Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona is nothing if not a pragmatist.
The Republican showed the world this evening that money speaks volumes when a state’s economic recovery is at stake.
Brewer vetoed Senate Bill 1062, the hastily drawn legislation that would have enabled businesses to deny service to people on the basis of their sexual orientation. Someone could refuse to serve a meal to a gay couple, for example. SB 1062 proponents said it protected people’s religious liberty by enabling them to invoke their faith as a reason to discriminate against gay people.
Brewer’s veto came with a few words about how this bill would create more problems than it purports to solve.
She didn’t invoke some belief in “marriage equality,” which is short hand for supporting the rights of people to marry others of the same sex. No, she instead spoke to the problems that would rain down on Arizona if forces conspired to derail the state’s recovering economy.
Major League Baseball and the National Football League were two of the heavy hitters that threatened some form of economic sanction against the state if SB 1062 became law. That, I submit, is the message that Brewer heeded today with her veto.
That’s all right with me. SB 1062’s major aim was to impose a discriminatory policy.
I understand and totally endorse the concept of religious liberty and the freedom to practice one’s faith. However, embracing religious freedom shouldn’t result in others losing their rights as citizens. SB 1062 sought to deny the rights of others simply on the basis of their sexual orientation. It was wrong.
Gov. Brewer did the right thing today by vetoing it.