Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's move to seek US Supreme Court approval to strip health benefits from same-sex partners of Arizona state employees has been met with wide disapproval and is already resulting in a shake-up amongst her appointed staff.
Brewer appointee to the Arizona Tourism Advisory Council, Edwin Leslie submitted his resignation Tuesday telling Brewer that, "Your actions ... are in direct conflict with your reiteration that all Americans are entitled to the same 'inalienable rights.'"
More after the jump.
He also notes that Brewer's discriminatory stance hits Arizona in a place that she might actually pay attention to: its bottom line.
"...it is my responsibility to remind you that your actions are contrary to those needed to ensure the success of the Tourism industry in Arizona. The State of Arizona derives considerable revenues from Tourism and considerable revenues from LGBT community members that visit our great State. Your actions discriminate against one part of the State’s residents to appease a small fraction of the population. Arizona residents by and large are supportive of LGBT equality. A recent PPP poll found that 77 percent of Arizona voters support either full marriage equality or civil unions. 83 percent of independents in the state support marriage or civil unions, along with 63 percent of Republicans. The tourism industry is critical to the State’s economy. I urge you to put aside the politics and act responsibly in favor of the this critical part of our economy."
You mean gay people may choose not to spend their hard earned dollars in a state actively working to screw them over?
Imagine that, Jan.
Leslie brings his letter to a close on a personal note, stating his alllegiance to the LGBT community. He writes:
"Business, politics and the economy aside, my decision to resign the Tourism Council is rooted in the fiber of my conscience. The LGBT community, of which I am a proud part, deserves all of the same rights, privileges and liberties as every American, be it in domestic partner benefits, adoption, marriage or any other rights that are so freely enjoyed by every other person in the US. It is my hope that one day The State of Arizona leads the nation in extending benefits to LGBT families, allowing same sex marriage and adoption, and show that everyone is welcome in Arizona."
We sure that Leslie's well articulated effort will fall on deaf ears—at least with regards to Gov. Brewer—but we can't underestimate the importance of him, and others like him, taking a stand.