Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center joins Arizona economic boycott over immigration

The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center announced today that it is joining the economic boycott of Arizona because of the state's new illegal immigration law.

As of today, the center will prohibit staff travel to Arizona for conferences or other professional activities and will take steps to end all relationships with businesses headquartered in Arizona.

"The recent passage of two bills in Arizona that promote discrimination are rooted in racist bigotry," said center Chief of Staff Darrel Cummings.

SB 1070 empowers local law enforcement to check the immigration status of suspects they have stopped for other reasons if there is a reasonable suspicion they are in the country illegally. The law specifically bars police from racial profiling. The other law prohibits the teaching of ethnic studies in public schools.

Last week, the Los Angeles City Council passed a measure that prohibits the city from doing business with businesses in Arizona and bans any non-essential travel there by city representatives, as did the City Council of West Hollywood.

The center applauds that action and will follow suit by adopting the same policy, Cummings said.

"Our community easily recognizes legalized bigotry and discrimination because we have been fighting it so long and so often," Cummings said.

"We know too well the horrific consequences that result from such policies. Elected officials in Arizona can rationalize and justify these laws any way they choose, but underneath it all lies anti-Latino and, specifically, anti-Mexican and Mexican-American prejudice. The LGBT community is part of these communities and so we stand with all those who oppose legal attempts to marginalize, stigmatize, or persecute any community, anywhere."