In Phoenix, Arizona, you can be arrested for repeatedly stopping and engaging a passerby in conversation. This may, under Phoenix law, be evidence that you are “manifesting” an intent to engage in prostitution. Of course, this could also be evidence that you are lost or canvassing for a political group or simply talking about the weather. The difference between “innocent” and “criminal” behavior often comes down to how a person looks. Transgender women of color are often profiled by police as engaging in sex work for simply being outside and going about their daily routines. Amnesty International documented this disproportionate targeting by police of transgender women as sex workers in a 2005 report. “[S]ubjective and prejudiced perceptions of transgender women as sex workers often play a signiﬁcant role in ofﬁcers’ decisions to stop and arrest transgender women,” the report concluded. One woman told Amnesty, “‘No tenemos el derecho a vivir.’ (We don’t have the right to live.).”
Black transgender activist Monica Jones knows this all too well.
Last May, Monica was arrested under the disturbingly vague and overbroad manifestation ordinance. “I believe I was profiled as a sex worker because I am a transgender woman of color, and an activist.” Monica explained.
“I am a student at ASU, and fear that these wrongful charges will affect my educational path. I am also afraid that if am sentenced, I will be placed in a men’s jail as a transgender woman, which would be very unsafe for me. Prison is an unsafe place for everyone, and especially trans people.” On April 11, 2014, Monica will go to trial and the ACLU will be assisting in her constitutional challenge to the manifestation ordinance. Together we hope to send a message about the injustices that transgender women of color so often experience at the hands of the police.
When Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the “right to discriminate” bill SB 1062, she claimed that the measure was a solution in search of a problem. Further, Brewer added, the bill was “broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences.”
What the governor conveniently omitted is that members of her own staff worked with the bill’s sponsors on that language, in order to narrow the scope of the measure and make it more likely that Brewer would sign it into law.
The Arizona Daily Star reports:
Documents obtained by Capitol Media Services show gubernatorial counsel Joe Sciarrotta and adviser Michael Hunter met with staffers from the Center for Arizona Policy as early as January about the legislation. The documents, mainly email exchanges before and after meetings, show the alterations made in the legislation at the behest of the Brewer advisers…
The records obtained by Capitol Media Services show Herrod and Josh Kredit, CAP’s legal counsel, met with Brewer staffers before the legislative session began in January. They ran the proposed language past Sciarrotta and Hunter and, based on their responses, began making changes.
And Bilerico is now reporting that Lambda Legal has filed suit for Marriage Equality in Arizona today:
Just in case your head wasn’t already spinning from the flurry of marriage equality lawsuits dropping today, here’s another one: Lambda Legal announced about an hour ago that they’ve filed in Arizona.
The federal lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court of Arizona on behalf of seven couples, along with two additional plaintiffs whose same-sex spouses died.
At first, Project ROSE may seem similar to the many diversion programs in the United States, in which judges sentence offenders to education, rehab, or community service rather than giving them a criminal record. What makes ROSE different is that it doesn’t work with the convicted. Rather, its raids funnel hundreds of people into the criminal justice system. Denied access to lawyers, many of these people are coerced into ROSE’s program without being convicted of any crime. Project ROSE may not seem constitutional, but to Roe-Sepowitz, “rescue” is more important than rights.
In November 2013, Roe-Sepowitz told Al Jazeera: “Once you’ve prostituted you can never not have prostituted… Having that many body parts in your body parts, having that many body fluids near you and doing things that are freaky and weird really messes up your ideas of what a relationship looks like, and intimacy.”
“As a social worker, you’re supposed to see your clients as human beings,” Monica told me. “But her way of thinking is that once you’re a sex worker, you can never not be a sex worker.”
on a side note, russia today apparently stole the article : rt.com
which is quite on offence considering how well researched the original is.
Way To Go Russia Today, again!
Yes….. Gov. Brewer vetoed Arizona’s pathetically shallow ‘religious freedom to discriminate bill’
No, that does not mean Arizona deserves some sort of deference.
On This Week With George Stephanopoulos Sunday morning, National Review’s Rich Lowry defended Arizona’s SB 1062 — the just-vetoed bill that would have allowed business to refuse service to members of the LGBT community — from charges that it created Jim Crow-style laws against gay people.
“It’s different than the situation in Jim Crow south, when you had a state-sanctioned system of discrimination that was flatly unconstitutional,” Lowry said, “and you had a governmental interesting in ensuring that you could travel in South, which you couldn’t do if no hotel or no restaurant would serve you. In this case, the wedding industry is not bristling with hostility to gay people. You’re dealing with the occasional baker or florist who has a genuine conscientious objection. And if they do, you can find another baker or florist.”
