Brewer to weigh in on controversial bill

PHOENIX — Gov. Jan Brewer returns to work Tuesday to face a rising chorus of Republican and business voices urging her to quickly quash SB 1062.

Sen. Steve Pierce, R-Prescott, who previously had been Senate president, told Capitol Media Services Sunday he now thinks the legislation, billed as providing protections for those of faith, is a bad idea. That is significant since Pierce provided one of the 17 votes that got it out of the Senate last week.

“I screwed up,” he told Capitol Media Services. “I’m trying to make it right.”

U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake joined the fray, sending a Tweet on Sunday urging Brewer to veto the measure passed with only the votes of Republicans like he is.

Glenn Hamer, president of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, also said Sunday Brewer should kill the bill as bad for business.

And Kristin Jarnagin, vice president of the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association said just the fact that the Legislature approved the measure has resulted in cancelled trips.

“We have already lost untold amounts of tax dollars due to the negative perception that this legislation attaches to our state’s image, and the bill hasn’t even been signed into law yet,” she said. Her organization wants Brewer to deep-six the measure “so that we can put this behind us swiftly and continue the business of welcoming visitors to Arizona.”

The falllout comes as Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy and the architect of the legislation hopes to convince Brewer to ignore all the protests, including much of that from within her own Republican Party. Herrod has gone on the offensive, lashing out at foes who she says “have hijacked this discussion through lies, personal attacks and irresponsible reporting.”

“Simply put, the fear-mongering from opponents is unrelated to the language of the bill, and proves that hostility towards people of faith is very real,” she said in an email to supporters.

But Herrod is finding the ground beneath her is giving way: Even state Treasurer Doug Ducey, her chosen candidate for governor, said he would veto the measure, though he said he would try to bring all sides together to find some compromise. 

And Pierce, who agreed to go along with the GOP tide last week, now thinks that was a mistake for all of them.

“I would be on board to get it repealed,” he said.

Existing laws allow businesses to claim exemption from a state statute or regulation because of “sincerely held” religious beliefs. SB 1062 would extend that to situations where a business owner is being sued civilly by someone denied service.

Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert, acknowledged during last week’s debate this would permit business to turn away gays. Farnsworth said, though, they already can do that now, as Arizona has no laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Hamer said that underscores his point that the measure may be trying to solve a problem that does not exist for Arizona businesses.

“The bigger issue here is it would send a signal that Arizona is not a place that is as welcoming as it really is for all people,” he said. And Hamer said its passage could halt the headway the state has made in job creation.

Herrod, however, said the legislation is needed because of “the increasing use of government to threaten and punish its own citizens.”

But Jarnagin said the governor needs to see the legislation from a different perspective.

“We know of several large hotel projects and international events that were in the final stages of selecting Arizona,” she said. “Now those potential job creators that would have injected millions into our economy are in jeopardy, if not already lost.”

Jarnagin said she should not have to be seeking a veto.

“We literally begged lawmakers to consider the unintended consequences not only on our tourism industry but on our ability to attract new businesses and jobs to our state,” she said. “Unfortunately, those please fell on deaf ears.”

Gubernatorial press aide Andrew Wilder said late Sunday he could not comment on how quickly his boss will act on the measure. She has the entire week.

CitizenForCommo... on Mon, 02/24/2014 - 12:13am

When you write a law which writes off people based upon what they do in
private, you are going too far as a government. I find it ironic that the
same people who would have government stay away from all second amendment
issues is pleased to see it interfere with our private decisions. The law is
already in place, and any business owner who seeks to keep out people because
they are homosexual apparently already has the right to post a sign. So put
one out then, and tell this group you don’t want them doing business with
you. It is truly amazing to see how regularly this group of legislators can
shoot themselves in the foot without even having to exercise their second
amendment right to do so. I just don’t understand why we don’t throw out the
whole lot of them, despite what they pronounce come election season. Remember
this mess, folks. It was created by - dare I say it - very ignorant people
who should be chucked out of the statehouse and back on the sidewalk with the
rest of us

Windsor on Mon, 02/24/2014 - 7:11am

I hope Brewer has the foresight to veto this bad legislation. You can see
everyday the impact of bad legislation (Affordable Healthcare) and I hope the
Republicans have the common sense to admit they messed up and rectify it,
something the Democrats can’t.

