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Arizona

Ariz. governor returns home amid furor over anti-gay religious freedom bill

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
APGov. Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.)

AP
Gov. Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.)

PHOENIX — Gov. Jan Brewer returned to Arizona on Tuesday and faced a pressing decision about a bill on her desk that has prompted a national debate over religious and gay rights.

The Republican governor has been in Washington the last five days for a governor’s conference, and she is returning to a political climate that is much different from just a week ago.

The Arizona Legislature passed a bill last week allowing businesses whose owners cite sincerely held religious beliefs to deny service to gays. It allows any business, church or person to cite the law as a defense in any action brought by the government or individual claiming discrimination.

The legislation has caused a national uproar. The chorus of opposition has grown each day, with the business community, the state’s Super Bowl Committee and both Republican U.S. senators calling for a veto. Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney was the latest prominent voice to weigh in and urge Brewer to veto the bill.

Brewer will likely spend the next day or more pondering Senate Bill 1062 before deciding whether to sign or veto the legislation.

There is widespread speculation that Brewer will veto the bill, but she has not said how she’ll act, as is her longtime practice with pending legislation.

Political observers in Arizona cautioned that the governor is deliberate and not prone to act hastily, despite the growing calls from business, politicians of all stripes, and civil rights groups for a veto.

“She’s no rookie to these high-profile deals — she gives both sides their due,” said Doug Cole, a political consultant whose firm has run all of Brewer’s campaigns for decades.

“She’s going to get a very detailed briefing from her legal team, and give the proponents their best shot, and the opponents their best shot,” he said. “Everybody’s going to get their say, and they’ve giving it.”

Some Republican senators who pushed the bill through the Legislature are now calling for a veto as well, but they cite “inaccurate” information about the measure for igniting a firestorm. They argue the bill is designed only to protect business owners with strong religious beliefs from discrimination lawsuits that have happened in other states. Some blame the media for blowing the law out of proportion.

Democrats say that argument doesn’t wash and call SB1062 “toxic” legislation that allows discrimination. They said they warned Republicans who voted for the bill that it was destined for trouble.

“We brought this to their attention five weeks ago,” said Sen. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix. “We said this is exactly what is going to happen. You have a bill here that’s so toxic it’s going to divide this Legislature. It’s going to be polarizing the entire state. And that’s exactly what happened.”

The bill was pushed by the Center for Arizona Policy, a social conservative group that opposes abortion and gay marriage. The group says the proposal simply clarifies existing state law and is needed to protect against increasingly activist federal courts.

The center’s president, Cathi Herrod, has been deriding what she called “fear-mongering” from the measure’s opponents.

“What’s happened is our opponents have employed a new political tactic, and it’s working,” she said. “Throw out the threat of a boycott to attempt to defeat a bill, and you might just be able to be successful.

Herrod added she was surprised and disappointed that “in America today, false attacks and irresponsible characterizations about a piece of legislation can so intimidate and persuade people to change their opinion about religious liberty.”

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85 more reader comments:

  1. Do the right thing.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:18am
  2. bitch looks salted nutty.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:21am
  3. Simply by passing this law they have given the green light to hatred, intolerance, bigotry, and discrimination. If this bill gets vetoed it won't be seen as having been done so because the law was clearly unconstitutional or simply wrong, but because of pressure from the "liberal media". That will only give more ammunition to those who support it and encourage them to feel victimized. Furthermore passing this bill has given encouragement to other states to do the same, see Ohio, Georgia, Missouri, and I'm sure others will follow suit. Actions have consequences. Arizona does not deserve the privilege of hosting the 2015 Super Bowl. Sign and SHARE if you agree. http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/move-the-super-bowl-out

    Replied on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:42pm
  4. …That Face! :))))

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:21am
  5. Calling it a religious freedom bill is like calling the moon cheese…

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:22am
  6. michelle bachman eyes

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:23am
  7. No Church And State And If The people In Office Don’t Get That They Need To Get Out Of Office .Stop The Hate

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:23am
  8. She won’t sign if she knows what’s good for her and Arizona. Doesn’t stop the idiots from shopping this bill to other states like in Georgia wear it’ll also die.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:24am
  9. MO starting theirs up as well..

    Replied on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:27am
  10. And Oklahoma

    Replied on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 2:01pm
  11. I don’t think she will allow it to pass. Her waiting on this issue is proof that she is at least “thinking” about it.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:25am
  12. THinking about whether she should pass a hateful bill?