The price one pays to live in a democracy is always having to say you’re sorry. In a system of government; of, for, and by, the people, the people are to blame. This is true of love and war.
No, The wedding industry is not full of ‘bristling bigot monsters’ but if someone suggests Arizona just might be, it is because through the act of legislation, Arizona earned it.
end of civics lesson….
While there was predictable outrage from many right-wing quarters this week over Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of S.B. 1062 — a bill that would have legalized discrimination against LGBT people on the basis of protecting the “religious freedom” of people who did not wish to do business with them — the overwhelming reaction by most Arizonans, particularly its business people, was one of relief.
After all, the state is still recovering from the economic blowback wrought by another piece of far-right legislation - the infamous anti-immigrant S.B. 1070 legislation that put local law officers in the business of enforcing federal immigration law. The damage inflicted by the law itself, worsened by boycotts and other economic retaliation provoked by that legislation, remain fresh in the minds of the state’s business leaders, who pleaded with Brewer to boycott the law, as did the state’s entire congressional delegation and even a few of the legislators who had originally voted for the bill.
For now, the legislation appears to be dead in Arizona. But it is only one of several states in which the “religious freedom” legislation has made its presence felt, and in several states it may yet be approved.
A day after being reprimanded by Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, for failing to heed her call for action on the budget and the state’s child welfare agency, Arizona’s Republican-led House of Representatives promptly took up a new piece of social legislation on Thursday that would permit the surprise inspection of abortion clinics in the state.
The measure, which would also require the clinics to report “whenever an infant is born alive after a botched abortion,” was championed by the Center for Arizona Policy, the same powerful Evangelical Christian group that pushed a bill Ms. Brewer vetoed on Wednesday that would have made it easier for businesses to refuse service to gay men, lesbians and other people on religious grounds.
“When I addressed the Legislature earlier this year, I made my priorities for this session abundantly clear,” Ms. Brewer said Wednesday as she announced the veto. One, she said, was “passing a responsible budget that continues Arizona’s economic comeback.” Another was fixing the state’s beleaguered child-protection system.
The most remarkable thing about Arizona’s “License To Discriminate” bill is how quickly it became anathema, even among Republicans. Both 2008 GOP presidential candidate John McCain and 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney called upon Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to veto this effort to protect businesses that want to discriminate against gay people. So did Arizona’s other senator, Jeff Flake. And former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Indeed, three state senators who voted for this very bill urged Brewer to veto it before she finally did so on Wednesday, confessing that they “made a mistake” when they voted for it to become law.
The premise of the bill is that discrimination becomes acceptable so long as it is packaged inside a religious wrapper. As Arizona state Rep. Eddie Farnsworth (R) explained, lawmakers introduced it in response to instances where anti-gay business owners in other states were “punished for their religious beliefs” after they denied service to gay customers in violation of a state anti-discrimination law.
Yet, while LGBT Americans are the current target of this effort to repackage prejudice as “religious liberty,” they are hardly the first. To the contrary, as Wake Forest law Professor Michael Kent Curtis explained in a 2012 law review article, many segregationists justified racial bigotry on the very same grounds that religious conservatives now hope to justify anti-gay animus. In the words of one professor at a prominent Mississippi Baptist institution, “our Southern segregation way is the Christian way … . [God] was the original segregationist.”
God Of The Segregationists
Theodore Bilbo was one of Mississippi’s great demagogues. After two non-consecutive terms as governor, Bilbo won a U.S. Senate seat campaigning against “farmer murderers, corrupters of Southern womanhood, [skunks] who steal Gideon Bibles from hotel rooms” and a host of other, equally colorful foes. In a year where just 47 Mississippi voters cast a ballot for a communist candidate, Bilbo railed against a looming communist takeover of the state — and offered himself up as the solution to this red onslaught.
Bilbo was also a virulent racist. “I call on every red-blooded white man to use any means to keep the n[*]ggers away from the polls,” Bilbo proclaimed during his successful reelection campaign in 1946. He was a proud member of the Ku Klux Klan, telling Meet the Press that same year that “[n]o man can leave the Klan. He takes an oath not to do that. Once a Ku Klux, always a Ku Klux.” During a filibuster of an anti-lynching bill, Bilbo claimed that the bill
will open the floodgates of hell in the South. Raping, mobbing, lynching, race riots, and crime will be increased a thousandfold; and upon your garments and the garments of those who are responsible for the passage of the measure will be the blood of the raped and outraged daughters of Dixie, as well as the blood of the perpetrators of these crimes that the red-blooded Anglo-Saxon White Southern men will not tolerate.