Feb. 20, 2014
Arizona economy would suffer 'grave, self-inflicted wound,' if bill becomes law
Mayor Greg Stanton this evening said that a bill passed by the State Legislature that allows for increased discrimination against members of the LGBT community and many others is not only wrong, but would deliver a significant blow to the state economy. He urged the Governor to veto S.B. 1062.
Stanton issued the following statement:
"This evening, the Arizona State Legislature sent to the Governor's desk a bill that aims to provide significant legal protections to those who actively discriminate against our fellow citizens.
"S.B. 1062 cruelly targets the LGBT community, but also clears the way for renewed discrimination against people who suffered from discrimination in the past. As written, it would subject women, members of the Mormon, Jewish and Muslim communities, disabled individuals and many more to hateful – but suddenly legal – acts.
"I firmly believe that this wrong-headed legislation is flatly unconstitutional, and I am confident it will meet a certain death in the courts of law.
"Until then, the only thing it will accomplish is to further divide our state, and give new life to the false impression that Arizonans are intolerant – an impression we have worked so hard to overcome. Allowing that to happen would be a grave and wholly unnecessary self-inflicted wound that Arizona's economy cannot afford.
"The potential consequences are real. Many of the most innovative minds in our workforce could leave to our competitor regions, and businesses would have a much more difficult time attracting top talent to our state. Universities would be at a severe disadvantage in attracting the brightest students. And from Tucson to Sedona to the Grand Canyon, Arizona's tourism and visitor industry would take a significant blow.
"Despite the message the Legislature has sent to the nation and the world, I know Arizonans are inclusive and accepting, and understand that our collective differences make us stronger. The tiny but mighty town of Bisbee approved civil unions for same-sex couples last year, and cities such as Tempe and Scottsdale have long protected members of the LGBT community through anti-discrimination ordinances. And I could not be more proud that Phoenix is one of only 25 cities in the country to earn a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index.
"I urge the Governor to do the right thing, and veto S.B. 1062."
Seth Scott, Policy Director, Office of Mayor Greg Stanton 602-261-8983