Arizona Governor Jan Brewer: ‘I will do the right thing’ on gay discrimination bill

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The Governor of Arizona has said she is still looking at the legislation which would allow business owners to discriminate against gay people, saying she will “do the right thing”.

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.

“I have a history of deliberating and having an open dialogue on bills that are controversial, to listen to both sides of those issues, and I welcome the input and information that they can provide to me. And certainly I am pro-business, and that is what’s turning our economy around, so I appreciate their input, as I appreciate the other side,” she said.

“I have to look at what it says and what the law says and take that information and do the right thing,” Brewer said.

Jan Brewer has until Friday to decide on the bill, but is expected to take action sooner.

LGBT rights advocates hope businesses opposed to the bill, and the possibility that Arizona’s economy would suffer as a result of the bill, will push her to veto it.

Apple on Monday became the most recent large business to urge Brewer to veto the bill. 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.