Feb. 27, 2014— -- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said a bill that would have allowed business owners to refuse service to gay people and others on the basis of religious beliefs was divisive and created more problems than it solved.
Brewer vetoed Senate Bill 1062, also known as the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act," last night.
"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," she said.
Similar proposals have stalled or failed in Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Ohio, South Dakota and Tennessee. Meanwhile, similar legislation is still percolating in at least five other states. Here's a look at where it all stands.
There are two versions of the "Preservation of Religious Freedom Act" – a state house version, HB 1023, and a state senate version, SB 377.
The legislation, which has not been put to a vote, reads similar to the vetoed Arizona bill. It would give people "the right to act or refuse to act in a manner substantially motivated by a sincerely held religious tenet or belief whether or not the exercise is compulsory or a central part or requirement of the person's religious tenets or beliefs."
Delta Air Lines, one of Atlanta's largest employers, said in a statement it "strongly opposes" the proposed legislation in Georgia, Arizona and other states.
"If passed into law, these proposals would cause significant harm to many people and will result in job losses. They would also violate Delta's core values of mutual respect and dignity shared by our 80,000 employees worldwide and the 165 million customers we serve every year," the company said in a statement.
The Idaho House sent HB 427 back to committee after Rep. Lynn Luker, the bill's sponsor, said many people had "misinterpreted the intent to be a sword for discrimination," according to the Idaho Statesman.
The bill was proposed after a wedding photographer in New Mexico was sued for refusing to photograph a same-sex wedding.
HB 426, a companion measure that would prevent the state from revoking or suspending occupational licenses for violations that are committed for religious reasons, has also been proposed but is not expected to advance.
The Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act was passed unanimously in the state senate in January and now awaits action by a state house committee. The bill says the state may not "burden" a person's "exercise of religion."
That means, "any action that directly or indirectly constrains, inhibits, curtails or denies the exercise of religion by any person or compels any action contrary to a person's exercise of religion," according to the bill.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, in the midst of the Arizona law being vetoed, said he wanted state attorneys to examine the implications of the legislation, the Associated Press reported. He declined to comment on whether he would sign it into law.
Read the Mississippi bill here.
Missouri's Senate Bill 916 would give businesses the right to refuse service to anyone if it violates their sincerely held religious beliefs.
"Exercise of religion shall be defined as an act or refusal to act that is substantially motivated by religious belief, whether or not the religious exercise is compulsory or central to a larger system of religious belief," the legislation reads.
It was introduced on Monday and has yet been put to a vote.
The Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act was introduced on Jan. 16, but is already being redrafted.
"We're still in favor of running a bill like that, but we're just trying to get the language tightened up to prevent there from being any fiascos like there have been elsewhere," Rep. Tom Newell, R-Seminole, told the Associated Press.