Arizona Gov. Vetoes Bill Allowing Religious Reasons for Refusing Service to Gays

PHOENIX (AP) -- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has vetoed a bill that set off a national debate over gay rights, religion and discrimination.

The bill backed by Republicans in the Legislature was designed to give added protection from lawsuits to people who assert their religious beliefs in refusing service to gays. But opponents said it invited discrimination.

Loud cheers erupted outside the Capitol building immediately after Brewer made her announcement Wednesday evening.

Brewer said the bill "could divide Arizona in ways we could not even imagine and no one would ever want."

Prominent Phoenix business groups said it would be another black eye for the state that saw a national backlash over its 2010 immigration-crackdown law and warned that businesses looking to expand into the state may not do so if bill became law.


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