PHOENIX — The effects of an Arizona bill that would allow businesses to refuse services based on religion could be worse than one that enacted some of the harshest immigration laws in the nation.
“This actually, I think, has the potential of being bigger than (Senate Bill) 1070 was,” Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said of Senate Bill 1062 during a Tuesday interview on News/Talk 92.3 KTAR’s Mac & Gaydos.
Smith said SB 1062 is essentially strike three for Arizona, with 1070 being strike two and an earlier failure to recognize Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a holiday.
“This just seems, when you read it, to open the door for institutionalized discrimination that goes far beyond what it think the authors were trying to accomplish and where the discussion was,” he said. “I don’t think anyone thought it through.”
Smith first learned of the bill passing the legislature when he was hosting the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He said many members of the bipartisan group spoke to him about the bill.
“The reaction was worse than 1070,” he said. “People saw this as an affront.
“They saw 1062 as a threat to the very liberties it purported to protect.”
Smith has experience dealing with mayors angered by Arizona law. His first time in the conference was shortly after SB 1070 was passed and he spent years trying convince mayors that this isn’t a bad state.
“I’ve really worked hard over the last few years with my fellow mayors to change their perception of Arizona, to help them to understand why we do some of the things we do here in Arizona,” he said, adding that 2014 was a breakthrough year in getting mayors to travel to Arizona.
However, one conservative mayor told Smith they would not have traveled to the state knowing Sb 1062 was making its way through the state Legislature.
Mayors aren’t the only issue on Smith’s hands. He and the city have been contacting companies, including tech giant Apple, to ask them to be patient while the government works.
“We have definitely reached out to companies and to individuals and to others, just like I did with the mayors. I said ‘Let this play out.'”
Smith has also
He has yet to speak to Gov. Jan Brewer on the matter, but Smith has publicly denounced the bill and feels a lot of residents agree with him.
“I don’t think that most Arizonans want that to be the face of Arizona because it’s not,” he said.
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- 11 holiday classics for the ultimate movie marathon
- 2016 college football rivalry games you simply can't miss
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- Diet, exercise and aspirin: 3 tools to fight colon cancer
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- ‘Supernatural’ TV show convention comes to Arizona
- Jan Brewer thinks Paul Penzone will have tough time beating Sheriff Joe Arpaio
- Mac & Gaydos joined by Burmese python after losing March Madness bet
- Mac and Gaydos deliver pizzas to winning class in REDucation contest
- Civil rights activist wants Phoenix-area NAACP boss to step down after incident