Jan Brewer, outspoken Arizona Governor, vetoed a controversial bill that would have allowed business owners to refuse service to gays and lesbians, as well as many other groups, according to their religious beliefs. While similar bills have been proposed in other states, Arizona’s bill was the only one to make it through the Senate and the House.
Governor Brewer ultimately decided put the kibosh on “The Religious Freedom Act” because it is “broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences,” she explained. She also faced pressure to veto the bill from numerous companies and organizations, including the NFL, which plans to host the Super Bowl in Phoenix next year. The bill could have allowed discrimination against virtually anyone, and would have blurred the lines between freedom of religion and outright discrimination.
The governor’s veto is another step in the progress she has made during her four years in office, which includes making Arizona into a U.S. hub for entrepreneurs and taking the state budget from a $3 billion shortfall to an $800 million surplus. Governor Brewer also continues to make headlines for her continued attempt to secure Arizona’s border with Mexico in an effort to decrease violent crime.
Originally from California, Governor Brewer earned a radiological technologist certificate from Glendale Community College. After spending years devoted to her family, she was inspired to enter politics in 1982, due to concerns with the school board in her area and her children’s education. She had served in the Arizona House of Representatives, in the Arizona State Senate and has been the chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. She also authored a politically themed book, Scorpions for Breakfast, published in 2011.
Governor Brewer and her husband John, a chiropractor, have three sons. For vetoing an outrageously discriminatory bill and putting human rights above all else, we’re proud to make her FOF Woman of the Week!