Arizona governor vetoes bill allowing religious reasons for refusing service to gays

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has vetoed a bill that set off a national debate over gay rights, religion and discrimination.

The bill backed by Republicans in the Legislature was designed to give added protection from lawsuits to people who assert their religious beliefs in refusing service to gays. But opponents said it invited discrimination.

Loud cheers erupted outside the Capitol building immediately after Brewer made her announcement Wednesday evening.

Brewer said the bill "could divide Arizona in ways we could not even imagine and no one would ever want."

Prominent Phoenix business groups said it would be another black eye for the state that saw a national backlash over its 2010 immigration-crackdown law and warned that businesses looking to expand into the state may not do so if bill became law.

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251-a-15-(Governor Jan Brewer, R-Ariz., at news conference)-"has been violated"-Arizona Governor Jan Brewer says she has vetoed a bill that would have offered protection to those who refuse service to gay people. (26 Feb 2014)

<<CUT *251 (02/26/14)££ 00:15 "has been violated"

252-a-11-(Governor Jan Brewer, R-Ariz., at news conference)-"Senate Bill 10-62"-Arizona Governor Jan Brewer says the bill that would allow businesses to refuse service to gay people was non-specific and divisive. (26 Feb 2014)

<<CUT *252 (02/26/14)££ 00:11 "Senate Bill 10-62"

253-a-10-(Governor Jan Brewer, R-Ariz., at news conference)-"many dramatic changes"-Arizona Governor Jan Brewer says she understands that supporters of the legislation have concerns about expanding gay rights. (26 Feb 2014)

<<CUT *253 (02/26/14)££ 00:10 "many dramatic changes"

254-a-15-(Governor Jan Brewer, R-Ariz., at news conference)-"would ever want"-Arizona Governor Jan Brewer says the legislation didn't address any specific incident that would require the laws to be changed. (26 Feb 2014)

<<CUT *254 (02/26/14)££ 00:15 "would ever want"

255-a-08-(Governor Jan Brewer, R-Ariz., at news conference)-"so is non-discrimination"-Arizona Governor Jan Brewer says the bill would've created an unnecessary divide among people in the state and the country. (26 Feb 2014)

<<CUT *255 (02/26/14)££ 00:08 "so is non-discrimination"

256-a-12-(Governor Jan Brewer, R-Ariz., at news conference)-"Arizonans and Americans"-Arizona Governor Jan Brewer says just as there is a right to religious freedom in the U.S., there is also a right to non-discrimination. (26 Feb 2014)

<<CUT *256 (02/26/14)££ 00:12 "Arizonans and Americans"

APPHOTO NY131: In this photo tweeted by the office of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, Brewer vetoes Senate Bill 1062, a Republican bill that set off a national debate over gay rights, religion and discrimination and subjected Arizona to blistering criticism from major corporations and political leaders from both parties, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, in Phoenix. The caption that accompanied the photo on Twitter read, "Moments ago, I vetoed #SB1062." (AP Photo/Office of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer) (26 Feb 2014)

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APPHOTO AZRF129: Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer speaks at a news conference announcing she has vetoed SB1062, a bill designed to give added protection from lawsuits to people who assert their religious beliefs in refusing service to gays, at the Arizona Capitol on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) (26 Feb 2014)

<<APPHOTO AZRF129 (02/26/14)££

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