Arizona behind times, needs to end sexual orientation discrimination

I’m glaring a sarcastic grin at Arizona and whispering, “nice try,” for their silly attempt to pass the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The bill would have allowed private businesses to refuse to serve ANYONE because of religious beliefs. Read between the lines – it’s deliberately formed by legislature to deny service to gays. Apparently, some homophobic legislators have had their blinders and earplugs in lately.

While, a majority of the country is making genuine strides to improve the quality of life for gays, leaders in Arizona are attempting to put a flamethrower to it.

Yes, it took time for racial segregation to end.

First it ended on plantations, then in public schools. Later the Civil Rights Act was signed. It was a process. Someone planted the seed and someone else watered it. There were critics who stomped all over of it, spit on it and devoted their lives to not allow an African American to have equal rights. Someone planted another seed. Eventually, times changed. People changed.

Discrimination towards ones’ sexual orientation won’t end overnight. It will be a process. Thankfully, times will change. Leaders will step up and pave the way for future generations.

Cue the National Football League.

Yes, a league with 6-foot-6, 320-pound behemoths that protect quarterback’s blind sides now have executives protecting the rights of those who may have a “different” sexual orientation.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. She may have disagreed with the bill, but she also may have felt the heat from large groups like the NFL.

Wondering why? Super Bowl XLIX is set to be hosted by — you guessed it — Arizona.

The NFL released a statement before Brewer made her decision.

“Our policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard. We are following the issue in Arizona and will continue to do so should the bill be signed into law, but will decline further comment at this time.”

The ball was on Arizona’s side of the 50, the NFL was in a prevent defense, yet ready to bring the blitz.

The Super Bowl brings in a lot of dough. Through ticket sales, hotel bookings, food/drink sales (of course, beer), and much more, the Super Bowl is one the biggest economics events in America. The game made an estimated $434 million economic impact in New Orleans in 2012 according to Forbes. That’s a lot of beer (just kidding). Not allowing a portion of fans to invest in the market that the Super Bowl creates would be a problem. Having a gay player competing on the sport’s biggest stage would be an even bigger problem.

If you haven’t heard, NFL prospect Michael Sam will most likely be on a roster next year and become the first openly-gay NFL player. Also, it’s highly likely that there are other players on rosters now that are keeping quite on their sexual orientation. The League would be inclined to move the game to a different city if Brewer would have approved the bill. The league has actually done so before. Ironically, it involved Arizona when in 1993 the NFL moved the Super Bowl from Tempe to the Rose Bowl because Arizona did not declare Martin Luther King Jr. Day a holiday.

The possibility of losing the Super Bowl very well could be responsible for Brewer vetoing the bill. The NFL, which has been heavily criticized for not protecting the skulls of its’ players resulting in concussions, The League has been making a blatant push to protect their rights.

The thought that an American citizen couldn’t be served because of their sexual orientation is disturbing. Yes, an individual has the freedom to practice any religion they so please, but discriminating against someone should be against the law, not under the law.

Kudos to the NFL for standing up, sticking their neck out, and watering the plant.

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