Discrimination in any form is not OK

cactus

Curt and I posed with the beautiful saguaros for our Christmas card in 2001. Photo by Robert Becker.

I am an Arizona native.

I was born, bred and educated in Tucson.

I love my home state and am proud to be from Arizona.

I am saddened and angry to find out that my home state is again in controversy.

Legislation on Thursday was passed in Arizona that would allow business owners to cite religious beliefs as a legal justification for denying service to same-sex couples, according to the New York Times article I read. The legislation will arrive on Gov. Jan Brewer’s desk this coming week.

Let’s not forget the, “show me your papers” legislation from 2010. Critics of the legislation say it encourages racial profiling, while supporters say the law prohibits the use of race as the sole basis for investigating immigration status, according to Wikipedia.

I was highly offended that my beautiful state would show such discrimination. I come from a mostly Mexican-American family and know that some of my family members (and friends) could be subjected to a ridiculous pull over because of their brown skin.

The Times article also says: Supporters and opponents of the (current) Arizona legislation do not agree on its potential impact. The supporters say it would simply tweak an existing religious freedom law in Arizona to make it clear that private individuals can use religious freedom as a defense in civil litigation; the opponents say it would allow business owners to discriminate against anyone they do not like, citing religious freedom.

Again, I am hurt and offended that legislation would go this far and be so blatantly discriminatory.

Why does anyone feel the need to discriminate against others? And besides hurting people of color or gays or whoever else you “don’t like” you’re also hurting the great people in Arizona. Because, guess what? People are going to stop visiting my beautiful home state. Businesses will be boycotted. This will hurt the economy and the people living there besides the people who are being discriminated against.

I believe in religious freedom. That doesn’t mean I have to agree with your religion or your beliefs. But it doesn’t mean that I will discriminate against you.

Being a good person means you accept others for who and what they are.

The legislation like the two I mention coming out of my home state are not from real Arizonans. They are people who don’t truly love the state or other people. They are scared of anyone who is different.

And really, isn’t one of the greatest things about America is that we are one huge melting pot?

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