PHOENIX — Numerous politicians praised Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Wednesday for vetoing a controversial bill that would have allowed businesses to deny services to gays and others based on religious beliefs.
“I appreciate the decision made by Gov. Brewer to veto this legislation,” said Sen. John McCain in a statement. “I hope that we can now move on from this controversy and assure the American people that everyone is welcome to live, work and enjoy our beautiful state of Arizona.”
Arizona’s Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, the first openly bisexual member of Congress, echoed McCain’s statement, saying that Arizona is a state who welcomes everyone.
“Discrimination has no place in Arizona law,” she said in a statement. “Our state is a welcoming, diverse and vibrant state where people enjoy living. This bill jeopardizes our state’s economy and tarnishes our reputation by sending the wrong message to the world.”
Arizona Speaker of the House Andy Tobin, who allowed the bill to move to Brewer’s desk, was reserved in his statement.
“I respect the governor’s position to veto SB 1062, especially in light of the concerns brought up over the past week,” he said in a statement. “I understand the concerns of people of good faith on all sides of this issue.”
Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Phoenix, said he would remain vigilant of other legislation
that could also target gays.
“The effect is that again we got a black eye,” Gallego said. “But it also
shows that Arizona can stand united.”
Senate Minority Leader Anna Tovar believes the state’s image has been tarnished, but she is confident the state will turn over a new leaf.
“We want the nation and the world to know that SB 1062, a mean-spirited effort to legally sanction discrimination, is not representative of our state,” she said. “Decmocrats have stood in opposition, along with business leaders, the LGBT community and religious leaders, trying to move Arizona forward and make sure something like SB 1062 never happens again.”
Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said Arizona dodged a bullet with the veto.
“I think she did a good job of explaining the reasons why this bill — while I think well-intentioned by its supporters — would carry some unintended consequences that would prove very harmful, not only to Arizona citizens, but the state in general,” he said.
Some politicians took to Twitter to give their opinions.
#SB1062 was an unnecessary bill to protect a God-given right assured by the Const. I support religious freedom & glad we're moving on.
— Ken Bennett (@theREALAZsos) February 27, 2014
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) February 27, 2014
— Raul M. Grijalva (@RepRaulGrijalva) February 27, 2014
— Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (@RepKirkpatrick) February 27, 2014
— Greg Stanton (@MayorStanton) February 27, 2014
— Mayor Mark Mitchell (@AZMayorMitchell) February 27, 2014