Governor vetoes Arizona bill to allow bias against gays

jan-brewer-grab.jpgArizona Governor Jan Brewer put an end to the public image catastrophe and economic wrath from Senate Bill 1062, which would have allowed business owners to refuse to serve lesbian and gay customers if the discrimination was based on a “sincerely held religious belief.” Proponents claimed the law was needed for religious freedom, but Brewer rejected the argument in a somber press conference outside her office.

“Senate Bill 1062 ... could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and no one would ever want,” she said. "Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific and present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona. I have not heard of one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated.”

The state’s Republican U.S. senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, and 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney had urged Brewer to veto the measure. Apple, American Airlines, Marriott and American Express strongly opposed the legislation, saying it would be bad for business, the Arizona Republic reported. The NFL has reportedly been looking at moving next year's Super Bowl out of Arizona if the law were enacted. Since the Legislature’s passage of the bill last week, Brewer's office had received more than 40,000 letters, e-mails and phone calls about the bill, mostly in opposition, the Republic said.

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