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home : latest news : state July 28, 2015

2/26/2014 6:40:00 PM
Brewer vetoes SB1062
Bill was divisive, governor says
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer

PHOENIX (AP) - Gov. Jan Brewer on Wednesday vetoed 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.

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

"My agenda is to sign into law legislation that advances Arizona," Brewer said at a news conference. "I call them like I seem them despite the tears or the boos from the crowd. After weighing all the arguments, I have vetoed Senate Bill 1062 moments ago."

The governor said she gave the legislation careful deliberation in talking to her lawyers, citizens and lawmakers on both sides of the debate.

But Brewer said the bill "could divide Arizona in ways we could not even imagine and no one would ever want." The bill was broadly worded and could result in unintended negative consequences, she added.

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 called it an open attack on gays that invited discrimination.

The bill thrust Arizona into the national spotlight last week after both chambers of the state legislature approved it. As the days passed, more and more groups, politicians and average citizens weighed in against Senate Bill 1062.

Many took to social media to criticize the bill, calling it an attack on gay and lesbian rights.

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, SB1070, and warned that businesses looking to expand into the state may not do so if the bill became law.

Companies such as Apple Inc. and American Airlines and politicians including GOP Sen. John McCain and were among those who urged Brewer to veto the legislation.

Brewer was under intense pressure to veto the bill, including from three Republicans who had voted for the bill last week. They said in a letter to Brewer that while the intent of their vote "was to create a shield for all citizens' religious liberties, the bill has been mischaracterized by its opponents as a sword for religious intolerance."

SB 1062 allows people to claim their religious beliefs as a defense against claims of discrimination. Backers cite a New Mexico Supreme Court decision that allowed a gay couple to sue a photographer who refused to document their wedding, even though the law that allowed that suit doesn't exist in Arizona.

Republican Sen. Steve Yarbrough called his proposal a First Amendment issue during a Senate debate.

"This bill is not about allowing discrimination," Yarbrough said. "This bill is about preventing discrimination against people who are clearly living out their faith."

Democrats said it was a veiled attempt to legally discriminate against gay people and could allow people to break nearly any law and cite religious freedom as a defense.

"The heart of this bill would allow for discrimination versus gays and lesbians," said Sen. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix. "You can't argue the fact that bill will invite discrimination. That's the point of this bill. It is."

The bill is similar to a proposal last year brought by Yarbrough but vetoed by Brewer, a Republican. That legislation also would have allowed people or religious groups to sue if they believed they might be subject to a government regulation that infringed on their religious rights. Yarbrough stripped that provision from the bill in the hopes Brewer will embrace the new version.

Civil-liberties and secular groups countered that Yarbrough and the Center for Arizona Policy, a powerful social conservative group that backs anti-abortion and conservative Christian legislation in the state and is opposed to gay marriage, had sought to minimize concerns that last year's bill had far-reaching and hidden implications.

Yarbrough called those worries "unrealistic and unsupported hypotheticals" and said criminal laws will continue to be prosecuted by the courts.

The Center for Arizona Policy argues the law is needed to protect against increasingly activist federal courts and simply clarifies existing state law.

"We see a growing hostility toward religion," said Josh Kredit, legal counsel for the group.

Similar religious-protection legislation has been introduced in Ohio, Mississippi, Idaho, South Dakota, Tennessee and Oklahoma, but Arizona's plan is the only one that has been passed by a state legislature. The efforts are stalled in Idaho, Ohio and Kansas.

The push in Arizona comes as an increasing number of conservative states grapple with ways to counter the growing legality of gay marriage.

Arizona's voters approved a ban on gay marriage as a state constitutional amendment in 2008. It is one of 29 states with such constitutional prohibitions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Federal judges have recently struck down those bans in Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia, but those decisions are under appeal.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, March 24, 2014
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

@ Mr. Hildreth,
I was that classification officer and never convicted anyone or sentenced anyone!
Had you had staples, you would have been classified and housed in medical.
There was a lot of training and work put into implementing that classification job in 1986 and many factors considered in the classification of ALL inmates moved from the old jail and the honor farm!
Perhaps you are the one inmate, and ONLY I was questioned about as to where you were classified. I classified ONE inmate into general population that All the other officers at that time thought I would surely classify into A POD, remember that was the isolation Pod?, or into B POD, remember, that was the Pod all the worst of worst were classified into.
Had you been classified and housed inappropriately You would have had recourse!
There were many factors involved, age, med. history, charges etc..
The move into the new jail went extremely well and I spent hours upon hours there as we were also getting new prisoners brought in as well, I worked my butt off being the only classification officer until I got pneumonia and they (powers that were) figured out I couldn't continue 24/7 and assigned an officer to work with the programs'/disciplinary officer (which was also a new program for that jail) and myself!!!

