By David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - Arizona Governor Jan Brewer came under mounting pressure on Tuesday from other prominent Republicans and consultants to veto a controversial bill described by critics as a license to discriminate against gays and others in the name of religion. Brewer has yet to say publicly whether she will sign or veto the bill, which would allow business owners to cite their personal religious beliefs as legal justification for refusing to serve same-sex couples or any other prospective customers. The measure passed the Republican-controlled state legislature last week, putting Brewer in the crosshairs of a contentious political debate at a time when she has sought to ease partisan discord while focusing on efforts to revive Arizona's economy. Brewer, who is scheduled to leave office at the end of this year under term limits, became a lightning rod of controversy early in her tenure for her support of tough measures to clamp down on illegal immigration. The immigration crackdown, decried by liberals, prompted some groups to boycott the state. The political right has hailed the newly passed bill as a necessary defense of religious freedom and the left has denounced it as a form of state-sanctioned discrimination. Two outside political consultants to Brewer told Reuters they had each urged her to veto the measure, with one saying her track record on such issues made him think she was leaning in that direction. But both stressed no decision had been taken by Brewer. "We had a vigorous discussion, and I said that she should veto the bill," longtime political strategist Chuck Coughlin said in an interview, declining to reveal further details about the private conversation. "She will let everyone know when she makes up her mind." The other senior adviser pressing for a veto, Doug Cole, said the governor planned to sit down with groups from both sides of the debate on Wednesday to hear their perspectives. In a sign of the growing unease over the measure, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee for president, weighed into the debate via Twitter on Tuesday: "veto of #SB1062 is right." Another former Republican candidate for president, Arizona Senator John McCain, said earlier on CNN that passage of the bill "hurts the image of the state." Reflecting concern in the business community, American Airlines Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker, whose company has merged with Tempe, Arizona-based U.S. Airways and has a major hub in Phoenix, wrote a letter to Brewer urging a veto. "Our economy thrives best when the doors of commerce are open to all," he wrote. "This bill sends the wrong message." GAY MARRIAGE MOMENTUM ELSEWHERE Brewer has until Saturday to sign the bill into law or veto it. If she takes no action, the measure will automatically go into effect 91 days after the current legislative session ends. The measure surfaced following a string of federal court victories by gay activists seeking to strike down restrictions on same-sex marriage in several states, including New Mexico, Utah, Kentucky and Virginia. Seventeen U.S. states and the District of Columbia now recognize gay marriage in a trend that has gained momentum since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that legally married same-sex couples nationwide are eligible for federal benefits. Arizona is among more than 30 states that still ban gay or lesbian couples from marrying. Supporters of the Arizona measure argue that business owners, however, remain vulnerable to lawsuits should they refuse for religious reasons to provide services to gay couples. Under the legislation, a business would be immune to a discrimination lawsuit if a decision to deny service was motivated by a "sincerely held" religious faith and if providing service would substantially burden the exercise of those beliefs. McCain, in his most expansive remarks on the issue so far, said the bill could damage the state. He cited the strong response from Arizona business leaders, including the state's Chamber of Commerce, criticizing the measure. "This is going to hurt the state of Arizona's economy, and frankly, our image. So, I hope that the governor of Arizona will veto this and we move on," he said, adding that he has not talked directly with Brewer about the proposal. The measure is being pushed by the conservative Center for Arizona Policy, which helped write the proposal and says it actually aims at protecting the religious rights of all. Brewer spokesman Andrew Wilder said Apple Inc had also requested a veto in a conversation with the governor over the weekend. Three Republican state senators said on Monday they had reconsidered their support for the bill, and urged a veto. Apple has announced plans to open a manufacturing facility in Arizona that is expected to employ 700 workers in partnership with mineral crystal specialist GT Advanced Technologies Inc. (Editing by Steve Gorman and Cynthia Johnston)
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
- Business Insider
America isn't running out of everything just because of a supply-chain crisis. America is running out of everything because Americans are buying so much stuff.
Claims that the US is running short on everything miss a key point. Record imports are part of the reason for the epic supply-chain congestion.
The White House press secretary asked the Fox News reporter a question he couldn't answer.
'Too Hot to Handle' star Harry Jowsey says he knew he got busted receiving oral sex as it was happening because he saw 'like 65 cameras' swerve on him to film it
Jowsey said there were "like 65 cameras" in his room on the show, including some right above his bed, in order to catch contestants in the act.
Angelina Jolie plays Thena — a warrior with immense strength, speed and stamina — in Eternals
- Sixers Wire
Doc Rivers says Ben Simmons was a "distraction" at Sixers practice.
- Dolphins Wire
The Hall of Fame wideout has seen enough of the second-year quarterback.
Jennifer Gates, the eldest daughter of Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates, celebrated her wedding to Nayel Nassar over the weekend
- Business Insider
Joey Holz, whose experiment went viral, told Insider he specifically applied to businesses that were publicly complaining of a worker shortage.
- Good Housekeeping
'NCIS' season 19 showed Gibbs (Mark Harmon) leave the team and in Monday night's episode, the new team leader was named. Fans reacted to Park (Gary Cole) getting the job instead of McGee (Sean Murray).
Five NASCAR teams — three in the Cup Series and two in the Xfinity Series — were fined for lug-nut infractions after last weekend’s postseason events at Texas Motor Speedway. RELATED: Playoffs standings | Weekend schedule: Kansas Each team was found to have violated Section 10.9.10.4 of the NASCAR Rule Book, found with one unsecured […]
- HuffPost Life
Curious what activities may be associated with higher COVID-19 transmission? Here's what data suggests.
- Associated Press
A man charged with raping a woman on a commuter train just outside of Philadelphia harassed her for more than 40 minutes while multiple people held up their phones to seemingly record the assault without intervening, authorities said. More than two dozen train stops passed as the man harassed, groped and eventually raped the woman, the police chief for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority said at a news conference Monday. Both the man and woman got on the train at the same stop Wednesday night in North Philadelphia.
The incident: In the beginning of the video, the original poster Denise Carino (@dennydoestiktok) is in the middle of clarifying what the woman had said to her. Carino also updated in the comments that the general manager had called to apologize.
- Town & Country
William and Kate attended a gathering in the sunken garden of Kensington Palace in honor of the statue in Princess Diana's memory
- Lebron Wire
Here's why the Los Angeles Lakers claimed Avery Bradley off waivers, according to a report.
- Fighting Irish Wire
Hardly a surprise...
- Yahoo Life
Rousey used Instagram to call attention to the stigma around breastfeeding.
- Charlotte Observer
It’s just the latest fan incident at Bank of America Stadium to go viral.
Kate Middleton fully embodied fall this evening in London when the Duchess of Cambridge stepped out in a long red turtleneck dress for Forward Trust's “Taking Action on Addiction” campaign launch.
Paris Saint-Germain were rescued by their superstar attack as Lionel Messi scored twice and Kylian Mbappe played a starring role for the French side, who came from behind to beat RB Leipzig 3-2 in the Champions League on Tuesday.