Apple has asked Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to veto the state’s controversial religious freedom bill. Brewer spokesman Andrew Wilder confirmed on Monday that the governor spoke with an unnamed person at the company.
Arizona’s SB1062 bill was passed last week by the state’s Legislature. It allows businesses to discriminate against LGBT customers based on religious beliefs.
Apple has long been a supporter of LGBT rights and has been ranked among the top gay-friendly companies. It also has a vested interest in Arizona, as it is opening a sapphire glass plant in Mesa that is expected to bring upwards of 2,000 new jobs to the state.
After Apple announced the plant last year, Governor Brewer said, “Apple is indisputably one of the world’s most innovative companies and I’m thrilled to welcome them to Arizona. Apple will have an incredibly positive economic impact for Arizona and its decision to locate here speaks volumes about the friendly, pro-business climate we have been creating these past four years.”
So far, though, it seems as if the bill is only driving business away. Apple is just one of many big companies and organizations against it — AT&T, Verizon and Intel have all confirmed public appeals against the bill to Governor Brewer as well. Brewer is expected to veto the bill, but must reach a decision by the end of the Saturday or it will become a law.
Update: Governor Brewer vetoed the bill on Thursday. She said it “has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve.”