Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is likely to veto the controversial bill that would allow businesses in the state to refuse service to gay people on the grounds of “religious freedom,” three sources close to the governor told NBC News.
Economic pressure largely dictates Brewer's potential decision to veto the bill, as source close to her said she doesn’t want to take any action that would jeopardize Arizona’s economic “momentum.” The state’s top business leaders have sent a letter to the governor urging the bill’s veto, and some of the biggest business names in the country, including the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, American Airlines, Marriott, and Apple have all expressed their concern over the measure. Arizona is hosting the Super Bowl next year.
And it's not just businesses that are calling out their concern. Three Republican state senators that originally voted for the bill sent Brewer a letter urging her to undo their work in a move of regret fueled by national outcry and evidence of damage already done to Arizona's image. Chuck Coughlin, a longtime adviser to Brewer, told NBC, “It’s been her proclivity in the past to focus on the priorities she wants them [the legislature] to accomplish, and this was clearly not part of her agenda."
Sources also told NBC that Brewer is concerned about her public image, and took particular offense at an article calling her a “puppet” to the state legislature. It’s good to know the bill might be vetoed for all the right reasons.
Brewer has until Saturday morning to decide the bill's fate. She will meet with both sides on Wednesday and will make her decision on Thursday or Friday, NBC News reports. Hundreds of people also gathered in front of the Arizona Capitol on Monday night to protest the bill, according to AZCentral.com.
Arizona has seen backlash and boycotts over restrictive measures before, notably with Brewer’s approval of a 2010 immigration law that eventually played out in the Supreme Court. Arizona lost an estimated $140 million in revenue to that bill, which included granting police the right to request immigration papers from people they suspected of being undocumented immigrants.
Update: 4:47 p.m. Mitt Romney has now waded into the SB 1062 debate, tweeting at Brewer that she should veto the bill.