The Note's Must-Reads for Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Note's Must-Reads are a round-up of today's political headlines and stories from ABC News and the top U.S. newspapers. Posted Monday through Friday right here at

Compiled by ABC News' Jayce Henderson , Will Cantine and Jordan Mazza

ARIZONA BILL The Hill's Mike Lillis: " Arizona governor vetoes bill allowing denial of service to gays" Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) on Wednesday vetoed legislation empowering businesses to discriminate openly against gays and lesbians based on religious beliefs. The bill, which passed the Republican-led state legislature last week, was hailed by many Republicans and conservative groups as a necessary step to protect religious freedoms. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Cindy Carcamo: " Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer criticizes so-called anti-gay bill, vetoes it" In a victory hailed by gay rights advocates, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a bill Wednesday that would have bolstered a business owner's right to refuse service to gays and others on the basis of religion. The veto, delivered the same day a federal judge struck down a law against same-sex marriage in Texas, came amid an intense national outcry by the gay community, its supporters, business owners and Arizona political leaders. LINK

The New York Times' Fernanda Santos: " Arizona Governor Vetoes Bill On Refusal Of Service to Gays" Ending a day that cast a glaring national spotlight on Arizona, Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, vetoed a bill on Wednesday that would have given business owners the right to refuse service to gay men, lesbians and other people on religious grounds. Her action came amid mounting pressure from Arizona business leaders, who said the bill would be a financial disaster for the state and would harm its reputation. Prominent members of the Republican establishment, including Mitt Romney and Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, also sided with the bill's opponents, who argued that the measure would have allowed people to use religion as a fig leaf for prejudice. LINK

The Washington Post's Aaron Blake: " Arizona Governor Vetoes Bill On Denying Services To Gays" Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) vetoed a controversial bill Wednesday that would have allowed businesses in the state to deny service to gays and lesbians if they felt that serving them would violate their religious rights. Gay rights advocates had denounced the legislation, labeling it a form of legalized discrimination, and Arizona's two GOP senators and leading Republican candidates for governor had urged Brewer to veto the bill. Several GOP state legislators who had voted for the measure last week have said since then that it was not the right thing to do. LINK

Politico's Mackenzie Weinger and Lucy McCalmont: " Jan Brewer Vetoes Arizona SB 1062" Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced Wednesday that she has vetoed SB 1062, the controversial bill that has been criticized as discriminatory towards gays and lesbians, saying the measure, "has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve." "Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific or present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona," Brewer told reporters during a press conference Wednesday evening. "The bill is broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences." After the press conference, Brewer tweeted a photo of herself vetoing the bill. LINK

TEXAS GAY MARRIAGE BAN USA Today's Doug Stanglin and Michael Winter: " Federal judge strikes down Texas gay marriage ban" A federal judge, saying he was complying with the U.S. Constitution and not trying to defy the people of Texas, struck down the state's ban on gay marriage Wednesday but left it in place pending a ruling by an appeals court later this year. Judge Orlando Garcia issued his ruling in Austin in response to a suit by two gay couples. LINK

OSAMA BIN LADEN The Washington Times' Guy Taylor: " Special congressional panel to investigate FBI contact with bin Laden" A special panel recently authorized by Congress to review the FBI's efforts to reform itself in the aftermath of the 9/11 Commission report will examine the case of a mole the agency had in direct contact with Osama bin Laden during the early 1990s, a key congressman said Wednesday. The existence of the FBI mole and his dealings with bin Laden were omitted from the official investigations into the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks but were disclosed in an exclusive report Wednesday morning in The Washington Times. LINK

SENATE GOP ABC News' Jeff Zeleny: " Colorado Shakeup May Mean A Rockier Road For Democrats In 2014" The fight for control of the Senate just became a bit rockier for Democrats. Colorado is emerging as a key battleground in the midterm election campaign, with a fast-moving series of events today changing the landscape of the Senate map. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Janet Hook: " GOP's Senate Strategy Boosted by Switch in Colorado" A shake-up among Republican candidates in Colorado has given the party a better shot at winning control of the Senate in 2014, after GOP Rep. Cory Gardner on Wednesday decided to run against Democratic incumbent Mark Udall and a tea-party- allied candidate agreed to drop out. Republicans familiar with the decision said Mr. Gardner, a second-term House member who is well regarded by GOP leaders, had changed his mind after resisting repeated entreaties in past months by the National Republican Senatorial Committee to run for the seat. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO " Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Vetoes 'Religious Freedom' Bill" LINK

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