Discriminatory Legislation Vetoed in Arizona

Yesterday, Arizona governor Jan Brewer vetoed a controversial bill that would’ve allowed business owners to refuse to serve gays by claiming that it is against their religion. The bill was narrowly passed by the state senate even though it was controlled by Republicans.

Governor Brewer meets with President Obama in the Oval Office in 2010.

Governor Brewer meets with President Obama in the Oval Office in 2010.

Gov. Brewer is a Republican and usually acts on a partisan basis, but she vetoed this bill mainly due to pressure from business owners who believed that this law, if passed, would damage the reputation of Arizona businesses and would severely damage the state’s economy. This complaint is partially rooted in the fact that several large companies, such as American Airlines and Apple, threatened to withdraw their business from Arizona if the bill was passed. The NFL, which was scheduled to hold the Superbowl in Arizona, also planned to move the Superbowl to another location if this bill was passed

Of course, the other obvious critique of the bill – besides it being bad for business – is that it allows for people to use religion as an excuse to discriminate against others. For example, a Muslim cab driver could refuse to drive a woman who’s travelling without a man accompanying her.

In response to these criticisms, state senator Steve Yarborough said “this bill is not about allowing discrimination, this bill is about preventing discrimination against people who are clearly living out their faith.”

Other legislators who originally voted for the bill, however, later urged Gov. Brewer to veto the bill. Prominent members of the GOP such as Mitt Romney and John McCain also urged Brewer to veto the bill.

Though the bill has been vetoed, similar legislation is being proposed in other states such as South Dakota, Georgia, Oklahoma, Idaho and Ohio. If passed, these laws are broad enough that it would be possible for business owners in several states to deny service to anyone they choose on alleged religious grounds. Those disadvantaged under laws would apparently be separate – and yet somehow still equal, as per the demands of the Constitution (where have we heard that before?).

— Kevin Jahns, Staff Writer

Posted by on February 27, 2014. Filed under World News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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