Arizona Governor Jan Brewer declared on Wednesday that she had rejected the bill that would have denied gays service from businesses based on religious beliefs. In her announcement during a news conference, she said that non-discrimination is a core value in America and Arizona, the same way religious liberty is.
Brewer stated that the bill does not address a present concern regarding religious liberty, and that she knows of no instance when an Arizona business owner’s liberty was violated because of religious beliefs. Brewer believes that the proposed law may create more problems than it claims to solve.
The proposed law—Senate Bill 1062—was worded in such a way that it could have a negative and unintended effect, according to Brewer. The bill was also an unnecessary legislation that could very well threaten Arizona’s recovering economy, because it could drive away businesses who are interested in moving to the state. High-profile events, such as the 2015 Super Bowl, may be shunned if she approved of the controversial bill.
If it had been signed into law, it would have provided businesses facing discrimination lawsuits a legal defense: that they had acted upon a sincerely-held religious belief.
The bill was proposed by the Center for Arizona Policy, a conservative advocacy group, and the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian-based legal organization. Cathi Herrod, Center for Arizona Policy president, expressed disappointment, saying the bill was nothing more than an assurance that policies will not force people to violate their faith.
There had been a furor over the bill, with hundreds of protesters including the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee urging Brewer to veto it. Among the officials who recommended the veto are Secretary of State John Kerry, Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain, and 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
McCain spoke well of Brewer’s decision to veto the bill. He said that he hopes the move assures the Americans that “everyone is welcome” to live and work in Arizona.
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) February 27, 2014
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