Arizona's chilly climate of discrimination

Arizona LGBT advocates have been busy lobbying against the signing of bills SB 1062 and HB 2153, which would sanction anti-LGBT discrimination by allowing business owners to refuse service that they felt ran counter to their religious beliefs. It is now up to Governor Brewer to sign, and Arizonans have raised their voices loudly demanding she not sign the bills.

Univision's local affiliate has done a good job covering the story. Reporter Alejandra Espinoza recently educated viewers on the intersection of struggles for human rights during her news segment with the help of activists Beto Soto, from Citizens for a Better Arizona and Paco Chairez.

When Soto discusses the legislation he points out that these actions come on the heels of a failed bill HB 2192 which would have made it a crime for undocumented immigrants to use any public facilities (restrooms, transportation, schools, etc.) He draws the links, pointing out that the spirit behind these measures is to justify discrimination.

Chariez talks about what it is like to be Latino and gay in a climate of discrimination towards both communities. While the failed HB 2192 targets undocumented immigrants and not all undocumented immigrants are Latino and vice versa, the bill would have created an environment in which someone could be challenged and refused based on suspicions or assumptions.

Groups fighting this bill include Equality Arizona, Queer Undocumented Project-Arizona and Citizens for a Better Arizona. Let them know we are with them and thank Univision's Alejandra Espinoza for her coverage on Facebook.

You can watch the Univision's report in Spanish here: