added African context as well. Good points.
Great post. I think that this bill gained a lot of momentum very quickly and was defused just as fast. It will be interesting to see where the future of this sort of legislation will go.
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