Jan Brewer Likely to Veto AZ Bill Protecting Religious Freedom
Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is expected to veto a religious freedom bill that would allow the state's business owners to refuse service to gays and lesbians based on religious grounds.
Brewer has until Saturday to sign or veto Senate Bill 1062, and her closest advisers said on Tuesday that Brewer would most likely veto it after being pressured by business interests afraid of potential boycotts of the state.
Chuck Coughlin, a longtime Brewer adviser, told NBC News: “It’s been her proclivity in the past to focus on the priorities she wants them [the legislature] to accomplish, and this was clearly not part of her agenda.” Another adviser close to Brewer said, “She doesn’t want to take any actions that could jeopardize the economic momentum we’ve seen here in Arizona."
According to NBC, Brewer is likely to make her decision on Wednesday or Thursday after flying back to Arizona on Tuesday. Brewer had been in Washington, D.C. attending National Governors Association meetings.
Though Brewer is facing pressure to sign the bill from the state's Republican legislators and social conservative groups, business groups and businesses like Apple and American Airlines have urged her to veto the bill. According to reports, Apple, which announced intentions to build a plant in Mesa, Arizona, has pressured Brewer to veto the bill in addition to both of Arizona's Republican Senators--John McCain and Jeff Flake.
In addition, Arizona will also host the Super Bowl next year, and after the NFL said that it was "following the issue in Arizona and will continue to do so should the bill be signed into law," the Arizona Super Bowl Committee also urged Brewer to veto the bill. In 1993, the NFL pulled the Super Bowl from the state after Arizona's governor rescinded Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a state holiday, and Arizonans have been afraid that the NFL could do the same next year if Brewer signed the bill.
Brewer has already vetoed similar legislation last year.