Amid Pressure, Brewer May Veto Ariz. Anti-Gay Bill

Business leaders, GOP backers urge veto
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2014 6:37 AM CST
Updated Feb 25, 2014 10:46 AM CST
3 GOPers Who Voted for Arizona Anti-Gay Bill: Veto It
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer walks towards the West Wing of the White House in Washington, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, after the National Governors Association met with President Barack Obama.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Jan Brewer is likely to veto a bill that would allow Arizona businesses to refuse service to gay people for religious reasons, sources tell NBC News. The move comes in the wake of intense pressure from a host of sources—including three GOP senators who voted for the bill. "We feel it was a solution in search of a problem," one of them said at a press conference yesterday, the Arizona Republic reports. In a letter to Brewer, they said that the bill "has been mischaracterized by its opponents as a sword of religious intolerance. These allegations are causing our state immeasurable harm." They said the bill was pushed through too quickly.

They're not the only ones exerting pressure. Others, according to the New York Times, include:

  • Arizona's US senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, who posted virtually identical tweets on the matter.
  • Business leaders. An executive from Apple, which plans to build a plant in Mesa, called Brewer to express the company's displeasure, while American Airlines' CEO sent a letter saying there was "genuine concern throughout the business community." The Greater Phoenix Economic Council said four companies considering moving to Arizona had told it they might reconsider if Brewer signs.
  • The candidates running to replace Brewer appear to largely oppose it as well. Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said it "gives carte blanche for anybody to discriminate under the guise of religion."
NBC's sources say that business concerns in particular weighed on Brewer. "She doesn’t want to take any actions that could jeopardize the economic momentum we’ve seen here in Arizona," one source close to the governor said. Supporters of the bill have argued that opponents are mischaracterizing it; the independent group that helped champion it released a statement accusing opponents of "fear-mongering," saying that the backlash "proves that hostility towards people of faith is very real." (More Apple stories.)

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