Jan Brewer Vetoes AZ Hate Bill For All The Wrong Reasons. Here Are The Ones She Should Have Cited.

imagesArizona Gov. Jan Brewer moved quickly to staunch the bleeding from the legislature’s self-inflicted wound and has vetoed the bill that would have enshrined antigay discrimination as law. The measure would have provided a free pass to violate nondiscrimination laws if the laws violated their religious beliefs, or, in short, license to actively harm LGBT people by denying them access to all sorts of things. Brewer had plenty of reasons to veto the bill. Unfortunately, she cited the wrong ones.

She claimed that the measure was “broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences.” True, if by unintended and negative consequences you mean that the bill exposed its supporters as the bigots they are. She also used the excuse that the bill wasn’t in line with her stated priorities. Yet, in her heart and in her veto statement, Brewer seems to sympathize with the measure’s supporters. “To the supporters of this legislation, I want you to know that I understand that long-held norms about marriage and family are being challenged as never before,” she said. “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 nobody could ever want.” Brewer ended on some motherhood-and-apple-pie rhetoric about moving toward “a renewed search for greater respect and understanding among all Arizona and Americans.”

Now killing the measure is a good thing, even if it wasn’t done for exactly the right reasons. Unfortunately, Brewer blew her chance at making a real statement about tolerance that could have served as a blueprint for other politicians. Here are seven things she should have said instead.

1. The bill was bad for business. Brewer hinted at this by talking about how she wanted legislation that helps solidify the state’s reputation as “one of the best states to grow or start a business.” That’s a mild version of the truth. The business community hates the bill. Not only did the major business groups in Arizona, such as the state Chamber of Commerce, come out against the bill, but individual businesses like Marriott Hotels and American Airlines did as well. As a pro-business Republican, Brewer could have credibly argued that she was just following the opinion of the job-creators in her state.

2. It was the will of the party. Republicans in the state want her to veto the bill. A poll shows that a majority of rank-and-file Republicans in Arizona think that Brewer should veto the bill. The state’s two U.S. senators, Jeff Flake and John McCain, both Republicans, urged her to kill the measure. (Flake, to his credit, was one of the first out of the box with a call to veto the bill.) Even Republicans out of her state want the bill vetoed; Mitt Romney, not exactly a man of unwavering principle on gay issues, said that vetoing the measure “is right.”

3. We learn from our mistakes. The state has already been burned once, because of its law targeting undocumented aliens. Brewer presided over the disastrous after-effects of another idiotic law, which allowed law enforcement officials the right to stop anyone they thought was in the country illegally (or, in other words, anyone not white). That 2010 law, which Brewer signed, cost the state over $140 million in lost tourism and convention business, to say nothing of the damage to the state’s reputation. The state was already under the threat of losing the 2015 Super Bowl because of the bill.

4. The state has a libertarian tradition that the bill violates. As the bill itself amply illustrates, Arizona has a long tradition of guano-crazy conservativism. But it also has a history of libertarianism. The late Senator Barry Goldwater embodied both traditions — his 1964 presidential campaign was the wellspring of the modern conservative movement, but he was also an opponent of anti-gay discrimination, opposing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Goldwater was also no fan of the religious right, saying that “Every good Christian ought to kick [Jerry] Falwell right in the ass.” Brewer could have done worse than cite Goldwater, who is revered in Arizona, as her inspiration for vetoing the bill.

5. Even the bill’s supporters had second thoughts. Three senators who voted for the bill are now urging Brewer to save them from themselves. Of course, this is a classic of having your cake and eating it too. But Brewer could have use the “heat of the moment” excuse to say, upon reflection, the bill went too far.

6. Republicans have to move beyond the culture wars. The party is doomed to losing national elections if it can’t shed its homophobic image. With her background, Brewer would have been the perfect person to deliver this message. She fought a court ruling that overturned the state’s ban on domestic partnership benefits for Arizona employees and signed an antigay adoption bill into law. If she acknowledged that the time had come to move on, she would have caused some real soul-searching among her followers. (She would also have gotten a raft of grief.)

7. It’s immoral. Okay, that’s the obvious reason to veto the bill. It’s the one Brewer was never likely to cite. While killing the bill is the most important thing, it would have been nice if Brewer made it clear that making discrimination legal is never acceptable. Too bad she couldn’t bring herself to do that.

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  • Troy

    Does the writer of this article not know what a paragraph is??

  • dvlaries

    All Brewer needs is the black getup, the broom and the flying monkeys.
    And she is unchanged, she caved in to economic threat, she didn’t come out waving any rainbow flags.

  • ChanceApollo

    Quite frankly, I don’t care if her reasoning for the veto was that the ghost of Elvis told her to do so. The important thing is that she did veto it.

  • DarkZephyr

    @Troy: Yeah, that’s the essential issue at hand.

  • ED49

    Fight the real enemy:

    Jan Brewer( this woman hangs out with Satan)
    Ted Cruz what a hypocrite
    John A. Boehner , the crying hypocrite
    Rush L.
    Ron Paul or whatever
    Mitt R.
    Sarah Palin, why is she relevant anyways? at least her husband is hot.
    There is something going on in Arizona that I cant figure out. all these weird laws that divides society in such a primitive way.