    Replied on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:28am
  13. This bitch has a lot to lose if she Veto's it. Her cunty smile is about to be thunder-slapped of her crusty mug. She best do what it is right and take her squankly ass to her fuckin' desk and take her god damned pen and sign the cunting piece of paper VETO! What a cunt she is!

    Replied on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:31am
  14. I know Laura, I hate to have to explain what there is to even have to think about.... but she has a lot that she could lose.

    Replied on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:33am
  15. She knows that passing this bill will only ruin her image and the image she puts out for Arizona. She knows that passing the bill means businesses lose customers and the state's economy would be in trouble. She also knows that not passing the bill means that gays and lesbians do have value to the world, and someone like her won't be able to comprehend that.

    Replied on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:34am
  16. True Joee. But, she must have some inkling that having this bill be read, debated, and passed whilst she was in office already has put her on a dunce stool.

    Replied on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:36am
  17. SOunds like social suicide, but apparently not political suicide in AZ..who are these people electing?

    Replied on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 8:07am
  18. Romney urges a veto!? Waaaahh!?

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:26am
  19. God, could she be any crazier looking? Did she really win an election???

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:26am
  20. She looks crazy.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:28am
  21. Im so tired of seeing shit like this, fuck religion, fuck discrimination.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:28am
  22. So illegals, now gays

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:30am
  23. Arizona home of Jodie Arias.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:30am
  24. She looks like a crazy B************

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:31am
  25. And looks crazy as she rolls on in.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:32am
  26. is this sarah palin’s mom

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:35am
  27. This bitch has a lot to lose if she Veto’s it. Her cunty smile is about to be thunder-slapped of her crusty mug. She best do what it is right and take her squankly ass to her fuckin’ desk and take her god damned pen and sign the cunting piece of paper VETO! What a cunt she is! Vicious homophobic CUNT!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:38am
  28. One hopes she vetoes, but wow….crazy face.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:41am
  29. The business community along with tourism will make her do the “right thing” by vetoing this bigoted, ugly bill!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:41am
  30. If shitty people like Mitt Romney are calling for a veto, you should probably fucking veto the bill.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:46am
  31. BAd

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:47am
  32. Dried up,ugly old BAG.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:55am
  33. VETO!!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 7:10am
  34. How did this salted douche canoe ever get elected?

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 7:12am
  35. With all that TOXIC make-up on her face and the way she looks like her blood pressure is peaked, that IGNORANT bitch may just drop dead any minute.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 7:27am
  36. She returned home because her dentures fell out? Try crazy glue cunt. Maybe it’ll seal your fucking mouth shut for good. If we’re lucky she’ll stop breathing as well.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 7:32am
  37. Omg, she looks scarier day by day. o.O :O

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 7:33am
  38. I hope that after this is over the people of Arizona vote these people out of office

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 7:42am
  39. She looks like the crypt keeper

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 7:45am
  40. Does she not understand. How much money we spend :-) we love to shop. Entertain, ex. Ooo and how powerful we r. We are not going.any where

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 7:48am
  41. So clear this up for me is this the person who made the comment that she didn’t think the gay/lesbian ect spent money if so maybe she needs a psych evaluation. Cause I’m pretty sure 99% of people pay thier way weather it b from money earned at a job, they were born into it, they became famous, or the government programs r helping them it’s still money so yep everybody spends money.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 7:51am
  42. My religion says I can’t provide product or service to Christians

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 8:01am
  43. She looks bitchy!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 8:22am
  44. Gay people “supposedly” have lots of ” disposable” income ……

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 8:23am
  45. Wish a house would fall on her

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 8:24am
  46. So a lot of people are thinking this is purely an anti-gay bill and are commenting on the various articles about this based on that assumption. Unfortunately AZ currently has no protections for discrimination against sexual orientation; this bill allows for business owners/operators to discriminate against previously protected classes (or future protected classes, as it may be) and avoid lawsuits by claiming they discriminate because of their religious beliefs (you know, because it’s so hard to come to terms with baking a wedding cake for a gay couple, etc.). So while this does essentially promote other extremes as far as the anti-gay movement goes, this is actually a much, much broader bill. It’s not even just anti-gay. It’s anti-human. I see comments saying “well if we were talking about religious freedom meaning discriminating against black people this would be different” — no! Because this WOULD BE allowing racial discrimination under the banner of religion! AZ not only needs to see this bill vetoed, but it also needs to add sexual orientation to the list of classes protected against discrimination!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 8:44am
  47. She loves the attention, to be sure.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 8:50am
  48. You are a fool comparing two consenting adults loving each other to some sicko preying on children. All religions should be abolished. They only serve to control people, and get money out of them. Imagine how peaceful the world would be without man made religions.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 9:57am
  49. You really are a fucking idiot if you think that bit about "No religion=WORLD PEACE" bullshit is actually true.

