Last night, American comedian Stephen Colbert covered the story of the demise of SB1062, the supposed “religious freedom” bill in Arizona that would have permitted businesses in the state to stop serving gay customers, and far more.
Responding to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer saying she vetoed the bill because there wasn’t any evidence that the religious beliefs of Arizonans were being violated by gays and others, Colbert replied:
“Excuse me, governor. Just because you don’t see religious liberty being violated, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. You have to have faith and believe that gays are destroying christianity.”
It really was a remarkable victory. I’m still a bit blown over that so many national businesses, national Republicans, and even the NFL itself, raised concerns about the legislation.
And while it’s fine to say “well, the bill was so extreme,” lots of bills are extreme. And they get passed anyway, often with the support of big business, such as in Tennessee a few years back when the US Chamber of Commerce helped repeal, and then ban, gay and trans civil rights laws in that state.
This was quite unprecedented what happened. And whether it’s a sign of changing times, or just a unique perfect storm of outrage, time will tell.