Reaction swift in Arizona after veto of SB 1062 - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Reaction swift in Arizona after veto of SB 1062

Gov. Brewer announces her veto of SB 1062 early Wednesday evening. (Source: CBS 5 News) Gov. Brewer announces her veto of SB 1062 early Wednesday evening. (Source: CBS 5 News)

Reaction is streaming in after Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer broke her silence early Wednesday evening and vetoed SB 1062, the so-called religious freedom bill.

Loud cheers erupted outside the Capitol building immediately after Brewer made her announcement.

The bill, backed by Republicans in the Legislature, was designed to add protections for people who assert their religious beliefs in refusing service to gays. It was a divisive proposal that focused national attention on the state as business groups, gay rights supporters and even many fellow Republicans urged her to use her veto power.

Brewer said the bill "could divide Arizona in ways we could not even imagine and no one would ever want."

Here are the statements has received in the wake of her announcement.

Center for Arizona Policy President Cathi Herrod

"Today's veto of SB 1062 marks a sad day for Arizonans who cherish and understand religious liberty. SB 1062 passed the legislature for one reason only: to guarantee that all Arizonans would be free to live and work according to their faith. Opponents were desperate to distort this bill rather than debate the merits. Essentially, they succeeded in getting a veto of a bill that does not even exist.

"When the force of government compels one to speak or act contrary to their conscience, the government injures not only the dignity of the afflicted, but the dignity of our society as a whole.

"SB 1062 made certain that governmental laws cannot force people to violate their faith unless it has a compelling governmental interest-a balancing of interests that has been in federal law since 1993. The religious beliefs of all Arizonans must be respected and this bill did nothing more than affirm that. It is truly a tragic day in our state and nation when lies and personal attacks can over shadow the truth."

State Sen. Al Melvin (R-AZ)

"I am sorry to hear that Governor Brewer has vetoed this bill. I'm sure it was a difficult choice for her. But it is a sad day when protecting liberty is considered controversial. Let us learn from the process we have just come through so that we can do a better job next time of communicating our intent. Let us do a better job of reaching out to groups who likely mean well but who are otherwise swept up in the hysteria and misinformation that greets legislation like this.

"We need to recognize that the attacks on Christian businesses we spoke about were in other states like New Mexico and Oregon. Until people see it happening here in Arizona, our efforts will be too easily dismissed. It is unfortunate that we may to wait until people's rights are being trampled here in Arizona before we can safeguard them, but that may well be the case.  

"Already too many Christians avoid the political process, and defeats like this one can be demoralizing. The most important thing is to remain involved in the process and to get your friends and family involved as well.

"Our nation is a miracle, but that does not mean that God alone is responsible for its maintenance. We are each called to be involved and to do our part. For my part, I will continue my campaign for Governor and, if elected, will use that office to actively promote the cause of liberty here in Arizona."

Anti-Defamation League

"We are pleased that Governor Brewer fulfilled her obligation to represent all of the people of Arizona. Her decision to veto legislation that would have sanctioned discrimination by citizens and businesses against individuals was the right one, and should serve as a guidepost for officials in other states where such pernicious legislation is being considered.

"Regrettably, our nation has an odious history of using religion to justify discrimination. The bill that the Governor vetoed would have represented a toxic and harmful step backward, and would have stained Arizona's reputation for years to come. As evidenced by the strong outcry from the business community, this legislation would have also done irreparable harm to Arizona's economy.

"ADL played a prominent role in the campaign to urge the Governor to veto it, and helped galvanize opposition in the business, civil rights and faith communities."

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)

"I appreciate the decision made by Governor Brewer to veto this legislation. I hope that we can now move on from this controversy and assure the American people that everyone is welcome to live, work and enjoy our beautiful State of Arizona."

Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

"We applaud Gov. Brewer's decision to stand in support of an inclusive Arizona that respects equal treatment for all by rejecting Senate Bill 1062, because we believe the vast majority of Arizonans agree that vetoing the bill was precisely the right action to take.  The nation needs to know that Arizona is a welcoming community that is moving its society, its economy and its people forward based on the philosophy that no community should be excluded or left behind.

"We understand why the Hispanic Bar made its decision and we respect and admire the organization's longstanding vigilance in support of civil rights for everyone but we also believe that the State or Arizona, its people and its economy should not be punished for the misguided views of a handful of lawmakers, especially given that the vast and overwhelming majority of Arizonans have clearly stepped up and proclaimed that our economy and our society will only prosper if we move ahead as one community.

