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Phoenix and Tucson Stage Major Protests Against Anti-Gay Bill: VIDEO


Major protests took place this evening in Phoenix and Tucson in opposition to the bill passed by the Arizona legislature that would allow businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians based on religious beliefs.

CNN's AC360 led off their show live from the protests in Phoenix.


Governor Jan Brewer must decide whether to sign or veto the legislation early next week.

The Republic reports:

The governor, who is attending a conference of national governors in the nation’s capital, rarely comments on bills before they reach her desk.

She spoke with CNN on Friday: “Well, it’s a very controversial piece of legislation. We know that. We know that it’s failed in a lot of states across the country. ... I’ve been reading about it on the Internet and I will make my decision some time before ... by next Friday ... if I do decide to sign it. But it’s very controversial, so I’ve got to get my hands around it.”

The governor has five days to decide on the bill so it's likely she'll need to deal with it before Friday as she says.

FYI you can call Brewer now  at (602) 542-4331 or (520) 628-6580 and urge her to veto the bill.

Suggested script: Hi, my name is __________ and I live in _____________. I’m calling to urge Governor Brewer to veto SB1062. Arizonans believe in freedom for all -- and that includes our gay and lesbian neighbors. Please reject this harmful legislation.

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  1. I sent a note to the Governor. I don't live in AZ but mine and my families tourists dollars are at stake here if she signs this hate filled bill into law.

    Posted by: dlovejoy | Feb 21, 2014 10:48:55 PM

  2. By signing the bill into law Arizona is effectively seceding. Reasonable, fair-minded businesses will not re-locate there - some existing businesses may consider leaving. Praise the Lard! It's a dry hate.

    Posted by: Geoff | Feb 21, 2014 11:07:53 PM

  3. There are 2 things that will DEFINITELY get the Governor to veto the bill: If the NFL threatens to move the 2015 Super Bowl out of Arizona and if the NCAA threatens to move the 2016 national college football championship out of Arizona. The Governor and state are not going to let that happen ......We should all be contacting the NFL HQs and the NCAA HQs.

    Also, the Arizona business community is up in arms about this. The Arizona Tech Council -- which has hundreds of Arizona tech companies & other high-level companies as members, including Honeywell, Raytheon, Ernst & Young, Avnet, Cancer Centers of America, etc -- sent out an URGENT email alert to all companies last night asking them to contact the Governor to demand a veto. The Tech Council is usually very conservative, but they are pulling all the stops out on this one.

    If the business pressure continues, especially the NFL and NCAA, the bill will be vetoed; if it's just civil rights groups, gay groups, Democrats, etc. who are complaining, the Governor won't give a crap about the complaints and she will sign it.

    Anyone know top execs at the NFL and NCAA?

    Posted by: MiddleoftheRoader | Feb 21, 2014 11:33:13 PM

  4. Hopefully, corporate leaders, economic development execs, and educational institutions can sway her to veto it. Here's one report:

    "Barry Broome of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council said the legislation given final approval late Thursday would be, in his words, unbelievably damaging to the state. Broome said within hours of that vote he heard from officials at four firms the state is trying to lure that they were no longer interested. And, he said some companies that already are here say customers are cancelling, saying the message is that Arizona is hostile to gays."


    Posted by: Fox | Feb 21, 2014 11:38:41 PM

  5. This same bill was too extreme for Kansas Republicans. KANSAS. I am hopeful that the governor wants to put her hands around it so as to strangle it to death.

    Posted by: Gregory in Seattle | Feb 22, 2014 12:30:18 AM

  6. Which is going to happen first?
    1. Republicans will realize that a bunch of whack jobs have taken over their party
    2. Voters will realize that the Republicans that they vote into office are a bunch of whack jobs?

