Arizona GOP State Senators Call Their Votes for Anti-Gay Discrimination Bill a Mistake, Urge Veto


Three Republican Senators are now calling on Governor Jan Brewer to veto SB 1162, the bill that would allow businesses to discriminate against gays based on their religious beliefs, ABC15 reports:

Sen. Bob Worsley says he and Sens. Adam Driggs and Steve Pierce sent a letter to Brewer Monday asking her to strike down the legislation allowing business owners with strongly held religious beliefs to refuse service to gays.

Worsley says he was uncomfortable when he voted for the bill. Both he and Pierce called their votes a mistake.


  1. Mark says

    Here’s the thing. This passed by a HUGE margin in the legislature. You people do not want us in your state. I don’t care if it is vetoed or not, I am NEVER coming back to Arizona. EVER.

  2. says

    You vote for something or you don’t. No mistake about it. When you vote to discriminate, saying it was a mistake doesn’t make it better.

    I hate when these homophobes think they can have it both ways.

  3. Hansel Currywurst says

    “Stop us before we hate again.”

    Is this is a bizarre cry for help, or did they imagine hearing cash registers stop ringing* all across their dried-up wasteland of a state?

    *although now they just beep; pity.

  4. Debbi says

    Seriously a mistake doesn’t wait for days to correct itself. Legalized discrimination doesn’t wait for constituents to speak up. They should be voted out. Too bad I live in this state.

  5. Luke says

    @MARK, It passed 33-27, not exactly a “huge” margin. And think twice before you generalize all of Arizona. The way the congressional districts are gerrymandered here all but guarantee the election of the most far-right candidates, and these voters are in the suburbs outside of progressive cities such as Phoenix, Tempe, Tucson, Flagstaff, Sedona, Bisbee, etc. Arizona is a beautiful state. I live in central Phoenix, which is very liberal and progressive with a thriving gay community.

    Come back, don’t come back, but don’t call us all crazy :)

  6. Alex says

    Yes, bigot’s remorse. But not for how they feel, but that they may lose votes because of it. I bet that if there weren’t any political repercussions, these three would still vote with their blackened hearts.

    Disgusting, AZ, absolutely disgusting.

  7. says

    These 3 votes would have made the vote a tie. 33-27 would be 30-30.

    I’d like to know more. Ask them why they voted for it to begin with. Did they believe in the legislation or was there political pressure? If so, who from? And what caused the change of heart now that it might be too late?

  8. Nick says

    I will make certain, for the rest of my life, that NO part of any product I purchase was made in Arizona or produced by an Arizona company.

    It’s too late for these un-American senators to undo their hate-votes so there is NO POSSIBILITY of redemption for them, ever.

    I got the message Arizona, you can’t EVER take it back. Boycotting Arizona forever.

  9. Brad says

    I wonder if they thought “there’s no way this’ll pass, but I have to vote for it so I don’t get primary-ed out of a job,” and now they’re thinking “oh, snap, I just helped turn my state into a nightmare theocracy! Undo, undo”!

  10. TheSeer says

    Vetoed or not, Arizona should be boycotted. The people of Arizona should be punished for filling legislature with these lunatics and extremists.

  11. Marc C says

    @LUKE: Crazy? No I think he meant to call you lazy. 250 supporters show up at the capital to protest. How many show at Steele Indian School Park every year to get their worthless drunk on. You people need to get off your @sses. If booze isn’t attached, the LGBT community in either Phoenix OR Tucson where I live can’t be inconvenienced except for a paltry sum of activists.

  12. Editrix says

    @Luke & Seriously – Some clarification. The bill passed 33-27 in the Arizona House. These three are State Senators. In the Arizona Senate, it passed 17-13. So if these three idiots had joined the opposition, the bill actually would have been defeated by 2 votes, 14-16.

  13. TonyJazz says

    It’s pretty bad when Arizona is more bigotted than Mississippi.

    What is wrong with the voters in that state?

    The white people of Arizona should be ashamed of their government….

  14. I pay lots of taxes says

    Force them to explain, in full and specific detail, the reasons for their original vote.

