Arizona Governor vetoes bill that would sanction homophobic discrimination

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The Republican Governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer, has vetoed a bill that would have legalised discrimination against gay people.

Senate Bill 1062 would have prevented the State of Arizona 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.

“I have not heard one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated,” Governor Brewer said on Wednesday night. “The bill is broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences.”

LGBT campaigners have praised Governor Brewer’s decision.

Several senior Republicans including Arizona Senator John McCain and Mitt Romney, both known for supporting anti-equality measures, said Governor Brewer had made the right call.

Mitt Romney tweeted his agreement.

The bill was given final approval by the legislature last Friday.

Various large corporations lobbied Governor Brewer to veto the bill, and some speculated that the threat of Arizona losing its chance to host the 2015 Super Bowl could have influenced her decision.