Arizona Gov, Jan Brewer announced Wednesday she has vetoed a controversial bill that would have allowed religious beliefs as a defense for denying service to gays and others.
Brewer, who spent several days considering whether to sign the bill, said it had “the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve.”
Democrats and civil rights groups opposed the measure backed by social conservatives, saying it would allow discriminatory actions by businesses and hurt the state’s economy by driving away business.
Brewer vetoed a similar measure last year, but that came during a battle over her push to expand Medicaid in the state after she imposed a signing moratorium to force the Legislature to approve her expansion proposal.
The Arizona Legislature passed the bill last week allowing businesses whose owners cite sincerely held religious beliefs to deny service to gays and others. It allows any business, church or person to cite the law as a defense in any action brought by the government or individual claiming discrimination.
The legislation caused a national uproar, with the business community, the state’s Super Bowl Committee and both Republican U.S. senators calling for a veto. Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney also weighed in and urged Brewer to veto the bill.
The Associated Press contributed to this reportFollow enlightenedlbrl