    The legacies of all 33 people who voted “yes” are tarnished forever, and I hope it hurts their chances in any future elections.

    But I give these three guys a little bit of credit for expressing their remorse relatively quickly. I hope they learn: Don’t be such a god-damn thoughtless bigot.

    The Alliance Defending Freedom must be freaking out at the backlash. Victory was so close! I was going to be: First Arizona, then Kansas, etc. etc.

    Brian Brown must be shitting his pants, too.

  15. says

    Here’s what is wrong with Arizona: You have a young, college-educated Jewish state representative Adam Kwasman voting for the hate bill because he thinks it will help him in the Republican Congressional primary.

    It is amusing to see him backpedaling on his Facebook page, claiming the bill had nothing to do with being anti-gay. I encourage people to visit the page and leave comments:

  16. says

    ‘These three are State Senators. In the Arizona Senate, it passed 17-13. So if these three idiots had joined the opposition, the bill actually would have been defeated by 2 votes, 14-16. ‘

    Thanks for the correction @EDITRIX.
    I didn’t look up which chamber they were in.

    That actually makes it far worse. It would have been defeated.
    Now I REALLY want to know the details of why.

  17. David says

    This is making me REALLY REALLY angry. These people in the legislature have no moral spine, they have no integrity, they don’t even believe in their own bigotry — they are the worse, bottomfeeding scum there is. Can anyone stand up for something that isn’t mercenary pandering claptrap. SICKENING on every level.

  18. woodroad34 says

    I’m getting the feeling, especially after the Chamber of Commerce came out in favor of a veto, that these three legislators have CoC funding and the pressure has been put on them. I don’t think they “felt funny” voting for it at all, I think their bo$$e$ told them what jerks they were; and now it’s all “to whomever I’ve offended, my remarks were taken out of context” tomfoolery.

  19. Owens says

    Money speaks louder than actions in politics and these politicians got called out on it. Let’s hope they are voted out of office in the next election.

  20. Fester says

    The idea that they would want to let every little nobody bus driver or dry cleaner etc. decide whether or not to deny me services because they have some highly dubious religion is so repugnant to me that I will never go to Arizona, whether the governor signs the bill or not.

  21. simon says

    It is just jaw dropping stupid. How can they call it a mistake only a few days after the vote. I can’t trust these guys and their judgements. Luckily it is not something serious and irreversible.

  22. Zlick says

    Whatever happens, Arizona is a physically beautiful state that I visited constantly in the 1980’s and ’90’s. I saw so much of it so often that I’m glad I won’t have to go back there in these current times when its government (of the people, whether gerrymandered or not) is so hostile to everyone other than straight white men.

  23. Luke says

    @Marc C, I was actually in the gallery at the House of Representatives while they were debating, and attended the protest on Friday, called, emailed, rallied.. So please do not call me lazy when you do not know me or what I have done to fight this. What have YOU done?

  24. simon says

    Is it going to be an open warfare between the business base and the religious base of the GOP which has been simmering for ages. As Tony Perkin has said, he will split the party if he doesn’t get his way.

  25. Jere says

    At this point, these guys are doing what they can do. They probably faced enormous backlash from their constituents and have reconsidered this controversial vote. They are making a public statement AND calling on their governor (as have many others) to veto the legislation. We shouldn’t demonize them for changing their minds a wee bit too late, but, by the same token, the local press should pin these guys down on their thought process and how exactly this happened.

  26. says

    Gays will screw this up because They’re too busy going after straight allies like Alec Baldwin for hypocritical media attention…way to lose…

  27. ty says

    These senators are just following Jeff Flake’s lead. They feel that if another Mormon can say this law is a bad idea, they can too.
    Most of Arizona is against this bill. The gay community is strong here, but we are not in every county, just the metro areas. When the marriage ban passed it was the Mormons who banded together as a block, and it passed by a narrow margin because most Arizonans are fair minded. Boycotting the state is not the answer. This is a great place for gay people of a certain age who are tired of the gay rat race.

