Governor Jan Brewer Vetoes Arizona Bill Legalizing Religious Discrimination Of LGBT People

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Jan Brewer hasn’t exactly been an ally to the LGBT community, but the governor of Arizona did the right thing tonight when she vetoed a SB 1062, a bill that would have legalized discrimination against gays and other groups on the basis of religious freedom.

In a televised address, Brewer said the bill was too broad and could result in “unintended and negative consequences” and “has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve.”

So, it’s not that it was going to deny equality to the LGBT citizens of her state that Brewer was concerned about, but that other groups might be swept in by the law’s broad language. In fact in her address, she told supporters of the bill “I want you to know that I understand that long-held norms about marriage and family are being challenged as never before.”

SB 1062 was approved by the Republican-controlled Arizona Legislature last week, leading to a national outcry by activists, legal groups and even corporations like Apple and Marriott. There was even talk of moving the 2015 Super Bowl out of Arizona.

Some companies issued strongly worded calls against the bill, including Delta Airlines

“Delta Air Lines is proud of the diversity of its customers and employees, and is deeply concerned about proposed measures in several states, including Georgia and Arizona, that would allow businesses to refuse service to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. If passed into law, these proposals would cause significant harm to many people and will result in job losses. They would also violate Delta’s core values of mutual respect and dignity shared by our 80,000 employees worldwide and the 165 million customers we serve every year. Delta strongly opposes these measures and we join the business community in urging state officials to reject these proposals.”

Even Republican leaders like Mitt Romney and Arizona’s U.S. senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, urged Brewer to veto the bill—though Governor Rick Perry supported it.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
@ItsDanAvery