Posted: Monday, March 24, 2014
Article comment by: Nothing new under the sun .....

@Daniel.....I'm one of those who has quoted the Bible here, although not nearly as often as Linda Athens and some others you probably had in mind. In fact, I usually steer wide of religious discussions, but when someone writes from ignorance, I will occasionally respond (last week, a guy wrote here that Moses had written the whole Bible, so I said something about that). I don't need any convincing about Kingman's corruption, and about abuses committed within the criminal justice system generally in this country. I probably am in almost total agreement with you, as I have found the church that should be an essential element in dealing with these matters, to be essentially complicitous in these abuses. I can explain that in another posting, although you seem to have gotten that already, right up the ........oh, this is a family paper, isn't it? Wouldn't want the kids to know what happens here.

Posted: Monday, March 24, 2014
Article comment by: Frederick Williams

One thing that comes to my mind is, did they get their business permit, to operate a business, from the state or from their church? To all of you who think being gay is all about sex in the bedroom and is a choice, go and get sodomized then let me know if you still think it is a choice. Being gay is not necessary about sex in the bedroom. It could be for friendship and companionship or it could be for legal purposes.

Posted: Monday, March 24, 2014
Article comment by: Sandra Stevens

Justa Citizen:

I was reading all of these replies, and Yours was the one that I like the most. Not that everyone else does not have a right to an opinion But you hit the nail on the head. Have we as human beings lost sight of what is really important?
I was raised on the old testament, and god scared the hell out of me so much so that when I was 16, I left the church because I felt because I was molested as a child that I was a hypocrite for pretending to be a christian due to becoming sexually promiscuous and the shame pushed me away.
I was raised to treat people as I wished to be treated. Very basic and very true.
So to the believers is say

Judge not least ye be judged. It is your gods job to do the judging.

To the non believers believers
He who is without skeletons in his closet shall break the first femur.

Though this statement in itself can be considered judgmental I am afraid that if we do not get back to the basics of treating others with the respect that we certainly should expect in kind , then we will never be able to communicate as a whole and come to constructive resolutions you have to give a little to get a little and we then have failed as a species. And really, what is the point after that.

Posted: Sunday, March 23, 2014
Article comment by: Daniel Hildreth

In 1986 I was an inmate in the local county jail. After approximately 2 weeks spent in the jail under the courthouse, we moved to the brand new jail. When I met with the classification officer I requested a bottom bunk as I was stapled and stitched from navel to sternum due to surgery related to a gun shot wound to the chest. My request was refused outright even though there were countless bottom bunks, many eventually occupied by 19 and 20 year olds who could easily jump on to a top bunk. As a result of the countless times I scraped my wound climbing on to and sliding off the bunk, I have a permanently disfigured scar. Clearly I was tried, convicted, and sentenced by a vindictive, power hungry jail guard many months before the resolution of my case. So much for innocent until proven guilty as required by the state and U.S. constitutions. To read comments in this paper in which individuals preach about God and refer to bible passages is the height of hypocrisy. Desert Dano

Posted: Sunday, March 23, 2014
Article comment by: Edward Tomchin

Bigots are going to have to learn that they cannot discriminate pursuant to both Arizona and Federal law, both of which take precedence over religious preferences. This is what is meant by separation of church and state.

ARS 41-1442 says clearly that discrimination in places of public accommodation against any person because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin or ancestry is contrary to the policy of this state and shall be deemed unlawful.

It further states that no person shall discriminate in any manner because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, regarding any goods or services offered by or at a place of public accommodation.

ARS 41-1441 defines "Person" and "place of public accommodation" very broadly and notes there are but two exceptions to the latter: a private club or dwelling.

This law is very similar in all 50 states as well as the United States under Federal law.

Posted: Sunday, March 23, 2014
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

Mr. Moore, Just to clarify your ridiculous comment ref. Nazi Camps. NO, I never heard anything about any Jews or others in those camps being labeled homosexuals.
Until I went to work at MC jail in my late thirties I thought a Dyke was a Dike as in An embankment made of earth, built to hold and control flood waters, also known as a levee.
Guess some of were raised over protected from the scum of the world! I also had Never heard the filthiest word, most profane word of the English language the begins with the 6th letter of the alphabet. You know there are some things in life that are better not known and stay away from!

I wouldn't trade my life growing up with my parents for all the money in the world!!
My Dad was a real man and my Mom was a real lady, they made sure we saw a lot of the world and were exposed to a wholesome life that taught us the good things of life! And yes they were believers of God, and I thank Him everyday for Blessing me with the Parents I had!

