Arizona governor asked to nix bill angering gays

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PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Legislature has jumped into the battle over gay rights with a piece of legislation that has opponents predicting business boycotts against the state.

The bill would allow business owners with strongly held religious beliefs to refuse service to gays.

All eyes are on Republican Gov. Jan Brewer as she decides whether to sign the bill. A decision is likely next week.

The conservative governor is already feeling pressure from the business community to veto the bill passed late Thursday. A prominent Phoenix group believes it would be another black eye for the state that saw a national backlash over its 2010 immigration crackdown law.

But Brewer also will be heavily pressured to sign the bill by social conservatives who backed it as a religious-rights bill.

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