PHOENIX-Governor Brewer vetoed SB1062 on Wednesday night.
In a press conference in the rotunda of the 9th floor of the Executive Building, the Governor explained her reasoning for vetoing the bill.
“Senate bill 1062 does not address a specific or present concern relating to religious liberties in Arizona,” Brewer said. “I have not heard one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated.”
The announcement was received by celebration on the Capitol lawn. Groups that had come to protest began chants of “Thank you Jan!”
Among the throngs of people with rainbow flags and signs that said “Arizona is open for everyone”, Democratic legislators joined in on the celebration and encouraged people to remember this bill in November.
“I think that Gov. Brewer realized that Arizona is just now coming out of a recession. Our economic development is just now coming back.” Sen. Lynne Pancrazi (D-Yuma)
The major reason Gov. Brewer cited for killing the bill was for the effect that it would have on Arizona’s economy. Sen. Pancrazi talked about how she was around when former Gov. Evan Mecham didn’t acknowledge Martin Luther King Day and during SB1070 and how this bill was similar to those discriminatory pieces of legislation.
“People of every background, every race, every socioeconomic level, were all coming to the state of Arizona and this bill, if it were to pass, would have just cut that off and stifled it completely,” Pancrazi said.
When the bill was heard in the House last week, newly appointed Rep. Demion Clinco (D-Tucson) spoke out in opposition of the bill as an openly gay member of the legislature.
“It’s fundamentally disappointing that in 2014 we are even having this discussion,” Clinco said after the law was vetoed. “I mean this is a throwback to the time in the 1950s when segregation and discrimination was rampant in this country.”
However, the Democrats are still wary of HB 2481, a bill that would prohibit the government from forcing someone to solemnize a marriage that is inconsistent with the minister’s religious beliefs and considers anyone authorized to solemnize a marriage a minister.
But the Democrats plan to be vigilant throughout the rest of the session, making sure that no more discriminatory bills make it through the legislature.
“I think any bill that discriminates against anyone in our communities is an unacceptable piece of legislation in this state and it has to be stopped,” Clinco said.
EDIT: This post has been edited to correct grammatical mistakes.