Fla. Republican Gov: I’d Veto Arizona’s Anti-Gay Bill
With Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona's decision to veto a controversial bill Wednesday that would allow business owners to refuse service to gays, a number of other Republicans jumped on the bandwagon to say that they would have taken the same stance. Among them was Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott.
The Bradenton Herald reports hours after Scott repeatedly dodged the question on national TV, he released a statement saying that he would not support this Arizona-style anti-gay legislation in his state.
"I don't want to tell Gov. Brewer what to do, she can do what's best for her state. From my understanding of that bill, I would veto it in Florida because it seems unnecessary," Scott said. "In Florida, we are focused on economic growth, and not on things that divide us. We are for freedom here in Florida. And we want everyone to come here, create jobs, and live in freedom, and that includes religious liberty."
But Scott's Democratic opponent, former Gov. Charlie Crist, took Scott's delay as an opportunity to blast him, saying that, "being against discrimination is not that kind of issue that requires much thought," but ultimately crediting him with coming around to "the right position."
Other Republicans who came around to a similar decision quicker than Scott include Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Jeff Flake and Arizona Sen. John McCain.
Following Brewer's decision, several other states pulled similar versions of the same bill. AmericaBlog reports that Ohio legislators trashed their legislation, while Mississippi lawmakers stripped out the Arizona-like parts of their pending "religious freedom" legislation.
"I am very much opposed to forcing anyone to violate their conscience or their religious beliefs, and of course, I'm very much opposed to discrimination," Scott told the Herald. "As a society, we need to spend more time learning to love and tolerate each other, and less time trying to win arguments in courts of law. Other states can spend their time fighting over issues like this, but in Florida we are laser focused on creating jobs and opportunities. It's working, and we need to keep it going and will not get distracted by this or anything else."