Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer announced Wednesday night that she has vetoed a controversial “religious freedom” bill that would have allowed businesses to refuse service to gay customers.
In a statement, Brewer told reporters that the legislation “has a potential to create more problems than it’s purported to solve.”
Brewer also said that when she looked at the bill, she discovered no examples of religious liberties being violated that required the bill to become law.
“Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific and present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona. I have not heard of one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated,” Brewer said.
“The bill is broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences.
Reports on Tuesday suggested that Brewer would likely veto the bill, amid increasing pressure from politicians on both sides of the aisle and major businesses to do so. Brewer’s office denied late Tuesday that she had made a decision.
Both of Arizona’s U.S. senators — Republicans Jeff Flake and John McCain — have urged Brewer to veto the bill, along with former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. McCain quickly applauded her decision to veto the measure Wednesday night.
“I appreciate the decision made by Governor Brewer to veto this legislation,” McCain said in a statement minutes after her announcement. “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.”
More businesses came out against the legislation on Wednesday, including JPMorgan Chase and American Express. Sports Illustrated also reported that the NFL had begun exploring the option of moving next year’s Super Bowl, which is scheduled to be held in Arizona.
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