Yesterday, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer returned home after attending the winter meeting of the National Governors Association in Washington, D.C. She faces a statewide and national outcry over SB 1062, a proposed law passed last week by the Arizona legislature that would allow people and businesses to discriminate against LGBT people and others on the basis of religion.
Among the chorus of voices urging Brewer to veto this shockingly regressive bill are dozens of state lawmakers, including at least three Republican state senators who originally voted for it. Both of Arizona's U.S. Senators, Republicans John McCain and Jeff Flake, have advised a veto, as have several U.S. Representatives, a number of business groups including the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and dozens of corporations including AT&T, Apple, American Airlines, and Marriott. Former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney came out for a veto yesterday on Twitter as well.
The latest high-profile conservative to weigh in on the side of fairness is former GOP House Speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. Last night, CNN asked viewers on Twitter whether they'd sign or veto SB 1062, inviting them to answer under the #Crossfire hashtag. After the network reported that a whopping 88% of respondents said they'd veto the measure, Gingrich tweeted that he would as well:
Delta Airlines also issued a strong statement yesterday slamming SB 1062 and urging a veto:
"As a global values-based company, Delta Air Lines is proud of the diversity of its customers and employees, and is deeply concerned about proposed measures in several states, including Georgia and Arizona, that would allow businesses to refuse service to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. If passed into law, these proposals would cause significant harm to many people and will result in job losses. They would also violate Delta's core values of mutual respect and dignity shared by our 80,000 employees worldwide and the 165 million customers we serve every year. Delta strongly opposes these measures and we join the business community in urging state officials to reject these proposals."
While political insiders and former aides continue to maintain that Governor Brewer will ultimately veto the bill, Brewer herself kept coy yesterday with a noncommittal tweet, writing, "I assure you, as always, I will do the right thing for the State of Arizona. #SB1062"
I assure you, as always, I will do the right thing for the State of Arizona. #SB1062— Jan Brewer (@GovBrewer) February 26, 2014
Call me cynical, but it looks a little like she's enjoying this controversy and the media spotlight it's generating. But one thing's for sure: Jan Brewer's stalling tactics are costing the state of Arizona valuable tourist dollars every day that she puts off vetoing this toxic, ugly LGBT segregation bill.