The art of dodging

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s statement on her veto of Arizona’s Senate Bill 1062 is interesting, as much for what it doesn’t say as for what it does say:

Good evening and thank you all for joining me here this evening.

I’m here to announce a decision on Senate Bill 1062. As with every proposal  that reached my desk I give great concern and careful evaluation and deliberate  consideration, especially to Senate Bill 1062.

I call them like I seem them despite the cheers or the boos from the crowd. I  took the necessary time to make the right decision.

I met and spoke with my attorneys, lawmakers and citizens supporting and  opposing this legislation.

As governor I have asked questions, and I have listened. I have protected  religious freedoms where there is a specific and present concern that exists in  our state, and I have the record to prove it.

My agenda is to sign into law legislation that advances Arizona. When I  addressed the Legislature earlier this year, I made my priorities for this  session abundantly clear. Among them are passing a responsible budget that  continues Arizona’s economic comeback. From CEOs, to entrepreneurs, to business  surveys, Arizona ranks as one of the best states to grow or start a  business.

Additionally, our immediate challenge is fixing a broken child protection  system. Instead, this is the first policy bill to cross my desk.

Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific or present concern related to  religious liberty in Arizona.

I have not heard one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious  liberty has been violated. The bill is broadly worded and could result in  unintended and negative consequences. After weighing all of the arguments, I  have vetoed Senate Bill 1062 moments ago.

To the supporters of this legislation, I want you to know that I understand  that long-held norms about marriage and family are being challenged as never  before. Our society is undergoing many dramatic changes, however, I sincerely  believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it  purports to solve. It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and  nobody could ever want.

Religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value. So is  non-discrimination. Going forward, let’s turn the ugliness of the debate over  Senate Bill 1062 into a renewed search for greater respect and understanding  among all Arizona and Americans.

Considering the lack of gloating on my Facebook feed from the usual suspects over the veto, I can’t help but wonder if they see something there, either in what was said or what was missing, that has dampened their enthusiasm.

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