SB 1062 and the Super Bowl
What Does the Super Bowl Have to Do With Arizona's Anti-LGBT Bill?
SB 1062, known as the "religious freedom" bill, sits before Arizona's governor, Jan Brewer. The bill, which permits businesses to refuse service to gays or others based on religious beliefs, could have disastrous implications for the state's LGBT citizens. But they're not the only ones calling on the republican governor to veto it. In fact, the NFL could decide to pull next year's Super Bowl from Arizona, which is scheduled to host it, if the bill becomes law.
The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee is among the groups calling for the bill to be squashed, and an NFL spokesperson said, "Our policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard." If the bill passes and the game goes on in Arizona, the Super Bowl could be surrounded by controversy and calls for boycotts, similar to this year's Winter Olympics in Russia, which also has draconian antigay laws. One thing's clear: the NFL won't be in a similar situation for the 2016 Super Bowl, which is set to be hosted in San Francisco.
Business leaders, including the chief of American Airlines, are also speaking out against SB 1062, and high-profile national republicans like Sen. John McCain oppose it. The bill's backers, state conservatives and the Center For Arizona Policy, say it protects religious liberties. As for the governor, she is expected to veto it. Her latest tweet, however, doesn't confirm either way:
I assure you, as always, I will do the right thing for the State of Arizona. #SB1062— Jan Brewer (@GovBrewer) February 26, 2014