"The great majority of Arizonans are good people who believe in inclusiveness and equality. That's the message we respectfully sent to the governor and the Arizona Legislature. It's time now to put this ugly affair behind us and get back to the business of rebuilding our economy and improving the quality of life for everyone in this state."

House Speaker Any Tobin (R-AZ)

"I respect the Governor's position to veto SB 1062, especially in light of the concerns brought up over the past week. I understand the concerns of people of good faith on all sides of this issue."

U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ)

"I join Arizonans across our great state in thanking Governor Brewer for vetoing SB1062. Arizona dearly needed this responsible leadership after suffering so much at the hands of our Legislature. I hope her veto will shield Arizona from further damage, but we aren't out of the woods yet. The lawmakers who rammed this bill through our Legislature owe Arizona an apology and an explanation of why and how they rushed it without input from citizens, the business community and tourism bureaus. We need answers so we can ensure this never happens again. Arizona deserves better."

D.J. Quinlan, executive director of the Arizona Democratic Party

"SB1062 was a harmful bill that had no business seeing the light of day in 2014. We applaud Governor Jan Brewer for finally vetoing this bill-but she should not have waited so long. There is no telling how much damage was done by the mere threat of it becoming law and the unnecessary delay in the veto. This sad episode further demonstrates why we must elect Fred DuVal as Arizona's next governor. Arizona Democrats are committed to focusing on the issues that are of actual importance to the voters: jobs, education and opportunity."

Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)

"I just called Governor Brewer's office to thank her for doing the right thing by vetoing SB 1062. Such a misguided law is bad for Arizona and I'm thankful the governor took the necessary action to stop it.

"Discrimination has no place in Arizona law. Our state is a welcoming, diverse and vibrant state where people enjoy living. This bill jeopardizes our state's economy and tarnishes our reputation by sending the wrong message to the world.

"I agreed with Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake that Gov. Brewer should veto the bill, which is why last Thursday, before the bill even reached the her desk, I urged her to veto it. Since then, the message from business leaders, other elected officials, and the community has been clear - Arizonans would suffer should this bill be enacted into law.

"I am especially grateful to the businesses who spoke out against SB 1062: American Airlines, American Express, Apple, AT&T, Intel, Google, the NFL, the many Chambers of Commerce, GPEC, and countless others. Your voice was heard and your strong stance against this bill made a difference. Thank you."

Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Doug Napier

"Freedom loses when fear overwhelms facts and a good bill is vetoed. Today's veto enables the foes of faith to more easily suppress the freedom of the people of Arizona. Even though the battle has become more difficult, Alliance Defending Freedom stands ready to defend any Arizonan who suffers the indignity of religious discrimination."

House Minority Leader Chad Campbell (D-AZ)

"I applaud Gov. Brewer for doing the right thing. By vetoing this bill, the governor has sent a message to the country that Arizona is a place of tolerance and acceptance. It is unfortunate that SB 1062 made it as far as it did in the process, but that is the fault of a handful of extremists at the Capitol who are out of step with the rest of the state. These ideologues need to be held accountable for pushing such hateful legislation, as should the Center for Arizona Policy and Cathi Herrod. It is time to put a stop to the control that these unelected extremists have in the Legislature. We will not be held hostage by their right-wing, extremist agenda."

GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving

"I heard the news moments after Governor Brewer spoke, and I am elated she made the right decision for Arizona. This was a win all of us of who honor and celebrate diversity."

Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce

"We are thankful for the opportunity to meet with Governor Brewer and directly communicate to her the potential negative effects of this bill on our economy," said GPCC President & CEO Todd Sanders. "She said she would 'do the right thing for Arizona,' and we are pleased that she demonstrated that with her veto.

"We look forward to continuing to work with our elected officials to ensure that neither individual liberties nor our economy are threatened by unintended consequences to legislation," Sanders continued. "Above all, we want to continue to send the message that our great state is a welcoming place for all people to live, visit and do business."

ACLU of Arizona Executive Director Alessander Soler

"Discrimination has no place in Arizona, or anywhere else. We're grateful that the governor has stopped this disgraceful law from taking effect, and that Arizona will remain open for business to everyone."

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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