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Religious Tolerance logo

"Religious freedom" changing from freedom of
religious beliefs
freedom to hate and discriminate

2014: Part 6:
Arizona Governor vetoes "license
to discriminate" bill SB 1062 bill!

Strong favorable reactions to the veto.

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This topic is continued from the previous essay

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2014-FEB-26: The bill is vetoed:

Governor Brewer vetoed SB 1062!

Faced with phenomenal opposition to the bill from commercial interests, industries, the LGBT community, mayors, state senators, both federal Senators, religious liberals, secularists, sports fans etc., she vetoed the bill that would have given legal protection to individuals, companies, and corporations who wanted to deny the LGBT community -- or any other group or individual -- access to their services or products because of religious reasons.

She said that she carefully weighed the arguments pro and con before deciding. She said:

"I call them as I see them, despite the cheers or the boos from the crowd."

During the evening, she held a press conference. She said, in part:

"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.

The bill is broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences.

After weighing all of the arguments, I vetoed Senate Bill 1062 moments ago.

To the supporters of the legislation, I want you to know that I understand that long-held norms about marriage and family are being challenged
as never before. Our society is undergoing many dramatic changes. However, I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve. It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and no one would ever want. Religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value, so is non-discrimination.

Going forward, let’s turn the ugliness of the debate over Senate Bill 1062 into a renewed search for greater respect and understanding among ALL Arizonans and [all] Americans. 6

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2014-FEB-27+: Reactions to Governor Brewer's veto:

  • AZCentral's web site contained this video about the veto:


  • AZCentral held a poll on their web site asking the public: "How will Senate Bill 1062 impact the state?" Three options were provided. 2,734 responses were received after 10 hours:

    • 23% chose: "There will be no impact now that Gov. Jan Brewer has vetoed the bill."

    • 45% chose: "Arizona once again looks foolish, and the state will face long-term economic repercussions from this."

    • 31% chose: "It’s a temporary black eye that will soon be forgotten."12

  • Anti-discrimination protesters who had gathered outside the state capitol in Phoenix cheered and hugged each other when they heard the news. They quickly took down banners that urged the Governor to veto the bill and replaced them with signs praising her veto. Some said:
  • "Thank you Governor Brewer" and "Arizona is open for business to everyone!"

  • Alessandra Soler, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona said:

    "Discrimination has no place in Arizona, or anywhere else. We're grateful that the governor has stopped this disgraceful law from taking effect, and that Arizona will remain open for business to everyone."

  • Attorney Doug Napier represents Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian legal de fence agency who co-authored the bill. He issued a statement saying:

    "Freedom loses when fear overwhelms facts and a good bill is vetoed. Today's veto enables the foes of faith to more easily suppress the freedom of the people of Arizona."

  • Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said:

    "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."

  • Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh said that the Governor was:

    "... being bullied by the homosexual lobby in Arizona and elsewhere."

  • State Rep. Demion Clinco, who is the only openly gay member of Arizona's House, said:
  • "In her vetoing the bill, I really feel like there's a possible hope for reconciliation within our state, and we can move forward."

  • Cathi Herrod, president of the conservative Center for Arizona Policy which is affiliated with the fundamentalist Christian group Focus on the Family said:

    "The religious beliefs of all Arizonans must be respected and this bill did nothing more than affirm that. It is truly a disappointing day in our state and nation when lies and personal attacks can overshadow the truth." 10

  • Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) said:

    "I think what we need to do is respect both sides. We need to respect both opinions. Just like we need to observe tolerance for the gay and lesbian community, we need to have tolerance for the community of people who hold sincerely held religious beliefs."

  • Arizona state Representative Sonny Borrelli suggested a possible future scenario in which a member of the LGBT community might value the freedom to discriminate that this bill would have provided. He said:

    "You have a gay person that owns a printing shop, OK. Somebody from the Westboro Baptist Church comes in there and demands that they print and sign that, obviously, the printer is not going to agree with. Should that religious group demand that print shop print that thing?

    The Westboro Baptist Church is an unaffiliated Baptist church known for its hatred of the LGBT community, and for its web site at:

  • Scott Shackford of the Hit and Run Blog expressed cynicism and made a prediction. He wrote:

    "My own personal, cynical theory is that somebody started realizing it would allow Muslim-owned businesses to refuse to serve women who weren't accompanied by men or not dressed 'modestly' and then there will be panic about Sharia Law or something. I was actually kind of secretly hoping that would happen because it would have been hilarious.