  • Paulie

    Yes I agree that the most important part of the story is that Brewer did veto the bill, but I am truly apalled at how much bigotry, of all kinds, still lives on in our country, here in the 21st century, and that’s just as important to keep in mind

  • Mdterp01

    That heifa can go kick rocks. When is her term up? I mean what was there to “think about”. Her immediate response upon hearing that this stupidness had even gotten through the legislature should have been “I will veto ANY bill that calls for the discrimination of ANY person from a business in Arizona”. She vetoed a similar bill last year but you can never tell with these people. Bottom line is that if you are anti-gay these days you are on the wrong side of history and fighting a losing battle. The march toward full equality keeps moving in the right direction and its just going to take a bit longer for many of these old heads to die off. I’m not saying there aren’t homophobic young people still out there, but its mainly a generational thing, and the old folk have got to go!!!

    On a side note, her face is an example of why I’ve been moisturizing since high school. Totally irrelevant to the topic at hand but ooo that leather face is out of control.

  • BECQueerty

    Is it just me, or does Gov. Brewer kinda look like Terence Stamp in ‘Priscilla’? Just sayin’…

  • Paulie

    I definitely agree with Mdterp01, about the futility of anti-gay bills in legislatures around the country, I also agree with the bit about Jan Brewer’s leather face…she looks like something that crawled out of an ancient Egyptian Tomb…

  • Mezaien

    QUEERTY, supported her the republican, and Christian, far right!. SO if you won`t see me on here anymore don`t be surprise QUEERTY, will block me.

  • BBellairs

    @BECQueerty: Now that you mention it, yes she does! Way to go Bernadette!

  • Fitz

    I’m going to try, and sometimes fail, to avoid making cracks about how she looks. Not because it isn’t true. (it is) Not because I’m nice. (I’m not). Because it makes me look like a bully who out-bullied another bully. I don’t want to say things that will let my enemies devalue my thoughts about this very important time.

  • jckfmsincty

    Definitely, she’s been in the Arizona sun too long.

  • Respect4all

    @BBellairs: Yeah, I agree. In this photo she does. It’s the best picture I’ve seen of her.

  • Geoff B

    I think a lot of thanks go to the NFL. With Michael Sam all but sure to be drafted by a team in need of a great defensive player (Ahem, Packers), and all the talk about how they want to be gay-friendly, they were able to push Brewer into a corner by gently warning her in not so many words “veto, or say goodbye to the Super Bowl and the hundreds of millions of dollars that come with it”. Also, the unnamed 4 companies that all of a sudden but the brakes on expanding in AZ (anyone know who they were?). Let’s face it, if there’s anything the far right loves more than bigotry, it’s money. And yes, I know this because as someone who used to constantly defend the right, I still love money (I just love to be able to look at myself at the mirror and not seeing a bigoted self hating sell out more)

  • Harley

    As hedious, vile, repulsive, loathsome, reprehensible, wretched, revolting, and discriminatory (all evangelical Christian values) as this law is, I almost wanted Brewer to sign this into law just so the country can see once and for all what the repugnant-Klans stand for and vote those cretins out of office. Sometimes you have to expose the syphillitic lesions that are the tea party neo-con fascists before you can run them out of office. This country needs a really big dose of penicillin to heal us of its infection before it kills the entire body politic.

  • BJ McFrisky

    Jesus Christ, she did exactly what we wanted and STILL all she gets is criticism. Had Obama vetoed a similar bill, you’d be building a shrine to him this very moment for his undying love of all things gay.
    Hypocrisy, thy name is Queerty.

    @Mezaien: They block you because you rant recklessly, not because this is a “far right” website. Christ, get a clue.

  • Ken

    The fact that she did not cite these reasons doesn’t mean they weren’t there. Most likely, the first six reasons in this article were the most important ones, but since she is a politician, she’ll only reveal the reasons that play well with her constituency.

  • chaddyboy6

    You people will never be satisfied. And in reality, objectively whether we agree or not, whether it is wise or not it is all about freedom of association. Without being able to choose the people we want to deal with, negates free will. And if the choice a person makes is wrong, then it is up to the individual to spread the word and hit the person where it hurts…their bank account. Force is never the answer. Freedom of association also encompasses property and ownership rights. Not everyone is going to like you and if they do not they should not be forced to deal with and why would you want to deal with them?

  • Harley

    @chaddyboy6: So it sounds like you are saying if you don’t want to serve black people at your lunch counter or have black people ride in the front of your bus you shouldn’t have too. Is that what your saying? As long as it is your ” deeply held religious belief?”

  • reallygoodthings

    religion poisons everything

  • SteveDenver

    She’s a moron.

    Like many conservatives, her first concern is: “How does this affect me personally.”

    There is no wisdom, humanity or world view, just a myopic focus on self and others who are just like her.

  • SteveDenver

    @reallygoodthings: As Bill Maher wisely said: “Those who seek to combine religion and politics ruin both.”

