The HillTube

Bachmann 'sorry' Arizona bill was vetoed

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said she is disappointed that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) vetoed a controversial bill that critics said would allow business owners to cite their religious beliefs in refusing service to gay people.  

"I was sorry she made that decision, and it is because I believe that tolerance is a two-way street, and we need to respect everyone's rights, including the rights of people who have sincerely held religious beliefs," she told "The Fine Print," a collaboration between ABC News and Yahoo.

She said there is "terrible" intolerance against people in the U.S. with "sincerely held religious beliefs.” 

“Religious liberties and the protection of our religious liberties is a right,” she said. “Right now, there's a terrible intolerance afoot in the United States, and it's against people who hold sincerely held religious beliefs. I believe it goes both ways. You have to tolerate people who you don't agree with, but people who hold religious beliefs need to be tolerated."

ADVERTISEMENT
Businesses and gay rights groups both came out fiercely against bill, arguing it would codify intolerance and lead some businesses to leave the state, hindering economic growth. 

The NFL, which will hold the Super Bowl in the state next year, had said it was monitoring the debate.

Bachmann, who is not running for reelection, said the Constitution should not be traded away whether the NFL “decides to have an economic boycott or not."

A number of national Republicans opposed the bill, including both Arizona senators and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.  

In her veto, Brewer said the measure was broadly worded and was opposed by the business community, even though it was written to protect them. 

“To the supporters of the legislation, I want you to know that I understand that long-held norms about marriage and family are being challenged as never before,” she said, but added, “I have not heard of one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated.”

Proponents of the measure noted the state already has a religious liberty law, and the new bill was intended to clarify and strengthen it.