In a speech at the University of Miami Wednesday night,
former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took the time to comment on Governor Brewer’s veto of a controversial religious freedom law. The law, SB 1062, would have allowed private businesses to assert their religious beliefs when they deny service to gay and lesbian customers.
“Thankfully the governor of Arizona has vetoed the discriminatory legislation that was passed, recognizing that inclusive leadership is really what the 21st century is all about,” said Clinton to a crowd of 6,000 people.
Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the bill merely hours before Clinton took the stage at the University of Miami. Brewer said that she believes that her veto is the right move for her state.
“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 like 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,” said Brewer during a speech after her signing.
“Religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value. So is non-discrimination,” continued Brewer.
Governor Brewer was facing pressure from both gay rights activists and businesses alike. Brewer had to not only worry about outcry from the public, as there very well could have been major repercussions for the business climate in her state had she decided not to veto the bill.
Apple, American Airlines, AT&T, and Intel were businesses that all voiced major opposition to the bill. The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee did so as well.
These groups argued that SB 1062 would negatively impact Arizona’s economy, and that there could arise a situation where discrimination lawsuits, boycotts, and economic disruptions are commonplace in the state.
“It is the work of this century to complete the unfinished business of making sure that every girl and boy every woman and man lives in societies that respect their rights no matter who they are, respects their potential and their talents, gives them the opportunities that every human being deserves, no matter where you were born, no matter the color of your skin, no matter your religion, your ethnicity, or whom you love,” Clinton said to applause.
Clinton is clearly laying the groundwork for a presidential run in 2016, and her speech at the University of Miami is one of many stops she will be making in the coming years.