  28. Evonne says

    I’ve recently moved to Phoenix from San Diego. In the past few days, a few of my friends who had planned to visit me now say they’re boycotting this state. And the couple that are coming are griping that they don’t want to spend any money while they’re here. Personally, in the face of this legislation, I’m embarrassed to even be squatting in this state.

  29. CB says

    It isn’t remorse…If it wasn’t for the outcry, and the possible loss of revenue from corporations, they would still be onboard. Nothing changed, they just didn’t expect the backlash.

  30. Paul B. says

    I read on Bloomberg today that Tesla is planning to build a “gigafactory” to manufacture batteries for their electric cars. Cost of build anywhere from 5-10 billion. Up for consideration…Arizona or New Mexico.
    Decision on location expected to be announced this week. Tesla! Tesla! Tesla! Get on the phone.

  31. Rob says

    “I will make certain, for the rest of my life, that NO part of any product I purchase was made in Arizona or produced by an Arizona company.”

    We’ll miss your posts when you can no longer own a computer.

  32. Chris K says

    I just wish someone prominent would start turning these bigots’ rhetoric back against them.

    As we have been told for years a minority has no right to force their deviant social agenda and lifestyle choices on the majority.

    How nice that religious based discrimination actual fits that description.

  33. Paul B. says

    We have some kind of problem here…Apple Computer’s CEO Tim Cook (a gay man) has recently invested $678 million in GT Advanced Tech (GTAT)to manufacture “Saphire Glass” in Mesa, Arizona. I know it’s “business”…but this is where it hurts them the most. They don’t care about feelings or fairness…it’s about the money. It’s only about the money…ask these 3 Republican scumbags…they know it.

  34. ian says

    i think the gov will veto it, for all the wrong reasons, but at least it’ll be gone. the legislators who are now backtracking, and there may be more of them to come, are realizing the backlash will be very very bad for the economy. it’s an election year, and this bill is really about energizing the bigoted GOP base. it’s also the last gasp of the bigots who are frightened of the equality they, and everyone else can see is coming. i live in phoenix btw

  35. Richard Harney says

    They were probably told it was a close vote and the GOP needed their votes to pass it. Now they see it passed by a wider margin than they expected and they want their political votes back.

  36. Icebloo says

    This is why no one takes Republicans seriously any more. They are IDIOTS and LIARS.

    These Senators are supposed to be ADULTS. They are supposed to be INTELLIGENT yet they don’t have the balls to stand up against the extreme right wing voters who they need to keep their easy and overpaid jobs.

    How idiotic of them to think this story would not reach the media and make them all look insane ?

    They should all be fired for acting like 5 year olds. If they all give in to peer pressure so easily they are not adult enough to be in this job that makes decisions on people’s lives. I realize they are all rich and have no idea how the majority of working people live but their idiotic behavior and terrible decisions affect LIVES. It’s all a game to these rich people.

  37. walter says

    the three clowns just realized that this going to cost arizona billions and they now think their vote was wrong . the must be remembering how much the last piece of bigoted legislation cost

  38. graphicjack says

    haha… mistake… as in, oops… my bigotry slip is showing, I am getting heat for it and now if I don’t say it’s a mistake, I’m going to get voted out of office. If they knew they could get away with it, they would let their votes stand, make no mistake. If they really were uncomfortable withthe vote, they should have either abstained or voted the way they wanted to… either you are spinless and went along with the bigots or you are a bigot who doesn’t want to be called out on it. Either way, you’re an asshat. You are the Weakest Link…. GOODBYE!

  39. AZNEWBEE says

    This bill is preposterous, but please don’t generalize an entire State, which is just as ignorant. There is an enormous gay population here as well as tons of progressively thinking, open minded individuals. Are you doing to throw Moscow out with the bathwater while you’re at it? Help empower the gays in these regions of the world that aren’t up to speed like the NYC’s and SF’s. Gays are everywhere, (even in Uganda!), so please don’t say you’re going to “NEVER VISIT ARIZONA” (one of the more beautiful places on earth) because a few religious zealots, bigots and extremist are beating their chests. Now just to be clear, Uganda isn’t in my travel plans anytime soon, but you as a US citizen have more room to exercise your opinions constructively. Please don’t alienate an entire population because of a few.