AZShooter on Mon, 02/24/2014 - 7:34am

You are correct Citizen. I’m so frustrated with our legislature right now.
It’s filled with do-nothing, religious-right, gun-loving thugs that are bent
on passing laws where none are needed and destroying the image of Arizona
throughout the nation. But, come election time, no one will remember this
stuff and the “Chicken Law” guy or Sen. Pierce will get reelected in a
business as usual election.

SierraRose1949 on Mon, 02/24/2014 - 11:26am

Of greater concern is that state legislators, who are supposed to represent
their constituents, spend their time and our money passing laws that damage
our state in countless ways. Keep in mind that all three of our LD 14
legislators - Gail Griffin, David Gowan and Daniel Stevens - voted in favor
of this bill. Instead of working to create jobs and bring business to our
community, they are going out of their way to stop economic prosperity. And
if they think Sierra Vista is doing just fine, ask them to look around and
see all the “For Sale” and “For Rent” and “For Lease” signs around our
community, not to mention closed businesses.

Huachuca Henry on Mon, 02/24/2014 - 12:13pm

“Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert, acknowledged during last week’s debate
this would permit business to turn away gays. Farnsworth said, though, they
already can do that now, as Arizona has no laws prohibiting discrimination on
the basis of sexual orientation.” So what is the point of the bill? Attract
campaign cash from radical social conservatives and attract attention to
themselves. What a waste of time.

LGreenlee on Tue, 02/25/2014 - 11:45am

To those against the Bill. I understand your concerns, and they are valid.
However, there are also concerns on the other side. Citizen is correct in
saying that businesses have the right to refuse service, but then we look at
other States that are facing this very situation. In Oregon, a bakery was put
out of business due to government threats to shut it down and levy fines
because the owner would not make a wedding cake for a gay wedding due to
their beliefs that marriage should be between a man and a woman. They offered
any other type of food item they had for sale, but it still resulted in the
gay couple suing, and the government stepping in to force the business to
provide the wedding cake. So how do we protect the rights of the business
owner? They have a legitimate argument for not serving a specific item. This
was not discrimination because they offered any other items. How do we
prevent this in AZ? We should respect religious freedom (Constitutional
rights) here as well.

weinna on Wed, 02/26/2014 - 6:02am

What’s next?! Allowing physicians to refuse to accept you as a patient
because of his or her religious belief? I’m always bragging to my friends
back east, who are shoveling snow, how great this state is. Well, right now
I’m embarrassed for it, & I won’t be doing much bragging until SB 1062 is

AZShooter on Wed, 02/26/2014 - 7:55am

Well LGreelee, let’s examine this a little. First and foremost, religion
needs no additional protection. Religion is the most protected entity in the
world. Second, it has no place in business or government. Third, if you’re a
business owner and you sell a product or service, why in the world would you
care who’s purchasing your product or service? And, your statement, “This was
not discrimination because they offered any other items.” is exactly what it
is. Let’s say you go to buy a car from me. I don’t like the fact you’re
religious, so I’m not going to sell you the car. However, I’ll be happy to
sell you tires, spark plugs, oil, coolant, or any of the other items.
Personally, I don’t like any form of religion and the group that authored
SB1062 is a prime example of why. These groups are pious, self-righteous
jerks who think they have the right to tell the rest of us how to live; and
their using the law to do it.