  • SteveDenver

    @Harley: “chaddyboy6” doesn’t comprehend the difference between “free will” and “conducting legal business.” Had this bill passed, there are several ordained reverends who were going to preach to Arizonans that Christianity compels them NOT to pay taxes or serve old people.

  • MikeE

    @BJ McFrisky: “Jesus Christ, she did exactly what we wanted and STILL all she gets is criticism. Had Obama vetoed a similar bill, you’d be building a shrine to him this very moment for his undying love of all things gay.
    Hypocrisy, thy name is Queerty.”

    She vetoed it for the WRONG reason.
    A veto may have been the desired outcome for the LGBT community, but her stated reason for vetoing the bill is horrible and amply demonstrates that she bears animus directly against a minority within the population: LGBT people.

    She basically says that the bill is flawed because it might let people she DOESN’T hate suffer from discrimination.

    If you can’t see that, and prefer to cast aspersions on the entire LGBT community by calling all of us who understand this horribly defective reasoning by Jan Brewer “hypocrites”, then you seriously need psychological help. You demonstrate time and again that you are a self-hating lackey of the far right, defending their hateful positions and never missing a chance to lash out at the LGBT population, like a petulant and angry child.

  • BJ McFrisky

    I assume this means that the LGBT crowd will now be lining up in droves at Christian bakeries? That would certainly give this bill meaning if we did—but we won’t (duh), so what did we gain (other than furthering our reputation as relentless whiners)?

  • balehead

    A Badly written article full of self hate…just cut all the tax benefits for “getting married’ and all the “controversy” would go away…..

  • BJ McFrisky

    @MikeE: “Self-hating lackey of the far right?” Boy, are you misinformed. I’ve never been a fan of the far-right (or far-left, for that matter), and as far as self-hating goes? Dude: I. Am. Awesome. How’s that for self-hating?
    ps – Say hi to your dad for me. We go way back.

  • Cam

    @BJ McFrisky: said…

    Jesus Christ, she did exactly what we wanted and STILL all she gets is criticism. Had Obama vetoed a similar bill, you’d be building a shrine to him this very moment for his undying love of all things gay.
    Hypocrisy, thy name is Queerty.

    And once again BJ’s first instinct is to defend the anti-gay bigot. She did NOT do everything we wanted, she excused vetoing bill and still reached out to the far right bigots. She defended the idea of the bill etc… Basically she had to veto it because the funders were all telling her she had to, but she in no way disavowed it.

    But again, in BJ’s world, the anti-gay folks are always the victims that he needs to be concerned about.

  • Cam

    @balehead: said… “A Badly written article full of self hate…just cut all the tax benefits for “getting married’ and all the “controversy” would go away….


    Back up your comments, which you never can do. Where exactly is the self-hate in the article. You can’t tell us can you?

  • drivendervish

    I was kind of hoping that she would sign it into law so the country could see the stupidity of the idea and the huge economic damage it would have wreaked in Arizona. They would have lost the superbowl, a lot of conventions, a lot of potential new employers and tourism would have taken a dive. That would have been a very powerful lesson for the bigots, haters and homophobes that litter this country.

  • MikeE

    @drivendervish: Somehow, I suspect it would rather have fueled the “see how christians are persecuted for their beliefs” campaign.

    They would have used it as “proof” that the “homo-fascists” were out to get them.

  • Respect4all

    I disagree with all of Queerty’s reasons except the last one. The right reasons to veto the bill were: “It’s unjust and unconstitutional.” But even thought she did the right thing for the wrong reasons, the fact is it’s done. Let’s move on.

  • SpunkyBunks

    It may be vetoed, but Arizona is now tarnished for life for even bringing this crap up. Businesses will think twice before expanding any operations there since potential employees will scoff at having to transfer there.

    I work for a hi-tech firm that does business in AZ, and we all whine when we have to travel there for business. Good luck in trying to attract any top minority talent in the future! AZ will forever be branded as The Hate State.

  • alterego1980

    Reasons 6 & 7 are the most important. In a perfect world she would have led with those two ideas of “what she should have said”. I thought she was going to lead more with the business aspect, ignoring the obvious anti-gay religious bigotry. But to her credit, she actually mentioned discrimination and words like respect & understanding. This was way more than I expected from her.

  • OhioMan

    Welcome to Arizona….the New South….She really thinks otherwise and was only trying to save her skin….Way to go Jan Crow!

  • DarSco

    Is it just me or does this old hag need moisturizer? She looks like a leather bag with bones lol.

  • brokeback gypsy

    When did Bernice from “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” become Governor of Arizona!?!?!?

    ‘Don’t “Darling”, me, Darling. Look at you. You’ve got a face like a cat’s arse.’

  • Mdterp01


    LOL yeah…read some of the earlier comments. Some of us chimed in about that. Its over for her now though. There isn’t enough moisturizer on earth to fix that.

  • randalaw

    @BECQueerty: Aw, man, that’s kinda harsh. What did Terrence Stamp ever do to you? ;-)

  • Mezaien

    @BJ McFrisky: Idiot they blocked me few time already just because I told the mother fucker Christian white to fuck themselves. AND I won`t stop till all Christian, exterminated in concentration camps start with Catholics.

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