Arizona

Feb 21, 2014 1:19 PM

'Right to refuse service' bill on Gov. Brewer's desk

All eyes are on Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer after the Republican-led state Legislature sent her proposed legislation that would allow business owners with strongly-held religious beliefs to refuse service to gays.

But the staunchly conservative Republican governor is already feeling pressure from the business community to veto the bill passed late Thursday because they believe it would be another black eye for the state that saw a national backlash over its 2010 immigration crackdown law, SB1070.

The new legislation, SB1062, was passed over the objections of Democrats who said it was clearly designed to allow discrimination against gays.

Brewer also will be heavily pressured to sign the bill by social conservatives opposed to gay marriage who backed it as a religious rights bill it and have long held Brewer in high regard - at least until last year, when she refused their demands to tack on anti-abortion provisions to a Medicaid expansion bill she wanted the Legislature to enact. Meanwhile, gay rights activists planned a major protest at the state Capitol Friday evening.

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