What Does the Veto of SB 1062 Mean to Our Local GSA?

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Dejah Smith

A poster in support of IRHS's 'Stand Up, Stand Out" Day.

This past Wednesday, Arizona governor Jan Brewer vetoed a very controversial bill that would have allowed businesses to refuse to service LGBT customers on the basis of their religious beliefs. Brewer reviewed both sides of the bill, known as SB 1062, before vetoing it.

In a live event from the floor of the Arizone legislature, Brewer stated “Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific and present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona. I have not heard of one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated.”

Brewer continued to say, “The bill is broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences.” Gov. Brewer then ended with, “After weighing all of the arguments, I vetoed Senate Bill 1062 moments ago. To the supporters of the legislation, I want you to know that I understand that long-held norms about marriage and family are being challenged as never before. Our society is undergoing many dramatic changes.”

“However, I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve. It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and no one would ever want. Religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value, so is non-discrimination. Going forward, let’s turn the ugliness of the debate over Senate Bill 1062 into a renewed search for greater respect and understanding among all Arizonans and Americans. Thank you.”

The news of SB 1062 has erupted responses from both of the supporters of the bill to the opposition of the bill. Doug Napier, a lawyer representing those who helped make the bill criticized Gov. Brewer’s decision by saying,”Freedom loses when fear overwhelms facts and a good bill is vetoed.” He continued with, “Today’s veto enables the foes of faith to more easily suppress the freedom of the people of Arizona.”

The only openly gay member of Arizona’s House of Representatives, Rep. Demion Clinco, stated that he hoped that the governor’s decision would start a new chapter for Arizona’s LGBT community after what he called a setback.

This may be nice news to hear especially since Indian River High School’s GSA had scheduled their event of wearing purple to show support for anti-bullying on the following Thursday.  This reporter was able to interview the president of the GSA, Makaela Murdock, about SB 1062 and how it made her feel.

Warrior Ink: On Wednesday the bill, SB 1062, was vetoed. SB 1062 would allow businesses to refuse service to gay and lesbians customer. Coincidentally, the day after the governor’s decisions on the bill is the event in Indian River High School to wear purple to stand up against bullying and to show support in anti bullying. How do you feel about that bill being proposed? Do you feel that the bill gave a way to bully people in an adult sense?

Makaela Murdock: Yes, because you get to choose who you do or do not serve on the basis on someone’s sexual orientation.

WI: How would one even know of someone’s sexual orientation on a first glance?

Murdock: It’s based on [nothing but] stereotypes. Even then there are individuals, for example a male, who may possess feminine mannerisms or traits, but may be completely heterosexual.

WI: Do you feel like the vetoing of the bill is the right step for America in anti bullying?  Does it also influence school in any way on the basis that it shows that you can’t bully someone even in the “adult world?”

Murdock: Yes…especially let’s say a child of one of the business owners heard about the bill they would possibly think it’s okay to discriminate against the LGBT community because an adult figure in their life does it.

Thanks to Ms. Murdock for her time to answer questions and sit down and speak with us during her free time.