Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he hopes Gov. Jan Brewer will veto a law that would allow businesses to deny services based on religious grounds, such as a baker refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
McCain told CNN this morning that “unfortunately, it hurts the image of our state just as a couple of years ago our other law SB 1070” — an anti-illegal immigration law that was partially overturned by the Supreme Court.
“It’s not an accident that our Arizona Chamber of Commerce and our business leaders came out with a very strong message yesterday that they don’t want the governor to sign this,” the senator said.
The Chamber sent a letter to Brewer asking her to veto the bill. “After analyzing the bill, we are very concerned about the effect it could have on Arizona’s economy. As leaders in the business community, we cannot support measures that could expose our businesses to litigation, nor do we want to send a message that our state is anything but an open and attractive place for visitors and the top talent that will be the cornerstone of our continued economic growth,” the Chamber said. “If specific Arizona issues related to religious liberty are identified, we would stand ready to work with anyone to ensure that any solution addresses those problems while also ensuring that all individuals feel welcome in our state and that business is not hurt.”
The Greater Phoenix Economic Council warned Brewer in a letter that “this legislation has the potential of subjecting the Super Bowl, and major events surrounding it, to the threats of boycotts.”
McCain said the bill “is going to hurt the state of Arizona’s economy, and frankly, our image.”
“So, I hope that the governor of Arizona will veto this and we move on. Arizona is the most beautiful state in America. And it’s not helpful when we see this kind of controversy,” he said, adding that he’d not had a direct conversation with Brewer about the bill.
The governor has until Friday to decide whether to veto or sign it. “I have to look at what it says and what the law says and take that information and do the right thing,” she told CNN.
“I don’t know of a necessity for it. I believe that Arizona is a wonderful state. We welcome all people of all persuasions,” McCain said. “We’re proud of our state. And so, this is not the message we want to send. I hope the governor will veto it and we will move on and advertise the great beauty of our state.”
Arizona’s other senator, Republican Jeff Flake, made his views known via Twitter:
I hope Governor Brewer vetoes SB 1062
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) February 22, 2014
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) February 25, 2014
UPDATE: Another Republican has added his opinion to the mix…
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) February 25, 2014