    Posted by: MIke | Feb 22, 2014 12:40:07 AM

  7. If this stands then Arizona businesses will feel the brunt of the discrimination. People across this nation will stop doing business with Arizona. Internet sales will dribble, the negative PR will be rampant and if Arizona citizens think they are hated now now they haven't felt the hatred of the world. Think Putin and his Russia and Nigeria and Uganda. That should slap the Arizona business community upside the head very quickly. Strip the money from their cash registers and they'll be all over the religious fanatics.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Feb 22, 2014 12:54:49 AM

  8. On a personal level I would revel in Brewster's approval signature because the State of Arizona would go straight down the crapper which is where the State belongs.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Feb 22, 2014 12:59:56 AM

  9. Can you list the names and phone numbers and emails of the nuts who voted for this in both chambers, please?

    Posted by: Mark Twain | Feb 22, 2014 1:01:09 AM

  10. American talibans and ayatolahs in Arizona Republican party

    Posted by: Mark Twain | Feb 22, 2014 1:02:13 AM

  11. They're private businesses. If their religious convictions do not permit them to provide a service for a gay wedding ceremony, then let them hold to their convictions. What harm is it doing any of us? We'll take our business elsewhere. They lose out on our business, but they can hold to their religious convictions.

    We don't live in a fascist state. Are you prepared to have the government force a Jewish photographer to film a KKK rally? Or to force a Jewish kosher or Muslim halal deli to provide ham sandwiches to a gay wedding rehearsal? Religious convictions MUST mean something, or else we might as well remove the 1st Amendment which guarantees not just a right to worship, but a right to "the free exercise" of one's religious convictions.

    This has a LOT more to do about the gay community's hatred towards Christians who want to be consistent with their religious convictions about marriage than it does about us as a community doing what's right. Admit it. And that's not right.

    Posted by: Jon | Feb 22, 2014 1:15:08 AM

  12. They are not private businesses. They hold public business licenses issued by the State which requires them to serve any member of the public. If they want to try and run a "private" business without a business license then best of luck.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Feb 22, 2014 1:33:51 AM

  13. AZ needs a "religious protection" bill... one that protects us from those religious crackpots.

    Posted by: JonnyNYNY2FLFL | Feb 22, 2014 1:44:20 AM

  14. Jon no. Businesses open to the public have to be open to ALL of the public. Customers don't have to shop around for businesses that will serve them. Businesses have to shop for customers.

    Besides sometimes there aren't other businesses close to go to. Enough with the short-sighted silliness. History has shown us it hasn't worked to not serve a particular group because of "religion". Keep your religious judgments out of the public sphere and your business or else don't have a business. Period.

    It could easily backfire and have "religious" people not serve others for any reason they choose. Plus some religious business owners don't want this odious law because they value all people and don't want the risk of lawsuits.

    This law = bad for business. It will backfire and lead to heightened scrutiny for the LGBT communiy.

    Posted by: Mark | Feb 22, 2014 1:53:55 AM

  15. @Jon - no one is asking these businesses to engage in gay sex. If they were THEN that would be an attack on their religious beliefs. But if they claim they are going to deny service to people who are practicing acts that the Bible prohibits, they are discriminating if they don't ALSO deny service to people who have divorced, masturbated, wear fabric mixed of two fabrics, eaten shellfish, cast stones, etc.

    Posted by: Chrislam | Feb 22, 2014 2:33:59 AM

  16. Jon:
    It is an interesting idea. Why not replace the word "gay people" with "religious people" in the bill. Or even Catholics or Mormons. I am sure they will be fine with it.

    Posted by: simon | Feb 22, 2014 2:45:34 AM

  17. I had no idea the State of Arizona wanted to be in alignment with Russia in regards to legislation like this.....Is the Governor of the State a wanna be Russian President? Does she not realize how many hundreds of thousands of Canadians visit that state AND own real estate down there?? SHAME! If we pulled out and started to travel to more welcoming states Arizona's housing market would collapse again......

