Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Arizona Governor Vetoes Bill

After several weeks of intense media coverage in Arizona regarding a controversial Bill that would allow business owners to deny service to LGBTQ folks, the movement was finally shot down. The state’s governor, Jan Brewer of Arizona, a Republican vetoed the aforementioned bill.

According to the New York Times, political figures in Washington on both sides of the aisle applauded her conviction. According to an interview with the Times, Hillary Rodham Clinton said of her decision, “Inclusive leadership is really what the 21st century is all about.” Ms. Clinton further referred to the bill as “discriminatory legislation.”

The measure on question would have effectively given business owners the right to use religion as a fig leaf for bigoted policy.

On the other side of the coin, supporters of the bill believed that it would have been discriminatory not to pass it. “This bill is not about allowing discrimination,” said state Senator Steve Yarbrough. “This bill is about preventing discrimination against people who are clearly living out their faith.”

Before Gov. Brewer vetoed the bill, Arizona came under fire as a state for even proposing the bill. In fact, the NFL reportedly threatened to cancel its plans to have the state host next year’s Superbowl. While whether this threat actually helped to move Gov. Brewer’s opinion one way or the other is purely speculation—however when you’re too homophobic for the NFL, something is clearly wrong.

It would seem as if Arizona was continuing its aggressive campaign to make itself the worst state in the Union. It has a long history of intolerant and narrow-minded movements. It is still struggling to overcome the negative attention it garnered in 2010 after passing legislation made it legal for police officers to stop people whom they suspected of being illegal immigrants. Further, the state also faced a good deal of negative attention 20 years ago, after voters refused to recognize Martin Luther King’s Birthday as a holiday.

Senator John McCain of Arizona expressed his relief after Gov. Brewer vetoed the bill. According to McCain said, “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.”

The fact that the bill was ever on the table reflects the GOP’s outdated beliefs, and struggle to adapt to a changing political and social climate. Indeed, similar bills have been proposed in other states, including Idaho and Kansas, but not advanced.

Gov. Brewer also stated her disappointment that the bill was the first bit of legislation to come to her desk this year. She expressed a need to protect the rights of all citizens, including religious organizations, but not when those rights infringed upon basic liberties of others.

“As governor, I have protected religious freedoms when there is a specific and present concern that exists in our state,” she said. “Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific and present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona. I have not heard of one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated.”

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