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Professor David S. Cohen Pens Article on Arizona Anti-Gay Legislation Veto for Slate

David S. Cohen

February 28, 2014

In an article he penned for Slate, Professor David S. Cohen reacted to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's veto of a bill that would have allowed religious institutions and businesses to discriminate against gays in Arizona. While Cohen praised Brewer's decision to veto, he remained skeptical that treatment of gays would improve in the state.  "This is certainly cause for celebration, but not as much of a celebration as some may think. Gov. Brewer’s veto was important, but it accomplished only one thing: It maintained the status quo in Arizona," Cohen said. Since Arizona currently has no law that proactively protects gays and lesbians from discrimination in areas such as employment, housing and education, more legislation is needed in Arizona and throughout the country to protect gays and lesbians against discrimination, Cohen argued.   

Cohen pointed out that only about half of state legislatures throughout the country have enacted anti-discrimination laws protecting gays in the areas of employment, public accommodations, housing and hospital visitation, with even less in education. Therefore, Cohen argued, while Brewer's decision to veto the bill is admirable, the conversation needs to now turn to discussing ways to proactively enact laws that protect gays and lesbians from discrimination nationwide.