George Takei: Boycott Arizona If Anti-Gay Bill Becomes Law

George Takei has taken to his blog to blast lawmakers in Arizona for passing the state's anti-gay SB 1062 bill. Takei and husband Brad Altman own a home in the state.

In his open letter, Takei promises to boycott the state should Governor Jan Brewer sign the bill into law:

Brad and I have strong ties to Arizona. Brad was born in Phoenix, and we vacation in Show Low. We have close friends and relatives in the state and spend weeks there annually. We even attended the Fourth of July Parade in Show Low in 2012, looking like a pair of Arizona ranchers.

The law is breathtaking in its scope. It gives bigotry against us gays and lesbians a powerful and unprecedented weapon. But your mean-spirited representatives and senators know this. They also know that it is going to be struck down eventually by the courts. But they passed it anyway, just to make their hateful opinion of us crystal clear.

So let me make mine 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.

And maybe you just never learn. In 1989, you voted down recognition of the Martin Luther King holiday, and as a result, conventions and tourists boycotted the state, and the NFL moved the Superbowl to Pasadena. That was a $500 million mistake.

So if our appeals to equality, fairness, and our basic right to live in a civil society without doors being slammed in our face for being who we are don’t move you, I’ll bet a big hit to your pocketbook and state coffers will.

Read the entire letter here.


  1. charlie says

    I’ve lived all over the U.S. and I received more anti-gay actions in AZ than anywhere else.. damage to my car, threats from neighbors, the list goes on and on. when I left that hellhole desert I swore I would never return. I don’t expect Jan Brewer to do anything less than sign that Nazi law into order with a smile on her face.

  2. charlie says

    I’ve lived all over the U.S. and I received more anti-gay actions in AZ than anywhere else.. damage to my car, threats from neighbors, the list goes on and on. when I left that hellhole desert I swore I would never return. I don’t expect Jan Brewer to do anything less than sign that Nazi law into order with a smile on her face.

  3. roger says

    Oh, please, how is a boycott going to work? None of our other boycotts have worked. Those Sochi and Chi- Fil-A boycotts worked out just fine, didn’t they? sarcasm

  4. excy says

    Well Roger….got any other ideas? One way or another this has left a bad taste in my mouth. I like the southwest of the USA but I will be damned if I am gracing that state with my presence….no tourist dollars will be coming their way.

  5. Critifur says

    Agreed, take a stand. Don’t worry Roger, you can sit it out. Taking a moral stand is not always about getting what you want, it can just be about doing the right thing regardless of the outcome.

  6. John in BR says

    The more effective reaction would be to find out which businesses in AZ don’t have any exclusionary policies and support them. Conversely, don’t do business with the ones that do have such policies. Public pressure and lack of profits are the most effective weapons in this fight.

  7. Dan says


    There was no Chick Fil A boycott. You don’t even know the story you are citing. And BTW, the negative publicity caused the CFA philanthropic arm to cease funding explicitly antigay groups.

    Boycotts can and do work if they are organized and targeted and if there is a concrete objective. They fail when they are unfocused and without an end game.

  8. Macmantoo says

    Tourist dollars are needed by every state. By not visiting the state you will hurt them financially. Plus petitioning the NFL to do the right thing by not having a Super Bowl there would help matters for gays tremendously.

    What’s going to happen if Michael Sam is on one of the teams going to the Super Bowl and he’s discriminated against? This law isn’t just about gays, it’s about all minorities. Gays, blacks, Hispanics, Asians-all minorities.

  9. Gay Guy says

    I think we should state that the boycott ends either when this law is FULLY repealed by legislation (once the repeal is in effect), or two years after it is invalidated by a court. That is, even is a court throws it out immediately, there should be consequences.

  10. jexer says

    The problem is: the bigots WANT us to boycott AZ so they can pretend we don’t exist.

    The threat of losing the Super Bowl again might squeeze a veto from Brewer… but other than petty politics, I can’t think of any other reason she wouldn’t sign it.

    I will boycott AZ. I used to go several times a year for friends and family… but it’s not about ‘sending a message’… it’s about not being a hypocrite by supporting a state that discriminates.

  11. GregV says

    There are desert cities that welcome us with open arms… in the Coachella Valley of California. Palm Springs makes billions from gay tourists, and I gladly spend my money there.
    I’ve never even stopped by Arizona since I was a kid, because the politics male it it clear it is not a welcoming place.

  12. Bill says

    @Gay Guy: if the proposed boycott starts immediately, you’ve missed a case for ending it. The legislature can’t repeal it and the courts can’t throw it out if the governor vetoes it.

