The Hispanic Bar Association, which shouldn’t have been having its confernce in Arizona in the first place, has decided to pull its annual meeting from Arizona over the state legislature’s passage of SB1062, a putatively pro-“religious freedom” bill that is in fact anti-gay, and a disaster for businesses in the state.
UPDATE: And this just in, Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott has also come out in favor of a veto.
In a press release today announcing its decision to pull its 2015 conference from Arizona, Hispanic Bar Association President Miguel Alexander Pozo said: “The HNBA views this as a civil rights issue. As a national association of lawyers committed to promoting the ideals of equal protection, equal opportunity, tolerance, and inclusiveness, it is imperative that we speak up and take immediate action in the presence of injustice. As the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said more than 50 years ago, writing from a Birmingham, AL jail cell, ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ In our view, SB 1062 violates the Equal Protection and the Commerce Clauses of the U.S. Constitution, and offends the anti-discrimination protections found in Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”
Arizona has a pretty nasty record on Latino issues of late, particularly an anti-immigrant pro-racial-profiling law that led to a Latino boycott of the state in 2010. So it comes as a bit of a surprise that the Hispanic Bar Association would have chosen the state in the first place. Still, it’s good news they’ve pulled out.
Also in the news today, JPMorgan and American Express have both publicly called for Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to veto the legislation. Surprisingly, even GoDaddy, a notoriously Republican company, joined the public call for a veto.
Other companies opposing the legislation include Apple, Southwest Airlines, Delta, American Airlines, PetSmart and Intel.
And prominent Republicans, including Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Arizona’s two GOP Senators in Washington, DC, John McCain and Jeff Flake, have all come out against the law.
The bill sits before Arizona’s Republican governor, awaiting her decision on whether or not to sign it.
We have much more background on SB1062 here, including a look at why this legislation is popping up all over the country right now.