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Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a controversial anti-gay bill Wednesday, prompting widespread praise both from across the country and the Hollywood community.
The controversial Senate Bill 1062, which was approved by the state’s Republican-led legislature last week, would have allowed businesses that asserted their religious beliefs the right to deny service to gay and lesbian customers.
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Following widespread outcry, which even led to suggestions of boycotting Arizona as the host of the 2015 Super Bowl and moving the game elsewhere, Brewer made the decision that she thought was right for her state.
“I call them as I see them, despite the cheers or the boos from the crowd,” she said in a statement Wednesday, describing the bill as “broadly worded” and saying it could have “unintended and negative consequences.
“To the supporters of the legislation, I want you to know that I understand that long-held norms about marriage and family are being challenged as never before. Our society is undergoing many dramatic changes,” Brewer went on to say.
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“However, I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve. It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and no one would ever want. Religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value, so is non-discrimination.”
Her ruling prompted cheers and tears of happiness among the throng of protesters outside the state capitol in Phoenix, and an outpouring of support on social media.
Mia Farrow was one of the first stars to celebrate, having already posted Gov. Brewer’s number to call to encourage the move.
Hallelujah RT @GovBrewer: Moments ago, I vetoed #SB1062. pic.twitter.com/yN12XN9kDy
— mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) February 27, 2014
Denis Leary pledged his support for equal rights by tweeting:
Just typed JESUS and my phone auto-corrected to TELL ARIZONA I DON’T HATE GAY PEOPLE.
— Denis Leary (@denisleary) February 25, 2014
Sara Ramirez from Grey’s Anatomy showed her support by simply linking to GLAAD:
RT !!! http://t.co/TSlK1LuOMt
— Sara Ramirez (@SaraRamirez) February 27, 2014
George Takei was excited to break the news to his Twitter follows:
BREAKING: AZ Gov. Jan Brewer has VETOED S.B. 1062, the “Turn Away the Gays” law. So very glad to hear she has lis… pic.twitter.com/m6sdv4no3X
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) February 27, 2014
GLAAD was quick to thank the governor, releasing a statement from its CEO and president, Sarah Kate Ellis.
“Discrimination is not an American value, plain and simple,” Ellis said. “Governor Brewer today demonstrated that basic respect for LGBT people extends across party lines, and anti-LGBT bias isn’t just bad politics, it’s bad for business. As other states consider similar laws that aim only to make LGBT people’s lives more difficult, legislators would do well to remember that anti-LGBT laws just won’t be tolerated.”
Even senators had spoken out against the bill, with Sen. John McCain telling CNN’s Chris Cuomo that it would “hurt the state of Arizona’s economy and, frankly, our image, so I hope that the Governor of Arizona will veto this and we will move on.”
His daughter, Meghan McCain, who is a contributor for MSNBC, sent her personal thanks to Brewer by tweeting:
So glad Gov. Brewer did the right thing and vetoed the bill that would have let #Arizona business owners deny service to gay citizens.
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) February 27, 2014
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