    Replied on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 10:20am
  50. Given that the majority of people killed from 25 AD to 1775 (and a plurality since then) were killed because they had the "wrong" religious beliefs, I'd say the lack of religion would be a huge step toward world peace.

    Replied on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 2:01pm
  51. My lifestyle, me and my husband have been together for 11 years now, before him I was only with 2 other men. How many so called normal people can say that. We are not all promiscuous. Just like not all straight people are. Again you’re an idiot.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 10:16am
  52. Why not just believe in Superman who comes down to solve everything. It’s just as plausible. Almost every war has been some sort of holy war. From the crusades to our current wars. If you want to believe in God then do, but why does religion have to be tied to it. Personally I believe in myself, my friends, and family.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 10:27am
  53. Are you a fucking moron? It’s NOT a lifestyle, it’s NOT a choice, and don’t you fucking dare compare being gay to raping children, you worthless piece of shit. Fuck off and die, you brainless Neanderthal.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 10:30am
  54. “Center for Arizona Policy, a social conservative group that opposes abortion and gay Marriage, says the proposal simply clarifies existing state law and is needed to protect against increasingly activist federal courts”. REALLY? Activist Federal Courts???? WTF? So they’re not supposed to follow the Constitution? Sounds like the RIGHT has become Activist. NOT the courts!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 10:44am
  55. I’m just glad I live in the real USA. Not some state who treats there gay people like total shit.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 10:45am
  56. Let’s hope she being blitzed relentlessly.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 10:55am
  57. If this bill is signed into law we turn the clock back 60 years! No Hate Governor, no hate, no hate, no hate, no hate!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 10:56am
  58. Stop Discrimination – Boycott AZ NOW. It should not take 6-7 days to make a decision. Do the RIGHT Thing in life – Just Say NO to DISCRIMINATION.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 11:03am
  59. Like she did know,gawd !!!!!!!!!!!!!! notice i said gawd not the other spelling

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 11:11am
  60. Um, anyone else notice the similarities of this situation compared to Museveni and the bill that was signed in Uganda? There’s an underlying reason she’s dragging her feet and milking all the attention. It looks to me as if we’re all being smoke screened.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 11:28am
  61. keep your fucking religion out of politics, asshole.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 11:38am
  62. She should not have to think twice !!!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 11:50am
  63. Hussein Suliman….when on earth will homophobic bigots have a rational discussion on how what two consenting adults do in private is actually none of their damned business? When on earth will those same bigots have a rational discussion about how marriage equality has zero effect on their own personal relationships? When on earth will homophobic bigots learn that pedophilia, bestiality, and plural marriage are their own topics, with their own issues….and none of them are related to same sex marriage? Why doesn’t the heterosexual community discuss the extreme mental health hazards of gay youth, caused by homophobia? Let’s be brave and actually answer theses questions without resorting to the crutch of religion, which has no place in our secular society, run by a secular government, using secular laws!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:15pm
  64. “It allows any business, church or person to cite the law as a defense in any action brought by the government or individual claiming discrimination.”
    Why the hell should they be protected against discrimination charges when they discriminate?!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:20pm
  65. You would have thought some of these religious lunatics would support gay people because they don’t have abortions.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:20pm
  66. don’t the Governors ever stay home and govern…NJ Christie is always out and about….must be a Republican thing.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:36pm
  67. Doesn’t matter what the gov decides to do…their LEGISLATURE has shown us the lay of the land out there.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:37pm
  68. Thank you Chris Martyn.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:40pm
  69. Simply by passing this law they have given the green light to hatred, intolerance, bigotry, and discrimination. If this bill gets vetoed it won’t be seen as having been done so because the law was clearly unconstitutional or simply wrong, but because of pressure from the “liberal media”. That will only give more ammunition to those who support it and encourage them to feel victimized. Furthermore passing this bill has given encouragement to other states to do the same, see Ohio, Georgia, Missouri, and I’m sure others will follow suit.