LGreenlee on Wed, 02/26/2014 - 10:46am

AZShooter, your example has nothing to do with mine. It is not an
infringement on any religious belief, and the Bill, as written, does not
apply to that situation. The example I gave was in direct conflict with
actual religious views that have been well established over thousands of
years. Also, if religion was so protected, why were those businesses in other
States successfully sued and fined by the GOVERNMENT and private citizens and
forced to close over their right to practice their religious beliefs? That is
not evidence of a protected status. Here is a link to an article written
today about a true BIPARTISAN group of well respected Law Professors (They
and their Universities are named) who advised Gov Brewer to sign the Bill.
They are both for and against Gay Marriage.
Also, have you read the Bill? I am not sure if you have, but if not, please

LGreenlee on Wed, 02/26/2014 - 10:58am

Also for AZShooter, Based on the rampant persecution of religion worldwide
(usually by other religious groups, Religion is far from protected. And as
for religion having no place in Government, that is not true. I refer you to
our Constitution and the First Amendment. The Government has no place in
forcing a religion, but has the duty to protect its free practice. If you
read this Bill, that is all it does. They are forcing nothing on anyone. They
are simply protecting businesses from frivolous law suits because someone is
offended that a persons religion prevents them from supporting their life
choice. There are plenty of secular businesses that will serve the desires of
a gay couple. A person of faith should not have to be forced to go against
their beliefs. Should doctors be forced to abort babies against their
beliefs? Should clergy be forced to provide birth control against their
beliefs? It all applies to this Bill equally. It does not only apply to

LGreenlee on Wed, 02/26/2014 - 11:08am

Weinna, the answer to your question is “yes”. What if that Physician is
forced to accept a patient who wants to abort their baby? Does that Physician
have the right to refuse service based on their religious belief that the
fetus is actually a child? The Physician believes that it is murder of a
child, yet should the government force them to provide the service simply
because abortion is legal? This is not just about homosexuals. This is about
the freedom to practice religion without threat of government persecution or
frivolous law suits from an individual who demands you support their belief
or lifestyle. The bill does not provide for wanton discrimination. It only
protects from lawsuits. Please read it.

Cassandra on Wed, 02/26/2014 - 10:25pm

Greenlee - “A person of faith should not have to be forced to go against their beliefs.” So, if your beliefs tell you that you should slay infidels and topple the Great Satan, the law should not stand in your way?

How about a store that sells hand grenades to future martyrs? That’s 1st AND 2nd Amendment for you and as holy as a kiss from Reagan!

FreeThinker on Thu, 02/27/2014 - 6:34am

Government is the proprietor of all properties which includes your income,
your labor, your health, and your body

You get the govt you deserve. Welcome to 21st century Serfdom

AZShooter on Thu, 02/27/2014 - 7:16am

Well LGreenlee, while I appreciate your comments and attempts to justify your
position, it’s all water under the bridge now. The heathens have beaten back
the scourge of creeping religion and the hypocritical agenda of the

LGreenlee on Thu, 02/27/2014 - 9:54am

AZShooter, LOL…..yes, you are correct. But then, it was never really in
doubt. Once the NFL kicked in all of us on both sides of the argument knew it
was a done deal. The same result as the NFL influencing the MLK holiday in
AZ. Well, I guess it is on to more debates on other subjects…Arm thyself
and prepare for battle….. :) Cassandra, you really are a piece of
work…..I so appreciate the humor you provide me.

Myron Jaworsky on Thu, 02/27/2014 - 1:22pm

REF: LGreenlee, “AZShooter, LOL…” Cassandra is not alone. You TP guys must
love using LOLs and what used to be called emoticons. When words fail….

Cassandra on Thu, 02/27/2014 - 7:55pm

Green(Yellow)lee - “Cassandra, you really are a piece of work” Alas, too much work, it seems, to actually answer the question.

You and Hereford Res should get together and throw a tea party with your teddybears. You can braid each other’s hair and talk about how you just won’t play with mean old Cassandra, who asks all those tough questions and pokes holes in all of your puffed up opinions.

