Congressional delegation weighs in on Arizona's controversial bill

2014-02-26T00:00:00Z 2014-05-27T14:19:29Z Congressional delegation weighs in on Arizona's controversial bill Arizona Daily Star
February 26, 2014 12:00 am

We asked Arizona’s congressional delegation, and candidates for Congress, for their thoughts on SB 1062, the Arizona legislation that would allow businesses to refuse service to people based on religious beliefs. The legislation passed the state House and Senate, and is awaiting a decision from Gov. Jan Brewer on whether to sign it, let it become law without her signature or veto it.

Congressional District 1

U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D): “The Legislature ought to be creating jobs, not driving them away. This bill will hurt Arizonans, and I hope the governor will veto it.”

Candidates for CD1

State Rep. Adam Kwasman (R): “For me, this was simply a measure to protect our most fundamental freedoms, those of conscience and worship, and it would break my heart to know that anyone has used this as an excuse for discrimination.”

State Rep. Andy Tobin (R): Did not respond to a request for comment, and has not put out a statement on campaign website or social media.

Gary Kiehne (R): Did not respond to a request for comment, and has not put out a statement on campaign website or social media.

Congressional District 2

U.S. Rep. Ron Barber (D): “I strongly oppose SB 1062 — a deeply offensive piece of legislation that would give legal protection to business owners who discriminate against certain groups of individuals. This bill clearly is aimed at LGBT Arizonans. Those who supported this bill claim it is a way to protect the constitutional right of freedom of religion. No religion legitimizes discrimination. SB 1062 takes us back to the days when businesses were allowed to have “white only” lunch counters, waiting rooms and drinking fountains. Arizona must not take such a giant step backward. This bill will divide Arizonans. It will hurt our community and our economy. I call upon Gov. Jan Brewer to veto SB 1062 and send a message that Arizona is not a state that legalizes hate and discrimination. This bill is wrong.”

Candidates for CD2

Martha McSally (R): “I am a strong supporter of religious liberty, but I share the concerns of many Arizonans on both sides of the aisle in opposing SB 1062. Having fought discriminatory policies firsthand my entire life, I can simply not support a measure that would open the door for potential discrimination in our state. I join the growing number of voices urging Governor Brewer to veto this measure so that all Americans will know that Arizona is a state that stands for equality, liberty and freedom for all.”

Shelley Kais (R): Did not respond to a request for comment, and has not put out a statement on campaign website or social media.

Congressional District 3

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D): “The far right of the conservative movement has been using our state as a petri dish for their anti-immigrant, anti-worker, anti-environment, anti-women, anti-education, anti-gun safety, anti-gay agenda for years now, and it needs to stop. Arizonans did not ask for this bill or any other form of state-sanctioned discrimination. It doesn’t help our economy, create any jobs, attract any talented people to our state or provide a more welcome environment for visitors. Our unemployment rate is too high. Our schools need more funding. What this has to do with the real-world concerns of average Arizonans is beyond me.”

Candidates for CD3

Gabriela Saucedo Mercer (R): Did not respond to request for comment, and has not put out a statement on campaign website or social media.

SENATE

Sen. John McCain (R): “I hope Governor Brewer will veto #SB1062” (Twitter)

Sen. Jeff Flake (R): “I hope Governor Brewer vetoes SB 1062” (Twitter)

EDITOR’S NOTE

We asked Southern Arizona state lawmakers for their opinions on SB 1062 and we published them Tuesday. We did not hear back from several of them, specifically Reps. David Gowan (R), David W. Stevens (R) and Adam Kwasman (R), or Sen. Gail Griffin (R). You’ll find Kwasman’s statement from Tuesday above, and the Arizona House Republican Caucus’ spokesman sent this email:

“I apologize for not getting back to you yesterday. At this point in the process, the House and Rep. Gowan have debated the legislation, and out of respect for the governor’s deliberation will not comment any further.”

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Latest Fitz Report video

More

Fitz studio: How to draw the President

In this video tutorial, Star cartoonist and columnist David Fitzsimmons teaches you how to draw the Preside…

Latest Newsmakers video

More

Sarah interviews Dr. Peter Rhee, part 2 of 3

Dr. Peter Rhee discusses mental health and other issues surrounding gun violence.

Deals, offers & events

View more...