    Actions have consequences. Arizona does not deserve the privilege of hosting the 2015 Super Bowl. Sign and SHARE if you agree.

    http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/move-the-super-bowl-out

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:42pm
  70. Veto this hate-based bill of bad goods, Governor Brewer.
    The social media comment boards are heavily leaning against this law, but the same boards are littered with filthy comments about perverts having sex with animals, about hating the sin and loving the sinner and all manner of judgement spewed forth based on incivility.
    This is America. We are a melting pot of cultures, religions and disparate lifestyles. There are all too many narrow-minded legislators exploiting fear, hate and ignorance to undermine liberty for personal gain.

    Veto this vile bill with vehemence, Governor Brewer. Show you are a leader… or prove you are a fool.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:45pm
  71. Lol. Lol. She knows she can’t win. I think she wants to be in the spotlight. Lol.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:49pm
  72. Is that Sarah Palin with a blonde wig?

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:50pm
  73. Witch! I hope Michelle slaps this bitch so hard her teeth fly out!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:56pm
  74. Donald Pothier Bessette you cant say that about all religion. I’m religious and I dont lose money off it. And if you think all religious people are the same then you might as well consider yourself one of them, being small minded and putting titles on people because you don’t agree with them, sounds familiar right?

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 1:01pm
  75. For the sake of Arizona’s economy la Brewer better vetoes that Bill ..

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 1:03pm
  76. the republicans put up this bill, and supposedly good republicans fight this bill. she will ultimately keep ppl on edge because the world’s attention is on her. typical republican

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 1:09pm
  77. Why is Hussein Suliman even on this page? On the DL or afraid to come out of the closet after seeing how much discrimination we have to fight just to be able to love someone?

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 1:34pm
  78. I don’t get how churches can discriminate against gays. But yet still be allowed to be tax exempt.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 1:50pm
  79. Hussein Suliman, sexuality is part nature and part nurture. As you develop, your environment dictates your sexuality. There are 3 types of homosexuality: nature, nurture and a combination of both. You can in fact be born a little “different”, actually it wasn’t until these last late centuries that it was considered anything other than natural. Next is developed homosexuality, every human that is born is born somewhere on the sexuality scale, it is mentally impossible to be 100% gay and 100%, human thought is not black and white, why would sexuality be any different. Depending on your environment, it would determine your percentage of homo to hetero. Most “heterosexuals” have found a member of the same sex attractive or easy on the eyes, this is what allows us to be friendly with one another. And just because you find a member of the same or opposite sex attractive, DOES NOT mean you wish to partake in any sexual or emotional activity with them, it simple means you are a caring and compassionate human. 3rd type of homosexuality is what I like to call “turn table” where the environment around them suppressed ANY type of sexuality. Most of the time, these people will have hetero relationships for a long time before realizing they were never happy, the extreme is homophobia (the true fear is of themselves and fearing that they will disappoint) and the opposite end would be “changing teams”. Somewhere in the middle is living with it but choosing heterosexuality to avoid being looked down upon. Now, paedophilia is a type of sexuality. It is considered predatory modern day but as early as the earth, it was considered “normal” in most cultures. Especially tribal and philosophical cultures, when a girl had her first period she was ready to be married. Boys had “mentors” who taught them the way of life and how to survive. Most mentors had sexual relationships with these boys and it was in fact considered normal. The funny thing is that paedophilia is considered a dark derivative of HETEROSEXUALITY. They have physiologically tested these modern day pedophiles and almost 100% were PURELY straight or “heterosexual”. This is because pedophiles are more stimulated by power and dominance rather than genitalia. So do your research people, almost all pedophiles are heterosexual, it has been proven.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 2:01pm
  80. Actually, I WANT her to sign this bill. I WANT Arizona to stand as example of what happens when you listen to a hateful sliver of a minority of your state instead of considering your state’s best interests. I want to see Republican and the Religionistas all across the US to be tied to this failure in the November 2014 elections. Sign the bill Jan, and watch the mass exodus from your state.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 2:08pm
  81. Her grandstanding hesitation is beginning to piss me off…

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 2:37pm
  82. Old bitch !

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 2:42pm
  83. Christen p… You wonder why we fight so hard? When we are considered scary? Maybe it’s because for far too long ppl like you have push us down! Have told us it’s wrong what God has made us! No you are godless not us you are the one fighting against God because he made us this way and keeps making human beings in this image… So spared your hate if that’s your will but know not so long ago ppl like you also use god in the wrong context when you fought for separation of races and look how that ended?

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 2:50pm
  84. America is supposed to be the home of the brave and free. Without equality there is no freedom and religion that creates legislation out of fear is cowardly.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 2:57pm
  85. OMG- what an expression!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 3:01pm