Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has vetoed SB 1062, the controversial bill that would have allowed businesses to refuse service based on religious beliefs, which many believed would have allowed them to discriminate against same-sex couples.
“Our society is undergoing many dramatic changes, however I sincerely believe Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve,” said Brewer.
Brewer also said that she hadn’t heard of a single instance in which an Arizona business owner’s religious liberty had been violated.
Before the announcement, Brewer’s political advisor Chuck Coughlin said to NBC News, “It’s been her proclivity in the past to focus on the priorities she wants [the legislature] to accomplish, and this was clearly not part of her agenda.”
Also according to NBC News, there had been fear that Arizona would face an economic backlash if the measure had been approved, similar to what happened after the governor’s approval of the state’s controversial immigration law in 2010, which resulted in a loss of $140 million in meeting and convention business.
U.S. Senators John McCain (AZ-R) and Jeff Flake (AZ-R) had urged Brewer to veto the bill, as did the Arizona Super Bowl Committee. Glendale, Arizona, is scheduled to host the event next year.
The measure drew sharp criticism from several professional sports leagues. The NFL weighed in, releasing a statement: “Our policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or any other improper standard.”
And Major League Baseball also denounced the proposed measure. “As the sport of Jackie Robinson, Major League Baseball and its 30 Clubs stand united behind the principles of respect, inclusion and acceptance,” the league said in a statement. “Those values are fundamental to our game’s diverse players, employees and fans. We welcome individuals of different sexual orientations, races, religions, genders and national origins. MLB has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment or discrimination based on sexual orientation, as reflected by our collective bargaining agreement with the MLB Players Association. Accordingly, MLB will neither support nor tolerate any words, attitudes or actions that imperil the inclusive communities that we have strived to foster within our game.”