Florida Governor Comes Out Against Arizona Rights Bill

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News Release: Associated Press News
Updated: February 26, 2014, 7pm

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida Gov. Rick Scott is joining with other Republicans opposed to an Arizona bill that would add protections for people who assert their religious beliefs in refusing service to gays.

Scott was asked about the legislation during a national television appearance Wednesday. He repeatedly said he not seen the legislation now sitting on the desk of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer.

Scott's answers quickly drew criticism from Democrats and challenger Charlie Crist. Crist said Scott's refusal to answer questions about the bill were "stunning."

Several hours later, Scott put out a lengthy statement saying that if a similar bill were passed in Florida he would veto it.

He called the bill "unnecessary" and said that in "Florida we are focused on economic growth, and not on things that divide us."

News Release: Associated Press News


PHOENIX (AP) -- The Arizona Legislature has jumped into the battle over gay rights with a piece of legislation that has opponents predicting business boycotts against the state.

The bill would allow business owners with strongly held religious beliefs to refuse service to gays.

All eyes are on Republican Gov. Jan Brewer as she decides whether to sign the bill. A decision is likely next week.

The conservative governor is already feeling pressure from the business community to veto the bill passed late Thursday. A prominent Phoenix group believes it would be another black eye for the state that saw a national backlash over its 2010 immigration crackdown law.

But Brewer also will be heavily pressured to sign the bill by social conservatives who backed it as a religious-rights bill.