    We don’t want to be in the position of the Mikado (in the G&S operetta) who tells some hapless villagers, “I know you didn’t intend to execute the heir to the throne and that you were only trying to do my bidding and had only good intentions. But the law does not say anything about good intentions. It should, but it doesn’t. You know how slovenly these acts are drawn. But don’t worry. I’ll have the law changed …. after your execution. What is the penalty for executing the heir to the thrown. It’s something slow and lingering as I recall. Was it boiling oil or molten lead? I forget. When would be a good time? How about after lunch.”

  13. steve talbert says

    This law doesn’t just apply to gays, it could be divorced people, men know wanting to serve women, blacks (children of Cain), birth control…anything that conflicts with a person’s individual religious convictions.

  14. Ty says

    I hope it doesn’t come to a boycott. This law is unconstitutional and will be challenged in court. The problem is there are too many Mormons(who have been here since the 30’s) who fancy themselves the pinnacle of morality.

  15. Steven Jaeger says

    My religious beliefs prevent me from going anywhere that is ruled by bigoted, hateful, discriminatory leaders, whether Russia or Russia in the US(Arizona). That includes bigoted, closeted sheriffs. And macho sheriffs who think making prisoners wear pink stops their criminal behavior; “Oh, I better not rob that man, ’cause I look horrible in pink”, NOT! The last time I was in AZ I was ticketed for going 66 in a 65. The police must run their budgets on how many crimes?????? they commit not stop. Why go somewhere that is run by hateful, power-hungry, bigoted xtianists, and xenophobic minutemen, and crazy kook survivialists?

  16. Sean Maloney says

    It would seem to me a boycott would not be the way to go. If anything, we need to fight fire with fire. Instead of turning our heads, we should meet this discrimination face on. And never let up until that state as well as others see the error of their ways.

  17. RonCharles says

    All a boycott against Arizona is going to do is anger the citizens of Arizona and turn many undecided people against those advocating it.

    Far better to support the main gay rights group in Arizona and help it to fight against this type law there and help it fight for good legislation instead.

    Equality Arizona

  18. RonCharles says

    Thought the mailboxes are currently full, you can call Governor Jan Brewer later and let her know that you oppose this law.

    Phoenix Office

    (602) 542-4331

    Tucson Office

    (520) 628-6580

    FAX Number

    (602) 542-1381

  19. David says

    I should hope big companies like Delta and American Airlines scale back their service to places like that as well and eventually pull out completely. If Arizona wants to be in the 12th century then I think the modern world should do everything possible to help them. Let us hope that some major companies do just this sort of thing to get the message across. Remember money talks.

  20. The Cheese says

    Arizona has a bad history when it comes to intolerance. I was appalled when they refused to honor the struggles of African Americans by refusing to acknowledge the accomplishments of the late Dr. Martin Luther King.
    My brother lives in Arizona, and I love to visit. It’s a shame to see more bigoted behavior being condoned in this beautiful state.

  21. Krag says

    You either boycott the whole state or don’t waste your time trying less. If you boycott the state those that have businesses and lose money are not going to be happy. If you continue doing business with those businesses that allow business dealings with gays you are doing exactly what they want. I do not have to serve you but the guy down the road will. Cut them off over the whole state. When those hotels that service the Grand Canyon lose money and the golf courses ,convention centers ,hotels resorts and every other business loses money it is not going to go over well. I suggest any business that can afford to do it put a sign in the window “NO CHRISTIANS”. I keep reading from people in Arizona ,”don’t boycott us”Well many of you voted this circus act in so maybe you need a little wake up call too. Every state has it’s nuts ,we just don’t vote them in.

  22. jay says

    Given the Michael Sam story, the Pac-12 should announce that both UA and ASU will forfeit all home games in all sports, as visiting athlets cannot be forced to travel when hotels, restaurants and the like can discriminate against them and segregate them from their teammates. The Pac-12 should make the announcement proactively.

  23. azm says

    I live and have a business in Phoenix and it is exhausting to deal daily with the racism, bigotry, and ignorance of SOME of the people I encounter. A lot of the hate comes from retirees and conservative groups like The Center for Arizona Policy and its leader Cathi Herrod. Herrod is the Arizona equivalent of Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church. As long as this vile women and her hate group is being funded by the “sky is falling” folks in the state, our rights will take a back seat to religion. If the gay community and our allies made more of an effort to vote, we might see a change in time, but many younger residents are just passing through and don’t make Arizona a lasting home. I’m a New England transplant and Arizona is a wonderful place to live, but you have to fight to make it better.

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