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Arizona Governor Vetoes Faith Protections Bill

09-08-2014
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Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a controversial bill that would have allowed businesses to refuse service to gays and lesbians on religious grounds.

Opponents of the legislation called it a form of legalized discrimination.

On Wednesday, Brewer agreed, saying if passed, the bill could potentially cause more problems than it would solve.

"The bill is broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences," Brewer said Wednesday.

Did Gov. Brewer make the right call in this case? Peter Sprigg, with the Family Research Council, offers more insight on CBN Newswatch, Feb. 27.

The measure would have allowed business owners to deny service to gays and others if they felt it would violate their religious beliefs.

"We want for people to be able to have their belief systems respected," Maia Arneson, founder of the Christian Business Networking, said.

The proposal divided Republican lawmakers.

Some, like state Sen. Steve Yarbrough, argued it wasn't about discrimination but "about preventing discrimination against people who are clearly living out their faith."

GOP state Sen. Al Melvin agreed.

"I'm sure it was a difficult choice for her, but it is a sad day when protecting liberty is considered controversial," Melvin said.

During the past few days several prominent Republicans, including former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, urged Brewer to reject the bill.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was one of the first to congratulate her on the decision.

The National Football League, Major League Baseball, and the Hispanic National Bar Association also sided with the opposition.

These organizations were concerned the law might hurt the state's economy by driving away business.

The controversial bill came after the New Mexico Supreme Court and the Oregon Bureau of Labor ruled in favor of gay couples over Christian business owners in two wedding-related lawsuits in those two states.

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