02.25.14 9:01 PM ET
Super Bowl Could Keep Arizona's Anti-Gay Bill From Becoming Law
The controversy over Senate Bill 1062 has swirled in recent days as even legislators who supported the bill, which would allow businesses to refuse to serve customers for religious reasons, are now backtracking. Three Republican state senators who voted for the bill have now come out against it while both of the state's Republican senators Jeff Flake and John McCain have also urged Brewer to veto the legislation. Even 2012's Republican nominee Mitt Romney has come out in favor of veto. But the real pressure is coming from the state's business community, which is worried that the state may lose next year's Super Bowl if the bill comes into law.
Super Bowl XLIX is scheduled to be played at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. But Arizona lost a Super Bowl 20 years ago after the state refused to recognize Martin Luther King Day, eventually becoming the last state in the country to do so. Both the Super Bowl Host Committee and the Arizona Cardinals have already come out strongly against the bill as have a number of business leaders in the state.
The NFL is declining to weigh in so far. In a statement, spokesman Greg Aiello wrote “Our policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard. We are following the issue in Arizona and will continue to do so should the bill be signed into law, but will decline further comment at this time.”
Considering the league has already scorned Arizona for one Super Bowl due to issues of discrimination in the past as well as its whole hearted embrace of Michael Sam, it's seems likely that if Brewer signs the bill, the Grand Canyon State won't be hosting the big game next year.