By Colby Carrington
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer announced Wednesday night the veto of SB 1062, the religious freedom bill approved last week by state Republicans.
The bill – which passed the state’s House and Senate – would have given Arizona businesses to deny service to gay and lesbian customers based on religious beliefs.
There was tremendous pressure from major corporations to not pass the bill. The NFL threatened to pull the 2015 Superbowl from Scottsdale, and companies including Delta Air Lines, Yelp, PetSmart released statements encouraging the governor to veto the bill.
During a press conference, Brewer focused on the business impact of such a bill on the state economy.”I made my priorities for this session abundantly clear… among them are passing a responsible budget that continues Arizona’s economic comeback, ” she stated.
Full transcript of her comments below:
SB 1062 – Press Conference Remarks by Gov. Jan Brewer
Good evening, and thank you for joining me here today.
I am here to announce my decision on Senate Bill 1062.
As with every proposal that reaches my desk, I gave Senate Bill 1062 careful evaluation and
deliberate consideration. I call them like I see them, despite the cheers or boos from the crowd.
I took the time necessary to make the RIGHT decision. I met or spoke with my attorneys,
lawmakers and citizens supporting and opposing this legislation.
I listened . . . and asked questions.
As Governor, I have protected religious freedoms when there is a specific and present concern
that exists in OUR state.
And I have the record to prove it.
My agenda is to sign into law legislation that advances Arizona.
When I addressed the Legislature earlier this year, I made my priorities for this session
Among them are passing a responsible budget that continues Arizona’s economic Comeback.
From CEOs — to entrepreneurs — to business surveys — Arizona ranks as one the best states
to grow or start a business.
Additionally, our IMMEDIATE challenge is fixing a broken Child Protection system.
Instead, this is the first policy bill to cross my desk.
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 bill is broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences.
After weighing all of the arguments, I vetoed Senate Bill 1062 moments ago.
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.
Going forward, let’s turn the ugliness of the debate over Senate Bill 1062 into a renewed
search for greater respect and understanding among ALL Arizonans and Americans.