Arizona in Turmoil

The state of Arizona vetoed a bill that would give business owners the right to deny someone of work based on their sexual orientation.


On February 24, 2014, a bill was proposed in Arizona that would give business owners the ability to deny someone of work because of their sexual orientation and labeled the decision as a “religious right”. The bill was vetoed by Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer on Wednesday on February 26, but still stirred up some controversy for people on both sides of the situation.

Many people supporting the bill believe it should be their choice to deny someone of work if the one person’s ideas go against their religious beliefs. They also believe that the statements in the bill correspond with the 1st Amendment, which states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press”.

Although there are people who support the bill, there are a greater abundance of people who are against it.

“Religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value — so is non-discrimination,”, said Jan Brewer, during a press conference after vetoing the bill. “Our society is undergoing many dramatic changes. However, I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve.”

Had this bill passed many believe it would be detrimental, not only for the people it would directly affect, but also the social reputation of the entire state of Arizona. The bill was dramatically being compared by its adversaries to the Jim Crow Laws which, while now concluded, still greatly changes the way people think of the Southern United States.

Despite all of the brief chaos this statement brought onto the state of Arizona, the majority of people involved with the controversy believed the right choice was made by Governor Brewer.

“Discrimination has no place in Arizona, or anywhere else,” said Alessandra Soler, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona. “Arizona is open for business to everyone.”