Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on
Wednesday vetoed a controversial bill opponents said would allow
businesses and individuals to discriminate against gay people.
The measure, known as SB 1062, states
that a business can refuse service based on the owner's religious
beliefs. Opponents have called the measure a license to discriminate
on the basis of sexual orientation.
Pressure to veto the bill came from
activists, politicians – including
a handful of Republicans – and business leaders. Apple,
and the NFL are a few examples of the more than 80 companies that
spoke out against the measure.
“I call them as I see them, despite
the cheers or the boos from the crowd,” Brewer said during a press
“I took the time to make the right
decision. I met or spoke with my attorneys, lawmakers and citizens
supporting and opposing this legislation.”
“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.”
Brewer said that the bill “is broadly
worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences.”
Gay rights activists applauded Brewer's
“Discrimination is not an American
value, plain and simple,” GLAAD CEO and President Sarah Kate Ellis
said in a statement. “Governor Brewer today demonstrated that
basic respect for LGBT people extends across party lines, and
anti-LGBT bias isn't just bad politics, it's bad for business. As
other states consider similar laws that aim only to make LGBT
people's lives more difficult, legislators would do well to remember
that anti-LGBT laws just won't be tolerated.”
The group behind the bill, Alliance
Defending Freedom (ADF), criticized the governor's decision.
“Freedom loses when fear overwhelms
facts and a good bill is vetoed,” Doug Napier, a spokesman for the
group said in a statement. “Today's veto enables the foes of faith
to more easily suppress the freedom of the people of Arizona.”
At least 8 other states are considering