- February 28, 2014
In an op-ed for MSNBC, HRC President Chad Griffin reflects on Gov. Jan Brewer's Wednesday veto of Arizona’s “license to discriminate” bill and the powerful voices that came together in unison to stop it. The so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act (S.B. 1062) would have allowed Arizona businesses to refuse services to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community on the basis of religious freedom.
Much of that pressure against S.B. 1062 came from within Corporate America.
A big part of the answer comes from major American businesses that are standing up for their LGBT employees and are making headlines leading the charge against discrimination. They’re refusing to allow anti-LGBT legislators—legislators who don’t even represent the wishes of the conservative-leaning people of the state—to threaten Arizona jobs and the state’s economic future.
“When the legislature passes bills like this, it creates a reputation that Arizona is judgmental and unwelcoming,” read a letter from 80 Arizona businesses and business organizations to Governor Brewer, urging her to veto the bill. “This will haunt our business community for generations to come.”
And it’s not just the pizzeria in Mesa or the nail salon in Flagstaff that would have suffered if Brewer had signed this hateful bill. Major multinational corporations including AT&T, American Airlines, Marriott, Delta and Apple weighed in—genuinely concerned that being associated with a state that celebrates discrimination will tarnish their brands across the country and around the world.
Read Chad's full MSNBC op-ed here.
Last week HRC called on Gov. Brewer to veto the measure, as did a number of prominent Arizonans like Sen. John McCain and Sen. Jeff Flake, as well as the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Arizona Tech Council, dozens of faith leaders from across the state, major corporations including AT&T, PetSmart, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Apple, and even the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee and the Arizona Cardinals.
Americans overwhelmingly believe that businesses should not be able to deny services to someone because they’re LGBT, and HRC continues to stand strongly against similar legislation being considered in states like Mississippi, Kansas and Georgia.