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Super Bowl committee, more than 80 companies call for veto of anti-gay bill

Ross D. Franklin, APAnthony Musa (left) and Brianna Pantillione rally in Phoenix against a bill that would let business owners refuse to serve gay people on religious grounds.
Ross D. Franklin, AP
Anthony Musa (left) and Brianna Pantillione rally in Phoenix against SB 1062, a bill that would let business owners refuse to serve gay people on religious grounds.

The Super Bowl host committee, the NFL and more than 80 major companies doing business in Arizona have called on Gov. Jan Brewer to veto SB 1062, a bill that would allow business owners with strongly held religious beliefs to deny service to gay people.

In a statement issued 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.”

We do not support this legislation. Instead, we look forward to continuing to promote the NFL’s values while focusing on the economic momentum apparent in Arizona and capturing the positive worldwide attention associated with hosting Super Bowl XLIX.

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 NFL echoed the Super Bowl committee’s statement, reported the Arizona Capitol Times:

“Our policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in a statement. “We are following the issue in Arizona and will continue to do so should the bill be signed into law, but will decline further comment at this time.”

Also Monday, a coalition of more than 80 corporations and business organizations in the state, signed on to a letter to Brewer, calling for her veto.

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.

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.

Brewer appeared on CNN briefly Monday and said she would “do the right thing” for the Arizona, but did not indicate what that means.

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