San Francisco officials this week joined in the chorus of voices urging Arizona’s governor to veto a bill that would allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT people based on their religious beliefs.
At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, gay District 9 Supervisor David Campos introduced a resolution condemning the anti-gay law, SB 1062, passed by the Arizona Legislature this month, and urging Governor Jan Brewer not to sign it. The board passed it unanimously.
The resolution noted that due to the legislation’s broad language it “provides a ‘license to discriminate’ as it allows any individual, corporation, institution, or business owner the right to refuse service to an individual if the owner believes doing so would violate the practice and observance of his or her religion.”
The board also vowed to boycott Arizona if the law is enacted, and asked city departments to refrain from entering into any new or amended contracts to purchase goods or services from any company that is headquartered in Arizona. They also asked department heads to avoid sending city officials or employees to conferences in Arizona.
In a statement issued today (Wednesday, February 26), Mayor Ed Lee said he agreed with the supervisors’ stance.
“I stand with the Board of Supervisors to urge Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to veto the State of Arizona’s SB 1062, the ‘Right to Discriminate’ bill, currently on her desk,” stated Lee. “If Governor Brewer ignores basic human rights, common sense, and many members of her own Republican Party and signs the bill, I will immediately direct all City staff to refrain from travel and lodging in the State of Arizona until further notice.”
San Francisco AIDS Foundation CEO Neil Giuliano, the former mayor of Tempe, Arizona, has also been vocal in speaking out against the bill. He took part in protests at the Arizona state Capitol Friday, February 21 and has been tracking the issue on his Facebook page.
“Great to be with friends yesterday as we spoke out against religious-based discrimination in the form of legislation. Hoping for a veto from Gov Brewer this week,” wrote Giuliano in a February 22 post.
The bill has generated widespread media attention and been denounced by a wide array of politicians and business groups.
The National Football League, which plans to bring the Superbowl to Phoenix in 2015, has spoken out against the law, as have the Arizona Cardinals football team.
Both of the state’s GOP U.S. Senators, Jeff Flake and John McCain, are against the bill, having joined with bisexual House member Kyrsten Sinema (D-Phoenix) in urging Brewer to veto it. Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was the latest high-profile politician to speak out against the anti-gay law.
Joining other national companies such as Apple, American Airlines and Yelp in criticizing the bill, the InterContinental Hotels Group, with chains like Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn under its umbrella, spoke out today against it.
“IHG has regularly voiced support for equal treatment of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. As a result, we are concerned by proposed legislation in a number of states that would allow businesses to refuse service to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender guests and customers,” the company said in a statement it issued this morning. “The negative effects of these proposals, if passed into law, would be wide-reaching and significant for both businesses and individuals. IHG opposes these proposals and adds its voice to those urging state officials to reject them.”
Brewer’s administration has indicated that she intends to veto the law. She has until Saturday to either sign it or veto it; inaction by the governor by then will mean it will automatically become law.
UPDATE: Brewer announced her veto of the bill during a press conference late Wednesday.
“The bill is broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences,” Brewer told reporters at a press conference. “After weighing all of the arguments I have vetoed Senate Bill 1062 moments ago.”
It prompted swift responses of praise from LGBT and legal groups.
“Discrimination has no place in Arizona, or anywhere else,” stated Alessandra Soler, executive director of the ACLU of Arizona. “We’re grateful that the governor has stopped this disgraceful law from taking effect, and that Arizona will remain open for business to everyone.”