(Halimah Abdullah and Catherine E. Shoichet CNN) — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said Wednesday that she has vetoed a bill that would have allowed businesses that asserted their religious beliefs the right to deny service to gay and lesbian customers.
Opinions have been sharply divided over the politically charged measure, with both sides ramping up pressure on Brewer after the state’s Republican-led legislature approved the bill last week.
Brewer said she made the decision she knew was right for her state.
“I call them as I see them, despite the cheers or the boos from the crowd,” she said, calling the bill “broadly worded” and saying it could have unintended consequences.
Brewer said she’d weighed the arguments on both sides.
“To the supporters of the legislation, I want you to know that I understand that long-held norms about marriage and family are being challenged as never before. Our society is undergoing many dramatic changes,” she said. “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 no one would ever want.
“Religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value, so is non-discrimination.”