Arizona governor weighs anti-gay bill - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Arizona governor weighs anti-gay bill

Updated:
PHOENIX -

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has a big decision to make this week: whether or not to veto controversial legislation allowing business owners to deny service to homosexuals based on their religious beliefs.

The Arizona Senate has already approved the bill. It's now up to the Republican governor.

The legislation has already triggered a national backlash. Large companies like Apple and American Airlines are joining small local businesses pushing for a veto.

Both Arizona senators, Republicans John McCain and Jeff Flake, tweeted out their opposition to the legislation.

Business owner Scott Koehler also opposes SB 1062, as it's known in Arizona.

"I understand the intention of the law is to protect small business owners, but in the long run are we gonna start having separate drinking fountains too," he said.

Koehler collaborated with Angela Hughey from One Community, an LGBT community action group, to design signs that say "open for business to everyone." He's offering them for free to local businesses.

The group estimates around 1,000 will be hung in windows of businesses around Phoenix.

"This is a business decision. We're at a crossroads.  We need to decide if we're going to be a welcoming state for business. We're excited about Google and Apple coming to town, but if we're not an inclusionary state we will not be able to attract and maintain top talent and we will lose businesses they will go elsewhere," said Hughey.

"I think it's especially important in this neighborhood.  Being in an affluent neighborhood where there is a lot of diversity.  It's important to be forthright about that, instead of leaving it up to people to guess.  It's important to us because we're welcoming them," said one passerby.

"I'm glad to know which businesses in Phoenix actually oppose this bill. That would help me know who to shop with actually," said another.

American Airlines, Apple and the NFL have asked Gov. Brewer to veto the bill.

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