  40. CB says

    AZNEWBEE, it is not “because of a few”, it is their elected officials, their State legislature, those who make law. By ignoring them, you are empowering them. As long as Arizona keeps electing these people, the bigotry will continue. It is up to the people of Arizona to decide what they want for the State. Don’t twist the blame to those who plan to boycott the State.

  41. Paul B. says

    Brewer is offering massive tax perks to companies that set up shop in AZ. Apple is a good example. It’s shocking to me that Tim Cook (Apple CEO) is willing to put 750 million into AZ business but if he steps into the wrong coffee shop anywhere in AZ…he could be refused service because he’s a fag. What kind of CEO does that to himself, his brothers & sisters?
    Some kind of impaired judgement…impaired by greed.

  42. Mark says

    AZNEWBEE, sorry, your comments don’t fly. You are asking GLBT people to ignore the very real possibility of being refused medical services if they are in an accident in your state if this bill is approved. And if it is vetoed, you are asking GLBT folks to come to a state that WANTS to be able to refuse us medical services. Why in the name of god would I want to visit, spend money or in any way promote such a place? If I want Southwest beauty I can go to New Mexico where I can get MARRIED, or Arizona where I can die in a pool of my own blood if I am in a car accident. I’m not self loathing enough to have to think too much about that. Gays that defend AZ for any reason are pretty much the same as Germans in the 1930’s expecting Jews to overlook those silly laws and come visit the lovely gardens of Dachau….

  43. AZNEWBEE says

    At the basic level, it is a violation of the separation of church and state. The bill is not only revolting, it is frightening on many levels for not only GLBT people, but potentially any other discriminated group, as the (mean) spirit of such a bill enables the creation of others atrocious fascist-like bills and sets precedents, obviously.

    My point wasn’t so much defending AZ (Mark), nor ignoring legislature (CB), but pointing out that you can’t cover the entire GLBT population of Arizona with a “self-loathing” blanket. I doubt you will see the majority of the AZ GLBT community sit quietly on this one whether it’s signed or not. The world (not just AZ and it’s Gov’t) needs to see clearly that this ignorance and poorly veiled hatred is alive and well at the government level in many states (as you will soon see, I’m sure). To borrow your 1930s Germany comparison Mark, your attitude is like Non-German Jews calling German Jews “self-loathing”.

    I’m not interested in arguing your points. They are well taken and I am on your side. I am. I would just like to see the GLBT and their supporters rise up more intensely against this intolerance because I can assure you, it’s not going to get better at this rate. Not just AZ. We’ve become far too complacent. However, by recommending boycotting AZ, you’re hurting the existing AZ GLBT community and economy. Arizona is not an amusement park nor a Chick-fil-A. It’s a bit flippant and lazy to just expect all AZ GLBT and their supports to just leave (or implode as you are alluding too). AZ GLBTs have lives, families, relationships, investments, jobs, and businesses here. It’s insulting that you think we’re just sitting around like blind ducks in a row. If you’ve ever been here (which it doesn’t sound like you ever have), you might see (or not) and think differently. You’re bleeding in the streets imagery is a terrifying one, but consider that there are only a handful of states that protect your employment status for being homosexual (much less for transgendered). That’s more likely a risk to you than experiencing a highly trained medical professional abandoning you in need (not to say this couldn’t happen). I understand your point, and there are plenty of places around the world I wouldn’t go for the same reasons you point out, but this doesn’t help the cause at hand in your own country (assuming you are a US citizen).

    Fine, don’t vacation or pass through, but also don’t write off a large population of people that are just as disgusted and frightened by this bill as you are. We can’t all just pack up and go to a safe haven (of which there really isn’t one…just look around where ever you live). Have some fortitude and defend all your GLBT brothers and sisters, NOT just where you live or choose to visit. Boycotting is slightly passive-aggressive because it’s only hindering to a point. There are bigger issues here.