Posted: Monday, March 17, 2014
Article comment by: J J

@nikkib - except nazis aren't a protected class and aren't protected by anti-discrimination laws. Therefore they couldn't sue and wouldn't win. Now if you flipped the script and had a nazi baker refuse a black or Jewish couple a cake, you now have discrimination. Do you even case-law, bro?

Posted: Sunday, March 16, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“@ Mr. Moore, No matter how many times you deny it, YES Bill Clinton DID sign into federal law in 1994 the very same law as SB1062!!!!!”

Nope, he did not. Now – since you are so very sure – please provide either the context of the law or the bill number. Thank you.

“I would think hormone and other blood chemical test plus neurological testing could give some information and possibly treatment.”

And you base that on your knowledge as a doctor – right? “Thinking” ain’t knowing.

“I did not know about the Nazi camps singling people out in them.”

Honestly? I find it incongruous that anyone with a lick of common sense…oh, never mind.

And please, how soon can we expect the information on the bill Clinton signed that is exactly the same as SB1062?

Posted: Sunday, March 16, 2014
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

Nikki B, You put SB1062 in very good perspective and it's intent.
Thank You for doing so in a well written easy to understand manner that all should be able to accept.

@ Mr. Moore, No matter how many times you deny it, YES Bill Clinton DID sign into federal law in 1994 the very same law as SB1062!!!!!

Posted: Sunday, March 16, 2014
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

@ Old Gay Guy, I appreciate your taking me serious in my quest to understand this, I am sincere in asking.
You said there are no test, well, I find that sad in light of all medical strides that have been made.
I would think hormone and other blood chemical test plus neurological testing could give some information and possibly treatment.
Brain neurons give off chemical reactions that attract one person to another. If something is amiss would you want treatment for it?
It fascinates me that neurologist are so in touch with and have such understanding of the brain and as Dr. Ben Carson has shown, the brain stem is the spirit part that descends into the body.
Part of my interest in this possibility is my oldest granddaughter had a recurring tumor on the optic nerve. She had it removed @ ages 4,8 and 12. The tumor itself was not cancer but considered malignant due destroying brain cells that controlled the thyroid and pituitary gland and is on medication for both for life.

I did not know about the Nazi camps singling people out in them.
I remember all we were taught about the atrocities of Hitler and the Nazis. It was a scary thing when I was young and remains so today.

I know all the neurologist my granddaughter has had have all been spiritual men and dedicated to helping all.

Posted: Saturday, March 15, 2014
Article comment by: Oh Ya

"What child or adult would choose to be killed or persecuted or despised as evil?"

I'll answer it for her! There are plenty of prisons just full of pedophiles, rapists, and murderers that you can visit to get the answer to that question.

Posted: Friday, March 14, 2014
Article comment by: A Simple Thought

"Same sex relations are found in plant, animal and human life in every place on earth and sea."

I may be interpreting you wrong, are you saying that creatures of a higher intelligence are not capable of higher thought processes where they can determine the difference between natural and unnatural behavior? You are simply saying that it's okay to try to put a square into a round hole, amazing.

Posted: Friday, March 14, 2014
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

SB 1062 was divisive for sure, unconstitutional for sure, it would have eventually been struck down by federal courts and wasted tax payer money defending it has the SB 1070 was a futile attempt to take federal authority into state hands which again was wasted time, effort and state tax dollars, Brewer thank god is term limited, she could not run if she wanted to she knows this!

Posted: Friday, March 14, 2014
Article comment by: Oh Ya

"Whereas so called straight folks have given us plenty of violence and death trying to prove who they are."

Oh you mean like finding the need to "come out" and share their sexual aspirations with the rest of the world instead of keeping it in the bedroom.

Posted: Friday, March 14, 2014
Article comment by: old gay guy wants to explain

@A.S. - you seem to be really sincere in asking some gay guy to explain "born that way vs decision". So here is my attempt. There are NO TESTS. But they are working on it. I believe you are somewhat aware of the persecution and punishment throughout especially Christian European history of attempts to change or divert homosexuals from their most basic and natural instincts. From burning at the stake (the source of the word faggot) to imprisonment and in Nazi Germany wearing the pink triangle in the camps. What child or adult would choose to be killed or persecuted or despised as evil? What benefit? Believe me, no sex is worth that much. The ONLY decision any gay person must make is to accept themselves or live in shame and despair. Most of us must pass through the stage of self hatred (the closet) to coming to terms with who we are (coming out). If you can answer me that, I may be able to follow your logic.

