Arizona Veto Prevents Business Owners From Denying Service
Thomas Young '17
Arizona citizens celebrate Governor Brewer’s decision on Bill 1062.
On Wednesday, February 26th, Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona vetoed Bill 1062, which would have given businesses the opportunity to deny services to customers whose behaviors or beliefs conflicted with the beliefs of the business owners. For example, a shop owner who was against homosexuality could deny service to a homosexual customer. While the line between freedom and oppression is very thin in this case, Governor Brewer made the correct decision by vetoing the bill.
Our Bill of Rights is based on the Natural Rights Theory. The Natural Rights Theory, originally created by the English philosopher John Locke, states that all human beings have certain in- alienable rights, such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In my opinion, if Bill 1062 had been passed, the government would have violated all three of these rights for certain groups of people.
In response to the Governor's decision, Leanne Yuen ‘17 commented, “I think she did the right thing because people have a right to certain services that can’t be taken away just because they have conflicted beliefs." How can one consider living with oppression by other groups of people who do not share the same values? How can one consider living without the basic privileges of our social liberty? Most importantly, how can one pursue happiness if not given the equal opportunity, as others are, to do so? Passing this bill would mean reverting to the Jim Crow laws that were outlawed nearly fifty years ago. The foundation of this country is equality, and we cannot revert to dark times.
Kestrel Pon ‘17 agreed with this assertion, saying, “The veto was the right thing to do. It squashed a harmful discrimination law."
Both Arizona senators John McCain and Jeff Flake publicly cited economic concerns regarding the bill, and urged the governor to veto. "I hope that we can now move on from this controversy and assure the American people that every- one is welcome to live, work and enjoy our beautiful state of Arizona," Senator McCain declared in a written statement. In addition to both senators, many large corporations such as Apple, American Airlines, AT&T, and Intel publicly stated their concerns for the measure, which would create large economic issues for the state of Arizona. Some Republican lawmakers who generally tend towards conservative beliefs also stated their op- position to the bill. In times like these, it is important that we keep in mind the morals and ideals on which this country was founded.
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