Of course, you need a place for that party. Since it seems like ol’ Free Thinker is out here swingin’ nowadays and ain’t got much use for his shak anymore, maybe you can rent it, because that ol’ boy does love him some Free Market.

LGreenlee on Fri, 02/28/2014 - 9:08am

Ahh, the true colors of the liberal left……lose an argument, resort to
preschool name calling…This is why you have no legitimacy.

FreeThinker on Sat, 03/01/2014 - 8:27am

“So, if your beliefs tell you that you should slay infidels and topple the
Great Satan, the law should not stand in your way?”

That is an absurd rebuttal Cassandra
The law is to be applied equally to protect all LIBERTIES, life included.

Also I see you are still the big mean bully on this forum.
You’re like the character in the movie “Billy Madison”, “Odoyle Rules”!
Oh yeppers, when you can’t debate em’, and refuse to show any tolerance, you
insult them in hopes to silence their voices you oppose.

FreeThinker on Sat, 03/01/2014 - 8:40am

Once again, the “Pied Piper” media plays the flute for all the mice to follow
along without even knowing a single lyric to the tune the mistral is
The words, or phrases, “Homosexual”, “Lesbian”, or “LGBT” are not even
mentioned in the 2 page bill, but yet somehow, as always, the text of this
bill was intentionally misconstrued to accommodate a fictional argument.
And the end results are….
The right to property has become eroded even further

Cassandra on Sat, 03/01/2014 - 4:51pm

FT - “The law is to be applied equally to protect all LIBERTIES, life included.” Actually, it doesn’t. I seem to spend a lot of time quoting sb1062 and the extant statute to people who haven’t read it, but I don’t have the space here to paste the entire document for you. Suffice to say, it mentions no other liberties, even life. The existing statute says, “Government may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person is both:

1. In furtherance of a compelling governmental interest.

2. The least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”

Now, you are right, my question to Greenlee was patently absurd; clearly government would easily establish a compelling interest in such a case - but it was meant to provoke some discussion of those interests. How fortunate for Greenlee that he has you to fight his battles for him.

Cassandra on Sat, 03/01/2014 - 4:53pm

FT - You call me a “bully,” which I find intriguing from someone who so frequently tells me what a servile, benighted, Obama-worshipping dupe I am, based upon statements I have never made.

However, permit me to probe your definition of “bullying” and your assessment of my ultimate objective. Is it “bullying” to demand that people who loudly proffer asseverations about the world back them up with fact that stand up to examination. Is it bullying to name the liar or hypocrite for what he is?

You go on to claim that I “insult them in hopes to silence their voices you oppose.” I invite you to pause for a moment and consider the logic of your statement. If I mock the cowardice of a blowhard or hypocrite for failing to engage, am I not inviting the opposite of silence?

Sure, I don’t suffer fools and I make mincemeat of the occasional clown, but that is the price of bringing a rock to a knife-fight.

FreeThinker on Mon, 03/03/2014 - 6:47pm

“Actually, it doesn’t. I seem to spend a lot of time quoting sb1062”

Uhm.. I never stated SB1062 was a bill designed to protect life.
I stated the law (not sb1062), in regards to your analogy in reply to lee,
are designed to protect our liberties and one of those liberties is life.

FreeThinker on Mon, 03/03/2014 - 6:56pm

” If I mock the cowardice of a blowhard or hypocrite for failing to engage,
am I not inviting the opposite of silence?”

No you are not, you are shunning those voices by the means of mocking and
No one wishes to engage in a conversation where 1 party uses venomous,
vitriol language towards them. That is exactly how debate is shut down when
such language is expressed. You are aware of this and you engage in such
behavior because of the results it produces. This is why I become the “Free
Range” you define me as. I wish not to engage in such vitriol speak, and so
I’m silenced and exiled from any civil debate I wish to participate in

Cassandra on Mon, 03/03/2014 - 10:02pm

FT - “No one wishes to engage in a conversation where 1 party uses venomous, vitriol language towards them.” Oh my! Give me a moment to let that soak in.

