Feb 21, 2014 5:50 PM

Rep. Barber urges Gov. to veto SB 1062

TUCSON - U.S. Rep. Ron Barber today issued a statement on SB 1062, which has been passed by the Arizona Legislature and sent to Gov. Jan Brewer.

The bill shields businesses from being sued if they deny service based on religious beliefs. It is seen as a way for business owners to legally discriminate against gay people or others by claiming that the discrimination is religious-based.

Barber's statement:

I strongly oppose SB 1062 - a deeply offensive piece of legislation that would give legal protection to business owners who discriminate against certain groups of individuals. This bill clearly is aimed at LGBT Arizonans.

Those who supported this bill claim it is a way to protect the constitutional right of freedom of religion. No religion legitimizes discrimination.

SB 1062 takes us back to the days when businesses were allowed to have "white only" lunch counters, waiting rooms and drinking fountains. Arizona must not take such a giant step backward.

This bill will divide Arizonan. It will hurt our community and our economy.

I call upon Gov. Jan Brewer to veto SB 1062 and send a message that Arizona is not a state that legalizes hate and discrimination. This bill is wrong.

In addition to Barber's opposition to the bill, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council is among the business organizations opposing this bill, saying that companies considering Arizona locations already have said they will look elsewhere if SB 1062 becomes law.

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