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AZ Tech Beat | December 18, 2014

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Governor Brewer VETOED SB1062 - biz leaders respond - AZ Tech Beat

Governor Brewer VETOED SB1062 – biz leaders respond
Tishin Donkersley, M.A.

Yesterday Arizona Governor Jan Brewer announced that she vetoed the controversial SB1062 that would allow business owners to assert their religious beliefs and refuse service to LGBT individuals. Last week when the bill passed AZ legislation, it set off a fire storm of protests and a stream of letters and phone calls from business leaders, organizations, media outlets, and even Apple, to strongly urge Brewer to veto the bill because of the economic repercussions-and it was just wrong.

Soon after the announcement, business leaders sent their comments to AZTB congratulating Brewer for basically doing the right thing.

Blake Irving, CEO GoDaddy – “I heard the news moments after Governor Brewer spoke, and I am elated she made the right decision for Arizona.  This was a win all of us of who honor and celebrate diversity.”

Jerry Fuentes, AT&T Arizona State President – “As one of Arizona’s largest employers and retailers, AT&T applauds Governor Brewer for her veto of SB 1062. With the stroke of her pen, Gov. Brewer protected the “open for business” motto that defines Arizona across the nation and avoided opening a door that could have led to discrimination.  AT&T strongly supports equality globally, and we condemn discrimination and harassment against anyone. That’s why AT&T stands with many other Arizona companies, faith leaders and business groups, and commends Governor Brewer for her thoughtful decision. We urge state lawmakers to move forward and find opportunities to showcase the Arizona we know: a thriving business environment and a tremendous place for our employees to live and work.”

“The tech industry is very inclusive and diverse and rallied together immediately to take a leadership role in voicing opposition to this discriminatory legislation,” said Steven G. Zylstra, president & CEO of the Arizona Technology Council and Chairman of the Technology Councils of North America (TECNA). “The Council has always felt that Jan Brewer has been one of the most business-friendly governors that Arizona has seen in the last couple of decades, and we are grateful that she once again showed her support for the economic well-being of our state’s citizens.”

“Today is a good day for Arizona,” said GPEC President & CEO Barry Broome. “Thanks to
Governor Brewer’s courage, leadership and thoughtful decision in vetoing Senate Bill 1062, we
have demonstrated to people throughout the world that we are ready to move forward as a
community and put this legislation behind us.”

“As an organization, and a board, GPEC strives to showcase Arizona as the business-friendly
environment it is,” said James H. Lundy, GPEC Board Chairman. “The Governor’s decision to veto this legislation is a welcome message to both the business community and residents alike.”

Francine Hardaway, a long-time entrepreneurship advisor and investor, co-founder of Stealthmode Partners said, “I’m glad she vetoed the bill, although not doing so immediately has caused us irreparable harm. If you don’t think the outside tech community remembers 1070 and MLK Day, you have another think coming. I feel sorry for our economic development officials. And we need to vote the legislature out of office immediately or we risk this over and over again.”

While cheers and congratulatory posts and tweets continue to stream through our social channels, may I remind everyone who got us into this mess in the first place. Take the time to read our YAY/NAY list again. You have the option to vote for change, and it starts with who represents you and Arizona’s future.

yays and nays

Below find Governor Brewer official remarks:

Good evening, and thank you for joining me here today.

I am here to announce my decision on Senate Bill 1062.

As with every proposal that reaches my desk, I gave Senate Bill 1062 careful evaluation and deliberate consideration. I call them like I see them, despite the cheers or boos from the crowd.

I took the time necessary to make the RIGHT decision. I met or spoke with my attorneys,
lawmakers and citizens supporting and opposing this legislation.

I listened . . . and asked questions.

As Governor, I have protected religious freedoms when there is a specific and present concern that exists in OUR state.

And I have the record to prove it.

My agenda is to sign into law legislation that advances Arizona.

When I addressed the Legislature earlier this year, I made my priorities for this session
abundantly clear…

Among them are passing a responsible budget that continues Arizona’s economic Comeback. 

From CEOs — to entrepreneurs — to business surveys — Arizona ranks as one the best states to grow or start a business.

Additionally, our IMMEDIATE challenge is fixing a broken Child Protection system.

Instead, this is the first policy bill to cross my desk.

Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific and present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona. I have not heard of one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated.

The bill is broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences.

After weighing all of the arguments, I vetoed Senate Bill 1062 moments ago.

To the supporters of the legislation, I want you to know that I understand that long-held norms about marriage and family are being challenged as never before.

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.

It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and no one would ever want.

Religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value, so is non-discrimination.

Going forward, let’s turn the ugliness of the debate over Senate Bill 1062 into a renewed
search for greater respect and understanding among ALL Arizonans and Americans.

Thank you

——–

Arizona is indeed open for business, let’s get back to work.

Photo provided by the Office of Governor Brewer

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