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Governor Jan Brewer vetoes SB 1062

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Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed SB 1062, a bill that caused a nationwide controversy over whether the Bill was based on discrimination or was in rooted in religious freedom rights according to CNN News. Both sides are sharply divided, and businesses in Phoenix have voiced their opinions as well.

Demonstrations that caused the media frenzy have been going on since last week. In the meantime, Governor Brewer was in Washington, D.C. and only returned to Phoenix on Tuesday. She met with both sides today before making her decision on whether to veto or sign the bill. In a news conference at the Capital on Wednesday afternoon, Governor Brewer said, "To the supporters of the legislation, I want you to know that I understand that long-held norms about marriage and family are being challenged as never before. Our society is undergoing many dramatic changes. However, I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve. It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and no one would ever want. Religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value, so is non-discrimination."

Businesses that pressured Brewer included American Airlines, GoDaddy, American Airlines, and Apple Inc, which plans on opening a manufacturing plant in East Valley’s Mesa, Arizona according to a Channel 12 Fox News in Phoenix. Additionally the Hispanic National Bar Association has canceled its 2015 convention in Phoenix. Some believe that Governor Brewer was hard-pressed to veto the bill. While the NFL did not make an overt threat that they would cancel the 2015 Super Bowl, the message was clear.

The Governor’s decision was criticized by Doug Napier, the attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom. He said, “"Freedom loses when fear overwhelms facts and a good bill is vetoed. Today's veto enables the foes of faith to more easily suppress the freedom of the people of Arizona." Although the law passed both houses, perhaps the definition of “service” should have been included in Section 1. Section 41-1493 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. Many laws do not pass due to ambiguity in the wording of the bill. Those opposing the Bill say that businesses could refuse to serve gays and lesbians.

Those in support of the Bill say that by service, they mean a caterer could refuse to cater a same-sex marriage or a minister could refuse to perform a wedding and the bill would protect them from a lawsuit. Most people have not even read the bill. Those who actually care and wish to make their own decision about the Bill can read it themselves on the Arizona State Legislature’s website.

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