    Anyway, this particular battle is over and I suspect much celebration in the lesbian and gay community, even though, as I pointed out, they still don't have any state protection from business discrimination. It would not be a surprise, though, if this fight were used to push forward an addition to the state's public accommodation laws." 11

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2014-MAR-04: Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey show strong support for Governor Brewer's veto:

PPP conducted an in-depth survey of 870 Arizona voters. Polling started on FEB-28 -- two days after Governor Brewer's veto -- and concluded on MAR-02. Most of the interviews were conducted over the phone; 20% were interviewed over the Internet to include people who don't have landline telephones. Apparently, none were conducted over cell phones. Because the use of cell phones is more common among young adults who tend to be much more liberal on matters related to LGBT rights, the polling results may be biased slightly against the LGBT community. On the other hand, the use of Internet interviews would tend to have the opposite affect, because younger adults are more liable to have Internet connectivity.

PPP asked a total of 31 questions. The first 11 dealt with approval/disapproval of various political figures. The next nine asked for which candidates the respondent would vote in 2014-NOV midterm elections. The following three questions were:

  • Question 21 asked whether the respondent supports or opposes Senate Bill 1062. Results were:
    • Support: 22%
    • Oppose: 66%
    • Unsure or didn't answer: 12%

  • Question 22: "Do you agree or disagree with Governor Brewer's decision to veto Senate Bill 1062." Results were:
    • Support: 72%
    • Oppose: 18%
    • Unsure or didn't answer: 9%

  • Queston 23: Do you think same-sex marriage should be allowed in Arizona, or not? Results were:
    • Allowed: 49%
    • Not allowed: 41%
    • Unsure or didn't answer: 10% 13

The margin of error for the results is ±3.3 percentage points.

The margin between support for, and opposition to, SSM is 8%. This might have resulted in the legalization of SSM in Arizona if it were to be decided by a referendum. The voters of Arizons appear to have a strong initial opposition to the "license to discriminate" bill and strong support for the Governor's veto. 13

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This topic is continued in the next essay with a
review of similar bills in states across the U.S.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Arizona legislature sends ‘anti-gay’ bill to Republican governor Jan Brewer," The Guardian, 2014-FEB-21, at:
  2. Zack Ford, "Conservative Lawmakers And Arizona Businesses Urge Governor To Veto Anti-Gay Bill ," Think Progress, 2014-FEB-24, at:
  3. Andy Towle, "Arizona Chamber of Commerce-led business coalition calls on Brewer to veto anti-gay bill," Towleroad, 2014-FEB-24, at:
  4. Halimah Abdullah & Catherine E. Shoichet, "Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoes SB 1062," CNN, 2014-FEB-26, at:
  5. Anderson Cooper, "Inside Arizona's SB-1062 protest," CNN, 2014-FEB
  6. Jan Brewer,"SB 1062 - Press Conference," 2014-FEB-26, at:
  7. John Kang, "Christians speak against the Arizona bill," Gender and the Law Prof Blog, 2014-FEB-26, at:
  8. "Urge AZ Governor Jan Brewer to Sign SB 1062/HB 2153," Action Alert, National Organization for Marriage, undated, at:
  9. Adrian Matanza, "Arizona Businesses “Open for Business to Everyone," Human Rights Campaign, 2-14=FEB-24, at:
  10. Catherine E. Shoichet & Halimah Abdullah, "Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoes controversial anti-gay bill, SB 1062," CNN, 2014-FEB-26, at:
  11. Scott Shackford, "Gov. Brewer Vetoes Arizona SB 1062,", 2014-FEB-26, at:
  12. Alia Beard Rau, Yvonne Wingett Sanchez & Mary Jo Pitzl, "Arizona Gov Jan Brewer vetoes Senate Bill 1062," AZcentral, 2014-FEB-26, at:
  13. "Arizona voters support Brewer's veto, legalizing gay marriage," Public Policy Polling, 2014-MAR-04, at:

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Copyright © 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
Originally written: 2014-FEB-27
Latest update: 2014-MAY-10
Author: B.A. Robinson

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