Editor’s note: Brewer vetoed the legislation Wednesday evening.
The following letter was sent by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers to the Arizona governor, Jan Brewer:
When the Society of American Business Editors and Writers moved to Arizona in 2009, we expected a warm and welcoming environment. In general, that is what we have experienced, but we have been dismayed in recent days by news that the state’s Legislature has passed, and you are considering, a measure that would allow businesses to refuse service to gays and lesbians.
Such a law is offensive on its face, likely unconstitutional and would stand squarely against our association bylaws, which call for equal consideration to all people regardless of race, religion, national origin and sexual orientation, among other factors.
As news of this proposal has circulated nationally, many of our members have contacted our board and staff to express their outrage, especially since we are planning our annual conference in Phoenix at the end of March. This will be our second Arizona conference since 2010, and between the conferences and other business our association has generated hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Arizona economy in the five years since we moved to Phoenix.
Passage of a state law discriminating against gays would make us feel less welcome in our adopted home state, and certainly deter us from considering future conferences there. Please do the right thing and veto State Bill 1062.
SABEW Executive Director
Kevin G. Hall
SABEW Incoming President