The Undeniable Ruth Rotating Header Image

Wil Wheaton

Wheaton’s Law is my Religion If Brewer Signs SB 1062

The Arizona legislature passed SB 1062/HB 2153 last week. They call it a law to protect your right to “exercise your religion” but what it really does is give businesses the ability not to do business with someone if it violates their “religious beliefs.” What it does is give businesses the ability not to do business with members of the LGBT community.

My Wheaton's Law T-Shirt

My Wheaton’s Law T-Shirt

This law is fucked up on a lot of levels. While so many states and cities are legalizing same-sex marriage and updating anti-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity, Arizona is moving backwards and trying to legalize segregation. It’s frustrating that the majority of the Arizonans oppose this proposed law, including several business organizations, but an influential minority was able to push it through both houses.

Here’s what’s really fucked up about this law – your “religious beliefs” don’t have to be affiliated with any officially recognized religion;” they only have to be your sincerely held religious beliefs.

I’m pretty agnostic but I do have some firmly held beliefs that are as dear to me as some religions are to others. One of those beliefs is Wheaton’s Law – “Don’t be a dick.” This rule was created by actor-author-gamer Wil Wheaton to encourage good sportsmanship during online gaming, and it has spread to and been adopted in everyday life. If you want your own Wheaton’s Law t-shirt, it’s available online.

Sign at Rocco's Little Chicago Pizzeria

Sign at Rocco’s Little Chicago Pizzeria

And yes, just because Wheaton’s Law isn’t affiliated with any official religion or culture that requires some type of worship practice, it doesn’t mean it can be a religious belief. According to Dictionary.com, a religion is merely, “a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.” Note that superhuman agency and ritual observances are not required; therefore, Wheaton’s Law can be a religious belief.

Open to everyoneSo if Governor Brewer signs this bill into law, it will give me, and anyone else who considers Wheaton’s Law to be part of their religion, the ability to refuse to do business with anyone who acts like a dick. This will include any members of Arizona Senate and House of Representatives who voted in favor of this discriminatory law. I wonder how fast they would change their stance on this law if suddenly their grocery store, gas station, salon, landscapers, golf course, gym, neighborhood bar, and the private school where they send their kids refused to do business with them. (Hat tip to Rocco’s Little Chicago Pizzeria for posting a sign that says they refuse to do business with Arizona Legislators after this bill passed.)

Some groups, like One Community, are taking the high road and saying that all are welcome to do business with them and encouraging others to do the same. And good for them – I’m too pissed off to be the bigger man on this one.

Please contact Governor Brewer’s office and tell her to veto this hellaciously discriminatory bill. You can call her at 602-542-4331 or 520-628-6580. You can also sign the petition about SB 1062 on Change.org.

[Note: I sent Wil Wheaton an email about claiming Wheaton’s Law as a religious belief if SB 1062 is signed. He didn’t respond so I interpreted that to mean that he didn’t object – at least not enough to tell me about it. I mean no disrespect to Wil Wheaton or Wheaton’s Law with this post.]

Bonding with my Fellow Geeks at Phoenix Comicon

It’s Phoenix Comicon this weekend! I feel like Geek Christmas is upon us. I love going to geek events because from the moment I walk in, I know I’m surrounded by people who “get it.” We don’t have to explain why we love what we love, we just get to enjoy it with our fellow geeks. This weekend, we’re taking over the Phoenix Convention Center. It’s going to be a fun time.

Ruth Carter at Phoenix Comicon, Photo by Devon Christopher Adams

Speaking at Phoenix Comicon 2012 – Photo by Phoenix Comicon and Devon Christopher Adams

I’m excited that the powers that be at Phoenix Comicon have asked me to be part of two panels this year:

  • The Legalities of Fan Fiction and Fan Art – Saturday, May 25th at 3pm
  • Comic Creator Rights – Sunday, May 26th at 10:30am

The variety and array of events at Phoenix Comicon this year is huge! I spent a good chunk of last weekend going through the schedule and building out my conquest. Here’s what’s on my docket besides my talks:

Friday, May 24th

  • Deep Space Nine: 20 Years Later – I’m a huge DS9 fan so I’m super excited for this.
  • From Bullying to Harmony: Understanding and Dealing with Bullying – great panel for this audience.
  • Phoenix Ultimate Geek Smackdown III – this is definitely one of the best events at Phoenix Comicon.
  • Awesome Hour with Wil Wheaton – If I haven’t turned into a pumpkin yet.

Saturday, May 25th

  • Hit Phoenix Public Market for lunch before going to Phoenix Comicon.
  • Klingon Language for Beginners – I’ve always wanted to learn Klingon. I tried to learn with the tapes, but I only picked up a handful of words.
  • Trek Fandom in the Valley – I’ve been thinking I want to do more with the Trek community.

Sunday, May 26th

  • Wheaton and Scalzi, Together Again – I’ll go if I’m not conned out by this point. Given that I’m a massive introvert and don’t particularly like large crowds of people, I probably will be.

There are some sci-fi speed dating events. It might be interesting in doing this, but given that a lot of people go to cons to hook up and that’s not my bag, this might not be for me.

Of course there is also the vendor room at Phoenix Comicon too. I’m always on the market for a good geeky t-shirt. The challenge is finding ones that aren’t printed on super cheap itchy shirts. Having custom shirts made at Brand X has turned me into a bit of a t-shirt snob. I’d love to get a Star Trek or a Wheaton’s Law t-shirt.

I’ve lost at least 20 pounds since my bought my Starfleet uniform so now it’s too big for me to wear. Seeing the new Star Trek movie has inspired me to get a new one. I’d love to have Uhura’s dress from the movie for when I’m feeling sassy and a gray-and-black jumpsuit from Deep Space Nine for every day wear. I’m also on the lookout for a morphsuit too – probably in royal blue, though it would be fun to get one in black and pretend to be people’s shadows.

I’m really looking forward to getting my geek on and bonding with my fellow nerds this weekend. Hopefully I’ll see you there!