Friday, February 21, 2014

No "Freedom", Just FAIL

Last year, an unexpected bomb was dropped on Carson City. That bomb nearly blew up the 77th session of the Nevada Legislature and put into question the state’s progress on civil rights. But in the end, it only blew up on State Senator Barbara Cegavske (R-Spring Valley) when Assembly leaders decided to shelve her bill (after an sharply amended version passed the State Senate).

The short yet lurid life of SB 192 in Carson City managed to shock a number of civil rights advocates and political observers. In recent years, the State of Nevada has made progress in recognizing LGBTQ civil rights. Why would this state suddenly undo all that progress to grant "freedom to discriminate"?

When SB 192 died in Carson City last spring, many assumed that would be the end of this debate. But all of a sudden, it's making news again. Why? Assembly Member, SB 192 cosponsor, and NV-04 candidate Cresent Hardy (R-Mesquite) evoked his religious beliefs to explain why he can't agree to "segregation laws" like ENDA (that combat wrongful discrimination). And shortly after Hardy dropped his bomb, Rep. Joe Heck (R-Henderson) followed suit with his bizarre argument against marriage equality.

And now, the story has become national. How so? The same shadowy religious right/G-O-TEA interest groups that wrote SB 192 for Barbara Cegavske pushed SB 192 here in Nevada are now on the verge of passing a look-alike bill into law in Arizona.

Like SB 192, the Arizona "Freedom to Discriminate" bill seemed to come out of nowhere. But unlike SB 192, the Arizona bill was not watered down, and it ultimately sailed through both houses of that state's legislature. That's why civil rights advocates are now trying whatever they can think of to convince Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R) to veto this bill and spare the state a costly legal fight & huge PR embarrassment.

Once again, we're seeing a campaign to legalize anti-LGBTQ discrimination masquerade as "concern for religious liberty". Once again, we're seeing the bulk of G-O-TEA politicians go along to get along with their 21st Century Know Nothing base. And once again, we're reminded of why "Republican rebranding" is already shaping up to be the most EPIC FAIL of 2014.

No comments:

Post a Comment