UPDATE: Delta Air Lines, Yelp, PetSmart, Mitt Romney and more join call for Governor Brewer to veto 1062

Tweet at Governor Jan Brewer and urge her to veto SB1062!

Delta Air Lines, Yelp, and PetSmart have all released statements encouraging Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to veto Senate Bill 1062 which would give license to discriminate and refuse to do business with anyone, particularly LGBT people. These companies join other major corporations including Apple, Marriott, American Airlines and more in urging for a veto.

PetSmart CEO David Lenhardt appeared on CNBC today and emphatically said, "We absolutely would like to see the governor veto this bill. We think it's bad for Arizona business. We think it's bad for the people of Arizona. At PetSmart, diversity and inclusion is a key piece of who we are, a key piece of our culture. We fundamentally believe our communities, our customers and our associates all deserve equal respect, and this bill does not do that, and that's why we are absolutely opposed to it and urging the governor to veto it."

Delta Air Lines issued a statement calling for a veto on 1062, saying: "As a global values-based company, Delta Air Lines is proud of the diversity of its customers and employees, and is deeply concerned about proposed measures in several states, including Georgia and Arizona, that would allow businesses to refuse service to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. If passed into law, these proposals would cause significant harm to many people and will result in job losses. They would also violate Delta's core values of mutual respect and dignity shared by our 80,000 employees worldwide and the 165 million customers we serve every year. Delta strongly opposes these measures and we join the business community in urging state officials to reject these proposals."

Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman posted an open letter on the company's blog today urging for a veto on 1062. "Since early 2010, Yelp has hired over 650 employees in Arizona. Over the next few years, we hope to hire hundreds more. It would be unconscionable for the state to encourage discrimination against any of them," he writes. "When Yelp originally decided to open an office in Arizona it did so because we believed that the state provided a welcoming business environment. I hope that you will continue to nurture such an environment in the state by vetoing SB 1062."

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney tweeted his support for a veto of 1062 earlier today.

GLAAD's President, Sarah Kate Ellis, was on CNN recently to talk about Arizona's SB 1062. Ellis responded to Anderson Cooper's interview with Arizona State Senator Al Melvin, in which Melvin claimed, among other things, that discrimination has never taken place in Arizona.

"Being anti-LGBT is bad for business," Ellis told CNN's Carol Costello. "Apple, Marriott, American Airlines – over 80 corporations have spoken out and urged [Arizona] Governor [Jan] Brewer to veto this bill."

 

Ellis also noted that even the NFL has spoken out against the bill. Arizona is slated to host the Super Bowl in 2015.

Anderson Cooper did exactly what a good journalist should do when he interviewed Arizona State Senator Melvin last night. He confronted Senator Melvin with the facts and challenged him on his misinformation and distortion. Noting that Arizona has no legal protections for LGBT people, Cooper asked why a law that allows business owners to refuse service to LGBT people would be necessary. Later, Cooper challenged Senator Melvin to name one instance in which someone was forced to go against their religious beliefs, to which Senator Melvin could come up with no examples.

Others who have spoken out against the bill include U.S. Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake. Senator McCain told CNN's Chris Cuomo that "This [bill] is going to hurt the state of Arizona's economy and, frankly, our image, so I hope that the Governor of Arizona will veto this and we will move on."

GLAAD is also urging equality supporters to voice their opinions on Facebook and Twitter by sharing the graphic featured at the top of this post urging Gov. Brewer to veto the bill

"Governor Brewer now stands at a career-defining precipice," says Ellis. "By signing this bill into law, she would be turning her back on countless Arizonans, who simply want to live the lives they love without fear of discrimination. Businesses won't tolerate this bill; Arizonans won't tolerate this bill; and America won't tolerate this bill. Governor Brewer must do what's right and veto SB 1062."

You can watch the video of Anderson Cooper challenging Senator Melvin below.

 

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GLAAD Southern Stories will elevate the experiences of LGBT people in six of the nation's southern states. The initiative amplifies stories of LGBT people thriving in the South, ongoing discrimination, as well as the everyday indignities endured by LGBT people who simply wish to live the lives they love, including stories of family, stories of faith, stories of sports, and stories of patriotism