Cross country and internationally, Arizona has gained attention that threatens to affect travel in the State, and not in a good way. The controversial bill, SB 1062, that was passed in the state legislature this week sets the stage for protests as those supporting equality for all set up to boycott events and businesses. On the eve of Spring Training Baseball in Arizona, this is very bad news.
Matthew Whitaker, in CNN Opinion says “Arizona set itself up for yet another self-inflicted political wound, international humiliation, costly boycotts and historical shame now that its legislature has passed a bill giving people the right to discriminate.”
According to Yahoo News, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council has reported that in the span of a day, four corporations scouting Arizona for expansion have raised reservations about their moves should the “religious freedom” bill become law with Brewer’s signature. Moreover, the extent of Arizona’s questionable welcome to all Americans will be on the national radar next year, when the state hosts the Super Bowl.
“This legislation has the potential of subjecting the Super Bowl, and major events surrounding it, to the threats of boycotts,” said Barry Broome of the Phoenix economic council, in a letter to Brewer.
Arizona’s Secretary of State Ken Bennett and Treasurer Doug Ducey, both GOP candidates for governor, say a bill allowing business owners to refuse to serve gays by citing their religious beliefs should be vetoed. Bennett called the bill unnecessary and divisive.
Despite growing opposition to the proposal from gay advocates and business groups, there is still intense pressure for Brewer to go ahead and sign the bill, especially since it passed both the House and Senate. Growing opposition to the bill has put Gov. Jan Brewer in a pressure cooker as she decides in the next five days whether or not to sign it.
This bill divides people into opposing camps and is described as against the spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood that form the basis of freedom for all. Regardless of what the truth is regarding this bill , the controversy and the hype that is quoted in the news has had a very negative affect on the image of Arizonans and hurts the economy.
If travelers decide to pass up Arizona as a travel destination, they will be missing spectacular scenery, fabulous food and resorts, and a myriad of festivals and events that make it the perfect winter-spring vacation destination.