Date: Thursday, February 27th, 2014, 21:58
Category: Apple, Legal, News, Social
You may have heard that last Thursday, the Arizona Legislature passed a bill (SB1062) that would allow Arizona business owners to deny service to gay and lesbian customers, as an extension of asserting their religious beliefs. The bill, which the state House of Representatives passed by a 33-27 vote, then went to Republican Gov. Jan Brewer to be approved or vetoed. The bill immediately became the subject of criticism and protests from not only LGBT groups, but also high-profile companies and organizations. Of the latter, the most significant of these, to Arizona at least, were Apple and the NFL. Apple, in November, announced plans to build a sapphire glass plant in Arizona which would bring jobs and other income.
Jonny Evans of Computerworld put Apple’s position in perspective;
“For Apple, opposition to the bill is a requirement as it reflects its own policies of tolerance for people from within differing sexual, racial or gender-based groups. In order to do business in Arizona, it needs to protect those of its workers and customers who come from such groups.”
“Apple’s commitment to demanding Arizona drop its anti-gay law isn’t a political matter but a reflection of its own internal corporate human resources strategy, its own corporate philosophy.”
“In other words, Apple’s corporate philosophy requires it preach tolerance, not prejudice, in this regard. Doing so means it must oppose Arizona’s anti-gay bill.”
Meanwhile, the NFL had started preliminary discussions about moving the 2015 Super Bowl from Arizona if the controversial bill became law. Democrats and Arizona business groups also chimed in. In a statement, Anna Tovar, the state senate Democratic minority leader, said:
“With the express consent of Republicans in this Legislature, many Arizonans will find themselves members of a separate and unequal class under this law because of their sexual orientation. This bill may also open the door to discriminate based on race, familial status, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability.”
Fortunately, Gov. Brewer, representing the voice of reason, vetoed the bill on Wednesday. As part of her commentary on the matter she stated;
“[...] I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve. It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and no one would ever want.”
“Religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value. So is non-discrimination.”
For more details on the matter, and the continuing controversy following the veto, check out these articles over at CNN.