Apple, American Airlines and Marriott urge Arizona to veto bill to legalise anti-gay discrimination

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Several multinational companies have given extra weight to a campaign to have Arizona’s Governor veto a bill to specifically legalise anti-gay discrimination.

Senate Bill 1062 would prevent the state from taking action against individuals and businesses who refuse services to people or groups based on their religious beliefs if such enforcement would “substantially burden” the free exercise of their religion.

The bill was given final approval by the legislature on Friday, but State Governor Jan Brewer has not said whether she will sign it into law.

Apple became the most recent, confirming to CNBC on Monday evening. It carries extra weight after having signed a $578 million (£346 million) contract with a sapphire-producing company in the state.

In doing so, it joined American Airlines and hotel giant Marriott in urging Arizona’s Government Jan Brewer to use her veto on the bill.

Amid voices of concern were those of three Republican state Senators who voted for the bill, admitting they made a “mistake”.

Arizona has a statute that defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The state only legalised same-sex sexual activity in 2001.

Mass protests have taken place in the state against the implementation of the bill.