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Scorched Earth: How the opposition to SB1062 caught fire

SB1062 protesters gather at the Arizona Capitol. (Photo by Ryan Cook/RJ Cook Photography)

Anyone who thought rushing SB1062 through the Legislature would leave opponents little time to organize was sorely mistaken. Less than 24 hours after the Arizona House of Representatives approved the bill, massive protests sprang up at the Capitol, business organizations lobbied Gov. Jan Brewer for a veto, and Arizona took center stage in a national media frenzy. By the time Brewer struck down SB1062, a veto was considered a near certainty.

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ASU law prof: SB1062 ‘means almost nothing’

Opponents of Arizona's recently passed "religious freedom" bill SB1062 rally in front of the capitol Feb. 24 (Photo by Ryan Cook/RJ Cook Photography)

The hype and rhetoric on both sides of SB1062 now awaiting action by Gov. Jan Brewer may disguise the fact that the measure does far less than some have suggested. First, despite a key example cited by proponents, the legislation affects neither the rights of gays nor the rights of businesses to refuse service to gays.

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Reality versus rhetoric in the SB1062 debate


Though the word “gay” appears nowhere in the innocuous-looking two-page bill that has placed Arizona in the national spotlight, opponents call SB1062, which is awaiting Gov. Jan Brewer’s action, an outright attack on gay rights of a monumental level.

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