1. While it is true that similar anti-gay Jim Crow laws have been introduced in at least nine other states, only Arizona passed it through both houses of the Legislature. It would have become law if not for the veto, under great pressure, by Gov. Jan Brewer.
2. Context matters. Arizona has already gained national infamy from such things as the anti-immigrant Jim Crow SB 1070, the ongoing misdeeds of the High Sheriff of Maricopa County, his highly publicized immigrant "sweeps" and horrendous jail conditions, Brewer wagging her finger in the face of the president of the United States with her mouth open in a hectoring pose, the assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and ongoing gun liberalization, including guns in bars.
3. Phoenix is the nation's sixth most populous city, Maricopa County the fourth most populous county and the Phoenix metro area the 13th largest metropolitan statistical area. This is not rural Oklahoma. It has bureaus of influential news organizations, including the New York Times. So Arizona's Krackpot schemes will be noticed.
4. As I have written earlier, SB 1062 collided with a nation that is much more tolerant of gay people, and happened to be aimed at many who are middle class and above with substantial purchasing power. This is a culture war the right has lost, and the Kookocracy walked into the propeller — with the media and social media ready to broadcast it to the world.
5. Why is everybody picking on Arizona? It has brought on this odious reputation thanks to decades of hard work by the Kooks and their enablers, the same people who would ask this question. The Kookocracy's response to this debacle: Double down.
The energy would be better spent on funding schools at decent levels, investing in responses for its widespread urban problems, creating an environmental ethic to protect its priceless, but under siege, natural gifts and preparing for climate change. Most of all, building a fearsome political opposition.
As long as the responses are defensiveness and denial, the picking will continue.
It is unfortunate that the core of Phoenix and much of Tempe were tarred by this. These areas are tolerant and inclusive. It is why I suggested that boycotts from SB 1070 only be carried out in the legislative districts of members who voted for the bill.
That said, I question even the premise of "why is everybody picking on Arizona?" Check out the blogosphere on any given day and there's plenty on Texas' right-wing governor, attempts to block reproductive and voting rights, and a mania for executions so extreme that it very likely executed an innocent man. California gets "picked on" for being virtually "ungovernable" or for having gentrification battles in San Francisco. The Republican takeover of North Carolina has resulted in "Moral Monday" protests, along with the Republican governor, who worked 28 years for Duke Energy, now caught defanging the regulators and Duke unleashing an environmental disaster on the state.
Grow up. The rocks come with the farm. And throwing out the Republicans in the Legislature will be a good first step in changing Arizona's direction.