Takei to Arizona lawmakers: we will boycott Arizona if it passes its anti-gay Jim Crow law

George Takei (Facebook)

Sergei sez, "George Takei has written an open letter to Arizona legislators regarding a bill that would allow businesses, based on a 'sincerely held religious belief' to bar LGBT patrons from entering their establishments."

Takei reminds Arizona of the estimated $500M it lost by not ratifying MLK Day, and threatens a supercharged version of the boycott, multiplied by the Internet, if the bill passes.

But not you, Arizona. You’re willing to ostracize and marginalize LGBT people to score political points with the extreme right of the Republican Party. You say this bill protects “religious freedom,” but no one is fooled. When I was younger, people used “God’s Will” as a reason to keep the races separate, too. Make no mistake, this is the new segregation, yours is a Jim Crow law, and you are about to make yourself ground zero.

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.

Razing Arizona [George Takei]

Notable Replies

  1. Rindan says:

    I think an important point here is that it isn't just gay folks who are going to avoid that state like the plague. I am a straight dude, but roughly half of my friends are queer of one flavor or another. That makes it my business as well. On top of that, I influence family, friends, and business. I can safely say that I will also boycott any state that has such an abomination of a law enforced. That isn't an empty or idle threat either. The southwest was on my vacation to-do list, and there is a conference there held annually that I'll skip. I know my person contribution won't crash the state, but that is probably a couple thousand dollars right there to toss into the bin for this year alone.

  2. Bobo says:

    Another straight dude here. I've got a couple of gay friends, but honestly not that many (that I know of). But who gives a rat's ass? This isn't about whether or not I'm personally affected in any way shape or form. This is about a basic injustice being perpetrated on other humans. This isn't meant as a criticism to Rindan, but just a reminder that this is well beyond what happens to any of us individually.

    Also, I live in the southwest, and regularly travel to Az. There are unfortunately going to be a few unavoidable trips that will have to be made (relatives live there etc...), but travel and expenditures will be severely curtailed.

    There will be a lot of "Hey, why don't you come visit us instead?" going on as well as "we could meet in a wholly different state".

    It's fairly ridiculous that this sort of pandering to fear and hate is taking place in 2014.

  3. Shit. It's a hell of a lot more than just people in entertainment who think your politics stink.

  4. Rindan says:

    And I bet gay folks are getting awfully tired of bigots trying to enact Jim Crow laws for gay folks. Arizona is, for better or for worse, a part of the US. That means you when you act like a bigoted piece of shit it makes the rest of us look bad. More than that, while you might be content to curb stomp minorities into the ground and defend it as "our politics", I'm not.

    If it hadn't been for brave folks in the South and Northern allies physically forcing the South to change their ways, we might still have "separate but equal". I'm sorry if you feels are hurt when you try and re-enact Jim Crow laws a god damn half century after those abominations were killed and the rest of the nation starts beating on you, but tough shit. Stop brutalizing people and the rest of the nation can merrily go back to ignoring you.

  5. So, that means, then, that an EMT could deny lifesaving care to a Muslim for religious reasons, or a hotel could put up a "No Catholics Allowed" sign and get away with it, or a homeowners' association could vote to kick the Jews out of the neighborhood. Some religions consider blacks to be racially inferior, so a landlord would be in his rights to refuse to rent to them. Belong to the "wrong" Christian church? No hospital treatment for you!

    It's Jim Crow 2.0, based on a dog-whistle meaning of "religious freedom." This bill needs to be stomped out of existence. It pisses all over the notion of equal protection under the law.

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