Arizona Governor Jan Brewer won’t say if she’ll sign the bill which would allow businesses to refuse service based on religious beliefs.
Her only comment was that the bill was “very controversial” and that she “needs to get my hands around it.”
Meanwhile the Arizona Commerce Authority is chiming in against the bill.
The bill puts the Republican governor in a pretty political pickle. It forces her to chose between the Republican Party’s vote-getting base of conservative religious, and its corporate/chamber of commerce money men.
According to an article in USA Today, Governor Brewer has until Friday to decide.
From USA Today:
Arizona’s governor is watching an intense debate from afar over a controversial bill that would allow the use of religious beliefs as a basis for refusing service without fear of lawsuits.
The Arizona Legislature passed Senate Bill 1062 on Thursday and the bill could reach Gov. Jan Brewer’s desk as early as Monday, giving her next week to consider how she will sign or veto it.
The Republican governor, who is attending a conference of governors from across the USA in the nation’s capital, rarely comments on bills before they reach her desk.
She spoke Friday with CNN: “Well, it’s a very controversial piece of legislation. We know that. We know that it’s failed in a lot of states across the country. … I’ve been reading about it on the Internet, and I will make my decision some time before … by next Friday … if I do decide to sign it.
“But it’s very controversial, so I’ve got to get my hands around it,” Brewer said.
Socially conservative groups that oppose gay marriage are promoting the twin bills, SB 1062 and HB 2153. GOP state Sen. Steve Yarbrough created his bill in response to a New Mexico Supreme Court decision against a photographer who refused to take a gay couple’s wedding pictures.
In a letter sent Friday to Brewer’s office, Phoenix area economic officials raise concerns that the bill, which shields businesses from being sued if they deny service based on religious beliefs, could cast a negative light on the state as it prepares to host a number of high-profile events, including next year’s Super Bowl.