The author of the controversial legislation about religion and discrimination made a last-ditch effort this afternoon to convince Gov. Jan Brewer to sign it. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer explains.
Sen. Steve Yarbrough said he sought to convince the governor that the legislation provides needed protections to people of faith who own businesses and do not want to be forced to do things that conflict with that faith. But, the legislation is drawing fire from the business community that Yarbrough said he is trying to protect. Business groups want it vetoed amid fears it will lead to companies refusing to relocate here. Yarbrough said he told the governor she should ignore their concerns, saying noted law professors have concluded the measure does not encourage or condone discrimination.
“I believe the business community has been misinformed, as well as a lot of other folks, about what the bill actually did, and invited they should read the letter from the 11 law professors who spoke, very, very persuasively in my opinion, to the bill,” Yarbrough said.
Yarbrough said the concerns of the gay community about being victims of discrimination are misplaced. But the senator said he would not support extending existing state civil rights laws that now cover things like race, religion and gender to also included sexual orientation.
“Personally? I don’t envision doing that,” Yarbrough said.
“Why not?” I asked.
“Because I don’t agree,” Yarbrough said.
Yarbrough would not guess what the governor will do.