Arizona State Sen. Steve Pierce voted for a bill that would allow businesses in Arizona to refuse services to gay people for religious reasons. He has now changed his tune and is urging Gov. Jan Brewer to veto the legislation that passed the state legislature last week, reports United Press International (UPI).
“I screwed up,I’m trying to make it right, Pierce is quoted as saying to Capitol Media Services in the story. “I would be on board to get it repealed.”
After its passage last week, SB 1062, has gained national attention. Fearing it paints an unfavorable picture of the state, many have called on Brewer to veto the bill. ABC News reports that both Republican U.S. Senators from Arizona, John McCain and Jeff Flake, have joined in calls for veto from their Twitter accounts.
Proponents of the bill say it has been unfairly characterized by the national media and that Brewer should ignore the national attention and sign the bill.
Cathi Herrod of the Center for Arizona Policy, the architect of the bill, told UPI that opponents, “have hijacked this discussion through lies, personal attacks and irresponsible reporting.”
Pierce agreed that the purpose of the legislation was not to discriminate against gays.
"To say (the bill is) anti-gay is following the feeding frenzy," he said. "I have friends that are gay and I wouldn't do anything to hurt them. This is blown way out of proportion and it's too bad."
However, it doesn’t look like he will backing down from his new position.
"I don't like the negative picture of Arizona, and I'm on board asking the governor to veto the bill," he told the Prescott Daily Courier on Saturday.
Brewer has until Friday to make a decision on what to do with the bill. She has three choices: She can veto it, sign it and make it or law, or simply not sign it. If she does not sign the bill it still becomes law.
Brewer told CNN, "I have to look at what it says and what the law says and take that information and do the right thing.”