A bill allowing business owners with strongly held religious beliefs to refuse service to gays and other individuals and groups continues to draw fire from politicians, groups and businesses.
The Arizona Senate formally sent Senate Bill 1062 to Gov. Jan Brewer on Monday.
Monday's action starts a five-day clock for the Republican governor to act on a proposed law she herself calls controversial.
Repercussions were already being felt. The Hispanic National Bar Association in Washington, DC, on its website Wednesday announced it was pulling its 2015 annual convention from Phoenix.
"The HNBA views this as a civil rights issue. As a national association of lawyers committed to promoting the ideals of equal protection, equal opportunity, tolerance and inclusiveness, it is imperative that we speak up and take immediate action in the presence of injustice," stated HNBA National President Miguel Alexander Pozo.
Here's a sampling of other reactions from around the state:
Hispanic National Bar Association
"'The HNBA views this as a civil rights issue. As a national association of lawyers committed to promoting the ideals of equal protection, equal opportunity, tolerance and inclusiveness, it is imperative that we speak up and take immediate action in the presence of injustice,' stated HNBA National President Miguel Alexander Pozo. As the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said more than 50 years ago, writing from a Birmingham, AL jail cell, 'injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.'"
Honorable Fife Symington III, Former Governor of Arizona
"It's ironic that more than 20 years after the MLK controversy, the State of Arizona is once again thrust into the spotlight with its national reputation and perhaps a Super Bowl at stake. What is often underreported in the wake of the maelstrom from two decades ago is the fact that Arizona did the right thing. In reality, Arizona is the only state in the union to have a voter approved MLK holiday.
"Gov. Brewer's deliberative process is the hallmark of her leadership. From righting the fiscal ship to restoring the will of the voters to protect the most vulnerable, her leadership has proven time and again to yield thoughtful and positive results. I know that she'll do the right thing for the State of Arizona."
"Visit Phoenix is opposed to SB 1062 and has written Arizona's governor, imploring her to veto it.
"Phoenix has earned a reputation as an inclusive city for LGBT residents and visitors. That reputation was cemented in November by the Human Rights Campaign, which gave Phoenix a perfect score of 100 on the Municipal Equality Index, a comprehensive scorecard that rates the fairness of a municipality's laws, benefits and services.
"This index is administered to the nation's largest cities each year by the Human Rights Campaign, a national civil-rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. The latest index evaluated 291 cities nationwide, examining non-discrimination protections, relationship recognition, employment and overall rapport with the LGBT community. Only 10 percent of the cities evaluated scored 96 or better, and Phoenix was one of just 25 cities to achieve perfection.
"Several other organizations in Phoenix have officially asked the governor to veto the bill, including the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, the Arizona Technology Council and the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association. Visit Phoenix commends and seconds their stance.
"Together, we are committed to ensuring Arizona remains a welcoming and open-minded destination for all who live and travel here."
100 LDS members craft statement
"We are a collection of individual members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who strongly oppose SB 1062. As Mormons, we feel a call to 'mourn with those that mourn... comfort those that stand in need of comfort' and protect the persecuted from persecution. (Mosiah 18) We express sadness that many LGBTQ individuals, even in our own community, have endured significant pain when encountering conflicting beliefs, misunderstanding, and often fear from Latter-Day Saints. We are appalled to see this fear codified into Arizona statute
under the guise of protecting religious freedom.
"In 1838, Missouri Governor Lilburn Boggs issued an Extermination Order declaring that 'the Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated from the State.' We were violently forced out of our homes, many of us killed. We were unpopular, part of a minority, and unable to fight for fair and equal treatment. We lived in a country founded on freedom of religion, but were not permitted to practice our own. The only way to survive was for us to flee to the West, with many eventually settling in the Arizona we live in today.
"As Mormons, our religious freedoms were undeniably threatened by Governor Boggs. Thus, we strongly feel we should be able to exercise and protect our own religious rights. However, it is also in our culture not to use government to impose our will on anyone who worships differently. We echo the words of our founding prophet, Joseph Smith.
"'We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.'" (Articles of Faith) "'We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual
privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.'" D&C 134:9
"It is not our place to judge others. Nor is it our place to cast our own beliefs on to those who see differently than we do. This bill, however, allows us and others to do just that. We are sensitive to the desire to protect religious freedom, but these amendments are missing the mark. The amended language in SB 1062 is unnecessarily vague and goes to the extreme, especially in transitioning protection of religious freedom from individuals and religious institutions to corporations, trusts, and other associations. It is our strong opinion that beyond the intent to protect religious freedoms, this bill reflects fear and misunderstanding, opening the door for discrimination in the name of religious freedom. Religious freedom should be a protected right for everyone, but it should never usurp the right of any human being. For this reason, we add our voice in asking for a veto of SB 1062."
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton
"Phoenix is an open, tolerant and inclusive community that respects the rights of every person," Stanton said of the City Council's 8-1 vote to ask Brewer to veto the bill (Councilman Sal DiCiccio supports the bill). "I'm proud that the City Council spoke with a strong and united voice that this bill is wrong, and must be vetoed."
Maricopa County Democratic Party
"The Maricopa County Democratic Party stands with all who are urging Gov. Jan Brewer to veto SB 1062. Not only would this bill be bad for Arizona by once again enshrining intolerance in our state's laws, it would also be bad for Arizona's businesses.
