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Opposition to SB 1062 begins pushing back

PHOENIX — As much of the opposition to SB 1062 considers the bill’s veto by Gov. Jan Brewer on Wednesday a major victory, some are now going on the offensive.

A group of more than a dozen people came to the state capitol Thursday armed with a petition, calling for two of the bill’s strongest supporters to vow to never work again with the Center for Arizona Policy, which lobbied for the legislation, and its president, Cathi Herrod.

“They could move forward. They could be held accountable to taxpayers and not to the Center for Arizona Policy, and not to Cathi Herrod,” said Beto Soto, field director of Citizens for a Better Arizona, which opposed SB 1062.

The petitions were brought to the offices of Sens. Steve Yarbrough and Al Melvin, who supported the legislation and helped introduce it. Both senators were not present as the time.

Soto said he believes Yarbrough and Melvin have been under the influence of CAP for too long.

“We’ve identified them as being very, very much tied up to the puppeteer strings of Herrod,” Soto said. “If you follow (SB) 1062, they lead right to (Herrod’s) office.”

Soto said they presented the petition to the senators as a chance for reparation for their support of the pro-religious rights bill.

SB 1062 attempted to allow businesses to be legally immune from lawsuits if they refused service on the basis of a sincerely held religious belief, which raised concerns over whether the law could be used to target members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.