Posted: Friday, March 14, 2014
Article comment by: excuse me!!!! what flaws?

How are lgbtq "flawed" just because they don't procreate? Is procreation some proof of perfection? Hardly - the proof is found in some of the comments made here. Same sex relations are found in plant, animal and human life in every place on earth and sea. Seems to me that God proves not just his "humor" but His creativity by the display of diversity. In fact God's perfection is often found in the great artists and heightened culture so many lgbtq folks have given us throughout time. Whereas so called straight folks have given us plenty of violence and death trying to prove who they are. peace and love.

Posted: Friday, March 14, 2014
Article comment by: Nikki B

Wow! Lots of strong emotion here!

Let's remove Christian vs gay from this argument for just a moment.

This bill was really about protecting the right of a business owner to be able to refuse service to anyone s/he sees fit.

Let's say that a black male photographer was approached by the KKK and asked to shoot pictures of a KKK rally. Can he refuse service? Sure he can. But then the KKK could sue that business owner for "discrimination".

And win.

Or suppose a Jewish deli was asked to cater a Neo-Nazi event. Can they refuse? Sure. But then those Nazi's can sue the deli for discrimination. And win.

You tell me it wouldn't happen, but it's already happened in over 5 separate court cases, involving churches not allowing a gay marriage on their property, wedding cakes, and wedding photography.

In all cases, the owner was willing to do anything else but gay weddings.

The photographers were willing to photograph the bridal preparation, the bridal party, and the reception, just not the vows. They were sued. And the gay couple won. The gay couple could have chosen any other photographer. But they didn't.

This bill was written to CLARIFY existing law, not CREATE it. It was written to PROTECT the free association of business owners.

Did you even read the bill?

Posted: Friday, March 14, 2014
Article comment by: Oh Ya

I must say, and this is for those that believe in the stories of the bible, Jesus, and God, "to say that Gay's were meant to be born that way, then essentially you are saying God is flawed and that he did not intend for all mankind to procreate. Gotta love God's sense of humor though!

Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

@Christine B., Are you sure about what you have stated? "Gay bashing, physical assault, threats of job loss" etc..
I don't think you have witnessed any of these situations here in Kingman!

Posted: Monday, March 10, 2014
Article comment by: Christine B

@Nancy Rodriguez - Gay bashing is still a very real threat. Physical assault, online harassment, risk of losing your job. Besides to my knowledge there is no rule that you must use your given name to comment.

Posted: Saturday, March 8, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“If you are so proud, why do you hide behind a curtain of anonymity?”

Why are you so worried about people choosing to remain anonymous? And BTW – how do we KNOW you are really one Nancy Rodriquez? You’re simply posting under that name is no assurance that you are who you say you are. Heck so-called Linda Athens is on her fifth or sixth name in past six years.

Posted: Friday, March 7, 2014
Article comment by: Nancy Rodriguez

To all of those "Proud" etc. etc.:
If you are so proud, why do you hide behind a curtain of anonymity?

Posted: Friday, March 7, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“Is there something skewed up genetically in your physical that has caused you to choose ( or be born homosexual as you insinuate )?”

I seriously doubt that being born gay is a “genetic screw-up.”

“I'm asking you gay people Because I Don't Know and Don't Understand Your Choice-And Yes, It is A choice.”

How do you know it’s a choice? If it is when did you make the decision to be a heterosexual? Or don’t you “know?”

“Just as Phil Robertson said …”

Quoting a redneck bigot does not reinforce your argument.

Still waiting for you to explain how what other people do with their genitals directly impacts your life.

And since you like to discuss God and the Bible. Four passages weakly address homosexuality, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, 1 Timothy:9-10, and Jude 1:7. NONE of these are even the Gospels of the New Testament

However, there are at LEAST 7 passages in the bible that denounce divorce and directly state those who divorce and remarry, or fornicate with anyone else are committing adultery. An actual sin as laid out in the Gospels.

Any reason why you do not condemn “those people?”

Posted: Friday, March 7, 2014
Article comment by: Linda Athens

While the left wingers immediately jumped on this bill as gay bashing, rather than see it for what it was, upholding a persons religious freedoms as guaranteed by the First Amendment without the Feds jumping in and forcing them to do otherwise, it would cover many things and homosexuality was certainly not even mentioned in the two page bill.

For instance, years back, one religious organization in America (I forget which, possibly Mennonites?) had in their religious beliefs that their children could quit school at age 12 to work, probably on the family farm.

With schools alarmed at kids dropping out, it went to court and the families religious freedoms were upheld and the children were indeed allowed to stop school to work.

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