Local LGBT business leaders are applauding Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's decision to veto the bill that would have allowed businesses to turn away people based on their religious beliefs.
"It's a great day in the nation to know that this type of legislation was vetoed and this type of discrimination was not approved in Arizona," Marvo Reguindin said.
Reguindin is the General Manager for the region's LGBT chamber of commerce affiliate, Inland Northwest Business Alliance. He said although it was a state issue, it would have impacted people living in the Inland Northwest.
"If that bill would have passed, many residents, many LGBT and ally residents in Spokane would make decisions of boycotting Arizona,” he said.
SB1062 would have provided businesses and individuals a cushion for discrimination lawsuits if they could prove that their acts were based on religious beliefs. In short, gays and other minorities could be turned away from places like restaurants. It's a move that local LGBT professionals call a “financial disaster.”
"Roughly 70 to 80 percent of purchasing decisions in the LGBT population is determined on LGBT friendliness and openness and willingness to serve," Member Representative Christopher Zilar said.
A message that Governor Brewer heard loud and clear.
"Religious freedom is a core American and Arizona value,” Governor Brewer said. “So is non-discrimination."