Both of Arizona's Republican U.S. Senators are now urging the state's Governor Jan Brewer to veto a bill that would permit businesses to refuse service to gay people for religious reasons.
In tweets on Saturday and today, Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake urged Brewer, also a Republican, to veto the bill, known as SB 1062, which was approved by Arizona's Republican-led state legislature last week.
The Senators' unanimous opposition to the bill adds to the pressure Brewer faces as she makes her decision to either sign or veto it.
It may also give her an escape valve to veto the bill, without appearing to be out of step with her party.
I hope Governor Brewer will veto #SB1062
- John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) February 24, 2014
I hope Governor Brewer vetoes SB 1062
- Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) February 22, 2014
The development puts them squarely in the midst of a raging debate over the line between discrimination and religious freedom.
Proponents of the bill say that it protects the religious freedom of business owners who have a moral objection to providing services to gay individuals. Opponents say the bill legalizes discrimination and opens the states' businesses up to potential backlash.
Asked on Saturday at the National Governor's Association meeting whether she would veto the bill, Brewer said that she is still evaluating it and may not make a decision until Friday.
"You know, the bill is in transmittal and I don't have to make a decision until next Friday so I've got plenty of time," Brewer said.