Feb. 27, 2014— -- Celebrities and politicians took to social media sites responding to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of a controversial bill that sparked national debate over religious and gay rights.
Senate Bill 1062 would have allowed businesses to deny service to gay people based on the religious beliefs of the business owner.
The bill drew attention from business owners, TV stars and sports leagues. Following Brewer’s veto, “Star Trek” actor George Takei, who’s gay, posted a photo on his social media platforms identifying Arizona as “open for business to everyone."
But reality TV star Josh Duggar expressed his frustration with the veto online, identifying the decision as “politics over principle.”
The Center for Arizona Policy – a social conservative group that pushed the bill – called the decision “a sad day for Arizonans who cherish and understand religious liberty.”
Mike Huckabee, a 2008 presidential primary candidate, says the biggest problem was that the bill was misunderstood.
“Contrary to media reports, in some ways, it would actually make discrimination harder … on close examination, this seems to be a lot of outrage over very little,” he wrote on his website.
Arizona Sen. John McCain was thankful the bill was vetoed.
“I hope that we can now move on from this controversy and assure the American people that everyone is welcome to live, work and enjoy our beautiful State of Arizona,” he wrote in a statement.
Arizona’s other U.S. Senator, Jeff Flake, saw the veto as a chance for the state to move forward, “and show the country what we’ve always known – there’s no better place to be than in Arizona.”
One of the major sticking points of the bill concerned the state’s tourism industry. Arizona is slated to host the Super Bowl next year. Had the bill passed, the NFL could have considered changing the game’s location.
Jay Parry, the CEO of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, was thankful about the decision.
“We appreciate [Gov. Brewer] moving to ‘advance Arizona,’” she wrote.
JetBlue Airways also supported the veto.