This is uncommon rich from a guy who routinely avers the ignorance of his interlocutors, castigates their mindless commitment to the path of serfdom and tosses around derisive “LOLs” like a drunken Shriner flinging beads in the Mardi Gras parade. I think that I, as (what was it?) “Condessandra” must have a singular appreciation of the irony.

This is why I become the “FreeRange” … I wish not to engage in such vitriol speak.” This, would, of course seem less pathetic if you actually shrank from the vitriol. You will notice that your runners have invariably come after being asked one of a few tough questions. Often, I have been at my most polite while asking them. This disingenuous pearl-clutching is beneath you and you certainly have no claim to innocence.

LGreenlee on Thu, 03/06/2014 - 10:06am

FT - you are wasting your time. Unfortunately, you have found just one more
liberal who has no interest in dialogue and debate, but relies on name
calling and insults to to try to make a point. The funny part is that is the
exact reaction to a non-defensible argument by most liberals. This particular
one thinks that if she can throw around big words and insults, she seems
educated. She is not. Romans 1:22 - Professing themselves to be wise, they
became fools. More importantly, when it comes to this particular
one…..Matthew 10:14 - And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your
words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your
feet. That is my response to her and others like her….lol

Myron Jaworsky on Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:10pm

REF: LGreenlee, “FT - you are wasting….” You must realize, I hope, that
biblical references like the ones you cite were central to the successful
attempts of Christians to silence ancient philosophy. The biggest danger to
Christianity was not the numerous cults present in the Hellenistic and Roman
worlds; they were not all that different from Christianity to begin with. The
biggest threat to Christianity came from a rich philosophical culture whose
various schools all agreed on one basic thought: Christianity was not worthy
of belief to the extent it traded on notions like son-of-god and resurrection
from death. Even Islam knew better than to believe those articles of faith,
but then went on to make other claims that ultimately led them to silence
philosophy for similar reasons as well. So, my bottomline is this: You and FT
whine about the same thing you accuse Cassandra and ‘liberals’ of doing.
Nothing silences debate better than religion—or its relative, political

LGreenlee on Thu, 03/06/2014 - 2:52pm

Myron, Romans 1:22, thanks for making my point.

Myron Jaworsky on Thu, 03/06/2014 - 7:14pm

REF: LGreenlee, “…Romans 1:22, thanks….” Unless your intent is ironic or
sarcastic, I’m not sure what you’re thanking me for. Perhaps my post was
overly academic, but its point was something like this: (1) Christians, in
both historic and contemporary times, like to complain about being persecuted
(silenced, insulted, threatened, repressed, etc.). (2) Once Christians(or
Moslems, for that matter)captured control of the secular government in the
past, they showed how much better they were at the practice of persecuting
non-Christians and silencing any debate or dialogue, either with
non-Christians or Christians of a different sect that ran counter to their
dogmas. (3) This is not a bald assertion; the historical record contains both
direct and indirect evidence of Christian malevolence. (4) But that evidence
does not stop Christians from whining about persecution—just like SB 1062.
(5) FT’s practice of putting words in Cassandra’ mouth (and mine) is abusive.
He gets what he earns.

Cassandra on Thu, 03/06/2014 - 10:58pm

Greenlee - ” The funny part is that is the exact reaction to a non-defensible argument by most liberals” I’m sorry Greenlee, the funny part in this is your histrionics.

You got tangled up with me when you made a couple of hilariously inaccurate observations about FDR and the Great Depression. When cold, hard numbers blew up your position, you started this wild campaign to save face by loudly crying victory and ignoring the facts.

It has presently devolved into your mining the bible for pejoratives to fling at Myron and me. You may insist that I am, once again, insulting you, but I am merely reporting the facts on the ground. They are amusing enough to require no embellishment.

Text Resize

-A A +A