    Posted by: Darrell | Feb 22, 2014 3:22:36 AM

  18. Towleroad is the only website for the Gay community that gives me a remarkable insight into your different level of governments and on how a state boarder can so remarkable differentiate your rights as an individual. It seems almost as if you all embrace your “Federal” right to bear arms, but when it comes to religious freedom and individual rights; its a pick and choose scheme. Explain to me how this one state of Arizona always comes up as the one state in these conversations. P.S. nothing personal as im Cdn.

    Posted by: lee | Feb 22, 2014 4:02:15 AM

  19. This is what happens when you get a state born of old people bitter and dissatisfied about where they are and move to the middle of the god forsaken desert because they can't afford to live where they grew up, or have to relocate because they need to start a new life and don't have much to take with them, or their stuff isn't worth taking and need all new anyway.

    Soon, many of those people will die off.

    In the meantime I think the script should NOT mention gay but cited all the things that chrislam and Simon said. The bill would allows businesses serving the public with public licenses to refuse to serves ANYONE the owner personally doesn't want to. No Catholics, no morning, no Jews, no Christians, no drinkers, no dancers, no divorced, no masturbators, no PASTAFARIANS!!!!??

    Posted by: steve talbert | Feb 22, 2014 4:43:39 AM

  20. It's time for another "Boycott Arizona" movement. The last one over the immigration bill cost the state $140 million.

    Flashback 2010:

    Posted by: Lexis | Feb 22, 2014 5:41:34 AM

  21. @Jon: "Religious convictions MUST mean something"

    Unfortunately, what they seem to mean is people want to do what they want to do, and they want to claim an unassailable authority to justify it without having to prove that any such authority actually exists. If religious convictions meant anything else, they wouldn't need legislatures or caps lock keys to prop them up.

    They're hardly to be suffered, much less encouraged.

    Posted by: JJ | Feb 22, 2014 6:12:46 AM

  22. Jon, our new troll.

    Posted by: Bollox | Feb 22, 2014 9:43:33 AM

  23. this is what it is all about --

    "First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out -- Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out -- Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out -- Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me." -- MARTIN NIEMÖLLER

    Posted by: mike/ | Feb 22, 2014 9:49:28 AM

  24. My late brother was a homophobe who lived in Phoenix. He was the last person in my family that I came out to. When the day came to tell him, I also had to admit that my "roommate" of more than 10 years was actually my partner.

    Coming out to him did not go well. He banned us from his house and said that if his wife insisted that we visit with them that we could only eat off of paper plates and disposable flatware. True enough, we were invited to their home years later, and we were served food on picnicware. My sister in law loved us more than my brother did, but it was "his house and his rules." We accepted the invitation, but never went back.

    In the mid-1990's, we bought a house in California. We needed remodeling done from top to bottom. My brother was a home remodeler in Arizona. Thinking we could try to mend the bridge, we called and asked if he'd like to bid on the job. He said the home improvement business in Arizona had all dried up and he needed the money. He drove to California and did the work for us. He pulled up in our driveway with his car and a travel trailer. The job took one month to complete. He refused to sleep in the same house with us.

    No doubt about it, his work was impeccable. When time came for payment, we handed him all that was due in cash. As I was counting out thousands of dollars on the dining room table, I asked him if this is the way Dad would have wanted it to be, between us. I also told him everyone else in the family loved us, so why not him?

    He just gave me a blank stare that was absolutely chilling. For the first time in my life, I actually felt he wanted to kill us, the stare was just that hateful.

    We were good enough for the work and the money. We were scum because we were gay. Trying to mend the bridge between us was a mistake, but that just goes to show you how hard some people try to gain acceptance from their own families. It also shows how loud money can talk.

    If this legislation is signed, it will hit Arizona in the gut with a devastating blow because there won't be any people out there who want to mend the bridge. You watch and see.

    Posted by: Mark | Feb 22, 2014 9:54:43 AM

  25. Wow, what a sad story, Mark. What a shame that he turned out to be so sociopathic.

    Posted by: Håkon | Feb 22, 2014 10:07:38 AM

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