“Gov. Jan Brewer on Wednesday vetoed a Republican bill that set off a national debate over gay rights, religion and discrimination and subjected Arizona to blistering criticism from major corporations and political leaders from both parties,” Bob Christie reports for The Associated Press. “‘My agenda is to sign into law legislation that advances Arizona,’ Brewer said at a news conference. ‘I call them like I see them despite the tears or the boos from the crowd. After weighing all the arguments, I have vetoed Senate Bill 1062 moments ago.'”
“The bill backed by Republicans in the Legislature was designed to give added protection from lawsuits to people who assert their religious beliefs in refusing service to gays. But opponents called it an open attack on gays that invited discrimination,” Christie reports. “Companies such as Apple Inc. and American Airlines and politicians including GOP Sen. John McCain and former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney were among those who urged Brewer to veto the legislation. The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, which is overseeing preparations for the 2015 Super Bowl in Glendale, Ariz., came out with a statement against the legislation. The Hispanic National Bar Association on Wednesday said it cancelled its 2015 convention in Phoenix over the legislation.”
“In addition, three Republicans who had voted for the bill reversed course and said it was a mistake. They said in a letter to Brewer that while the intent of their vote ‘was to create a shield for all citizens’ religious liberties, the bill has been mischaracterized by its opponents as a sword for religious intolerance,'” Christie reports. “SB 1062 allows people to claim their religious beliefs as a defense against claims of discrimination. Backers cite a New Mexico Supreme Court decision that allowed a gay couple to sue a photographer who refused to document their wedding, even though the law that allowed that suit doesn’t exist in Arizona.”
“Sen. Al Melvin, a Republican who is running for governor and voted for the bill, said he is disappointed by the veto. ‘I am sorry to hear that Governor Brewer has vetoed this bill. I’m sure it was a difficult choice for her, but it is a sad day when protecting liberty is considered controversial,'” Christie reports. “The Center for Arizona Policy helped write the bill and argued it was needed to protect against increasingly activist federal courts and simply clarifies existing state law. ‘It is truly a disappointing day in our state and nation when lies and personal attacks can over shadow the truth,’ said Cathi Herrod, the leader of the group.”
Read more in the full article here.
Apple, prominent Republicans ratchet up pressure on Arizona governor to veto SB1062 – February 26, 2014
Apple asks Arizona Governor Brewer to veto religious freedom bill SB1062 – February 25, 2014