i don’t want to call it a victory when az governor vetoes a bill introduced solely to discriminate against a particular group. that such a bill was introduced to government in the first place is a major set back, not just for gays and lesbians but for civil liberties in general. i will never understand bigotry in a civilized, free society, especially stemming from faith groups who preach tolerance and love.
there is nothing in the Arizona Senate-passed Bill 1062 (“An Act Relating to the Free Exercise of Religion”) that is a free exercise of religion. the entire ordeal is disgusting.
governor jan brewer’s response to vetoing the bill was level and straightforward:
Good evening, and thank you all for joining me here this evening. I’m here to announce a decision on Senate Bill 1062.
As with every proposal that reaches my desk, I give great concern and careful evaluation and deliberate consideration, and especially to Senate Bill 1062. I call them like I see them, despite the cheers or boos from the crowd.
I took the necessary time 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 freedom 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 abundantly clear. Among them are passing a responsible budget that continues Arizona’s economic comeback. From C.E.O.s to entrepreneurs to business surveys, Arizona ranks as one of 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 or present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona. I have not heard one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated.
The bill was broadly worded—and could result in unintended and negative consequences.
After weighing all the arguments I have vetoed Senate Bill 1062 moments ago.
To the supporters of this 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 nondiscrimination.
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.