Arizona governor Jan Brewer is likely to veto a controversial “religious freedom” bill that would allow business owners with to deny service to gay people, reports NBC News, citing sources close to the governor who are “familiar with her thinking.”
Among those sources is longtime Brewer political adviser Chuck Coughlin, who told NBC News: “It’s been her proclivity in the past to focus on the priorities she wants them [the legislature] to accomplish, and this was clearly not part of her agenda.”
Sources say economic pressure will largely dictate Brewer’s potential decision to veto the bill.
“She doesn’t want to take any actions that could jeopardize the economic momentum we’ve seen here in Arizona,” said a person close to the governor.
On Monday, more than 80 major companies doing business in Arizona signed on to a letter calling on Brewer to veto the legislation, SB 1062.
“When the Legislature passes bills like this, it creates a reputation that Arizona is judgmental and unwelcoming. This will haunt our business community for decades to come,” the businesses said. “You have an opportunity to lead on an issue that will otherwise have a detrimental economic impact on Arizona. We strongly urge you to VETO SB 1062 today and continue your support for Arizonans, our local businesses and economy.”
Also Monday, the Super Bowl host committee said “we have heard loud and clear from our various stakeholders that adoption of this legislation would not only run contrary to that goal but deal a significant blow to the state’s economic growth potential.”
Arizona is slated to host Super Bowl XLIX, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, on Feb. 1, 2015. Opponents of the bill are already calling for the committee to move the game out of Arizona if Brewer signs the legislation.
The bill was pushed by the Center for Arizona Policy, a conservative group opposed to abortion and same-sex marriage.
Developing story, check back for updates.