Arizona concerned it may lose Super Bowl XLIX if anti-gay bill becomes law
The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee is speaking out against SB 1062, a controversial bill passed by the state’s legislature last week that would allow businesses to deny service to gay and lesbian patrons on the basis of religious beliefs, according to USA Today‘s Laurie Merrill and Peter Corbett.
The committee has joined a growing chorus in the state asking Gov. Jan Brewer to veto the bill, which the committee says could cause the NFL to move the 2015 Super Bowl to a different site and harm the state economically.
“On that matter we have heard loud and clear from our various stakeholders that adoption of this legislation would not only run contrary to that goal but deal a significant blow to the state’s economic growth potential. We do not support this legislation,” the committee said.
“Our policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or any other improper standard,” said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello. “We are following the issue in Arizona and will continue to do so should the bill be signed into law, but will decline further comment at this time.”
The NFL has moved its championship game from Arizona once before, when Super Bowl XXVII was played in Pasadena, California, after Arizona voted in 1990 not to recognize Martin Luther King Day. The state voted to institute the holiday two years later and has since hosted the game in 1996 and 2008.