Last night on The Daily Show Jon Stewart cited three recent moves by Arizona lawmakers—requiring birth certificates from presidential candidates, allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons without a permit, and the state's new quasi-fascit anti-illegal-immigration law ("Your papers, please.")—before dubbing Arizona "the meth lab of Democracy." (Watch it here.) But the crazy in Arizona didn't start last week. Gov. Brewer attacked her first minority group in Arizona in September of last year:
A bill signed by Gov. Jan Brewer redefined a 'dependent,' canceling the rule change made by Gov. Janet Napolitano that allowed domestic partners to receive benefits. Also eliminated are children of domestic partners, full-time students ages 23-24 and disabled adult dependents. The legislation is in legal review. About 800 state employees are affected, according to the state's administration department... Liz Sawyer, a UA staff member, said the exclusion is 'deplorable and it's tragic.' Sawyer is a spokeswoman for OUTReach, a staff group that lobbies for domestic-partner benefits at UA. Last year 170 UA employees signed up for domestic-partner benefits, she said. Forty were same-sex couples and the remainder were unmarried, opposite-sex couples, she said.
Brewer—shortly after depriving same-sex couples, their children, full-time students, and disabled adults of their health care coverage—told a group of pastors that she lets her Christian faith guide her. (The governor's comments sparked large demonstrations by moderate Christians fed up with hateful, conservative bigots claiming to speak for them—right?) So anyway: this horrifying bitch attacks gay people in Arizona and gets away with it and then goes on to mount a much more serious attack on brown people in Arizona. We recently saw a very similar script play out in another state: Virginia's new Republican governor, Bob McDonnell, kicked off a national scandal when he proclaimed April "Confederate History Month." McDonnell didn't see fit to acknowledge slavery in his seditious little proclamation because, according to McDonnell, slavery wasn't "significant." A shitstorm ensued, McDonnell backtracked, apologized, and amended his little proclamation. Months before McDonnell launched his racially insensitive/racially racist attack on reason, sense, and history, McDonnell attacked Virginia's already besieged gays and lesbians.
Maybe the national media wouldn't be blindsided by things like Arizona's new anti-immigration law or Virginia's racially tone deaf governor if it took attacks on gays and lesbians seriously, if the media saw them for the outliers they are, and stopped giving politicians like Brewer and McDonnell a faith-based pass when they attack sexual minorities. Because governors and legislators who attack sexual minorities today invariably go on to attack other minority groups tomorrow. Hate is hate is hate.