The governor of Arizona is feeling the heat over a controversial bill that pits religious rights against the rights of gay Americans. Gov. Jan Brewer must decide by Saturday whether to sign it or kill it.
Scott Koheler is making a statement:
"We are open to everybody. We are
not discriminatory in any way, shape or form."
It's all part of a groundswell of opposition to a proposed state law that would make it easier for businesses to deny service to gays and lesbians based on religious beliefs.
"I think if this bill is passed into law into Arizona a lot of outside people are going to see Arizona differently. I think it is bad for business in Arizona. It gives us a black eye," said Koheler.
Supporters say the legislation was designed to protect small businesses like wedding photographers and bakeries whose owners may have religious objections to same-sex marriages.
Cathi Herrod of the Center for Arizona Policy helped craft the bill, known as SB 1062.
"1062 is about one thing and one thing only: that Amercians, Arizonans, should be free to live and work according to their faith," she said.
But just five days after the bill passed, there's intense pressure on Gov. Brewer to veto it.
National corporations doing business in Arizona, including Apple, American Airlines and Marriott, are calling for a veto, as is the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee -- which says the law could jeopardize plans for the state to host next year's Super Bowl.
On Monday, three Republican state senators who voted for the bill sent Brewer a letter also urging a veto, saying response to the legislation is "causing our state immeasurable harm."
Brewer is scheduled to meet Wednesday with people on both sides of the issue and says she will decide whether to sign or veto the bill by Friday. Her closest advisers are saying publicly they've urged her to kill this legislation, and political insiders say they believe a veto is likely.