"The Arizona and Phoenix Chambers of Commerce, as well as the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, have joined other groups calling for the governor to veto SB 1062. Even prominent Republicans, including both Sen. McCain and Sen. Flake, are calling on the governor to veto the bill.
"The stated intention of SB 1062 is to discriminate against members of the LGBT Community, but the bill may also have broader effects. Senate Democratic Leader Anna Tovar stated, 'This bill may also open the door to discriminate based on race, familial status, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability.' Unfortunately, there are still many people who use 'religious beliefs' to justify discrimination - against unwed mothers, or interracial couples, for example.
"This is not the Arizona we want. This is not the Arizona the majority of Arizonans want.
"Elections have consequences. Every Democratic member of the Legislature voted against this bill. Every Republican member, except three, voted for it. It's time to end this type of extremism in our state. Call to urge the governor's veto today, and support us this year to elect officials who will fight for our values."
Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, D-AZ
"The far right of the conservative movement has been using our state as a petri dish for their anti-immigrant, anti-worker, anti-environment, anti-women, anti-education, anti-gun safety, anti-gay agenda for years now, and it needs to stop. Arizonans did not ask for this bill or any other form of state-sanctioned discrimination.
"It doesn't help our economy, create any jobs, attract any talented people to our state or provide a more welcome environment for visitors. Our unemployment rate is too high. Our schools need more funding. What this has to do with the real-world concerns of average Arizonans is beyond me."
"We are writing to add our voices to those of the many Jewish leaders who have called
on Gov. Brewer to veto SB 1062/HB 2153. This problematic bill stands in conflict
with the one of the most fundamental teachings of the Torah, that every human being
is made b'tzelem Elohim (in the image of God).
"We have inherited a rich tradition of advocacy for civil rights from the rabbis of the Talmud and, more recently, Jewish throughout history, laws that permit discrimination have been used to marginalize and oppress minority populations, including people of differing religious beliefs,
people of differing races and people with differing customs. Laws that allow for discrimination under any guise have historically been dangerous to the Jewish people.
"However, our concern extends beyond our own self-interest as this bill would provide
a legal defense for those who would practice discrimination of any kind under the
guise of 'religious freedom.' We are concerned on behalf of adherents of other
faith traditions, women and members of the LGBT community."
Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
"This morning (Feb. 24) we sent a letter to Gov. Brewer requesting that she veto Senate Bill 1062. After analyzing the bill, we are very concerned about the effect it could have on Arizona's economy. As leaders in the business community, we cannot support measures that could expose our businesses to litigation, nor do we want to send a message that our state is anything but an open and attractive place for visitors and the top talent that will be the cornerstone of our continued economic growth. If specific Arizona issues related to religious liberty are identified, we would stand ready to work with anyone to ensure that any solution addresses those problems while ensuring that all individuals feel welcome in our state and that business is not hurt."
"Intel values and welcomes diversity in the workplace. Arizona Senate Bill 1062 would legalize actions that directly conflict with Intel's own non-discrimination policy. That policy was developed in order to create a welcoming business climate for our employees, suppliers and the global marketplace. We believe that SB 1062 would have a detrimental effect on the local business community by promoting discord and damaging Arizona's status as a hospitable place to grow business and attract top talent. We support the position to veto the bill."
Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee
"We share the NFL's core values which embrace tolerance, diversity, inclusiveness and prohibit discrimination. In addition, a key part of the mission for the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee is to promote the economic vitality of Arizona. On that matter we have heard loud and clear from our various stakeholders that adoption of this legislation would not only run contrary to that goal but deal a significant blow to the state's economic growth potential. We do not support this legislation. Instead, we look forward to continuing to promote the NFL's values while focusing on the economic momentum apparent in Arizona and capturing the positive worldwide attention associated with hosting Super Bowl XLIX."
Phoenix Suns & Phoenix Mercury
"Sports has the unique power to unite, to bring together a community without regard to individual differences. The Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury are proud members of this community, and we embrace fans, families and businesses of every stripe. We are steadfastly committed to the principles of inclusivity and acceptance, and cannot support anything that is not in line with that philosophy."
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
"As the sport of Jackie Robinson, Major League Baseball and its 30 clubs stand united behind the principles of respect, inclusion and acceptance. Those values are fundamental to our game's diverse players, employees and fans. We welcome individuals of different sexual orientations, races, religions, genders and national origins.
"MLB has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation, as reflected by our collective bargaining agreement with the MLB Players Association. Accordingly, the MLB will neither support nor tolerate any words, attitudes or actions that imperil the inclusive communities that we have strived to foster within our game."
U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor, D-AZ
"'I support the governor's veto as quickly as possible,' Pastor said Tuesday. 'I believe this bill is unconstitutional because it discriminates against various groups of people, including the LGBT community.'"
GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving
"GoDaddy strongly opposes Arizona Senate Bill 1062. As a company we honor and believe in the equal rights for all people, regardless of age, color, disability, national origin, sex, race, religion, or sexual orientation. We believe this proposed legislation would have far-reaching negative consequences on the state and the companies that do business here, and would wrongly send a message that Arizona does not respect diversity."
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