PHOENIX (CBS5/AP) -
Gov. Jan Brewer has vetoed SB 1062, the so-called Religious Freedom Bill.
"I call them like I see them," Brewer said. "I took the time necessary to make the right decision."
The politically charged legislation would have allowed business owners to cite sincerely held religious beliefs to refuse service to gays and other individuals and groups and fend off discrimination lawsuits.
"Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific and present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona," Brewer said at an early evening news conference. "I have not heard of one example in Arizona where a business owner's religious liberty has been violated. The bill is broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences."
Brewer noted that our society is undergoing many dramatic changes. "However, I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve," she said. "It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and no one would ever want."
Arizona Sen. Al Melvin, who voted for the bill, said, "I am sorry to hear that Gov. 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."
The outcome of this for the state rather embarrassing affair shows that civil rights and freedom need to be guarded and defended against ill-intended attacks at all times. For me it is 50 some years ago that we learned that in school. It is good that Gov. Brewer remembered it at this crucial moment. “Protecting liberty” does seem to produce some de-railed interpretations in Arizona.