1 of 3 Republicans against SB-1062 explains 'No' vote - FOX Carolina 21

1 of 3 Republicans against SB-1062 explains 'No' vote

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

State Rep. Kate Brophy McGee, R-28, is one of three republicans in the entire Arizona Legislature that voted against Senate Bill 1062.

"As I thought about the bill, and the preemptive nature of the legislation and the hurt that it was causing amongst so many Arizonans, I couldn't go forward with it. I thought it was a bad bill, and so I voted no," McGee explained.

The bill, which is hanging on Gov. Jan Brewer's signature, would protect a business owner from civil litigation for refusing service to a gay person based on that business owner's religious beliefs.

"One of the reasons why this bill came to light was you had a photographer in a different state who was being sued because they would not officiate or take pictures at a gay wedding," explained Rep. Jon Kavanagh, R-23.

CBS 5 News' efforts Saturday to interview those supporting the bill mostly went unanswered, but Kavanagh appeared on national television explaining SB-1062.

"It would only apply where a person had sincerely held religious beliefs, and the burden is substantial," Kavanagh explained.

That wasn't enough to sway McGee to a "yes" vote.

"I think that it is a preemptive effort to solve a problem that does not exist in Arizona. This bill led people to all kinds of conclusions, which whether or not they were true, created the perception that no matter what side of the bill you were on, you were under attack, and no good comes from legislating out of fear," she said.

But the social conservative group the Center for Arizona Policy said SB-1062 is aimed at the attack on religious freedom. In a statement, it's president Cathi Herrold said:

"The fear-mongering from opponents is unrelated to the language of the bill, and proves that hostility towards people of faith is very real. It's a shame we even need a bill like this in America. But growing hostility against freedom in our nation and the increasing use of government to threaten and punish its own citizens has made it necessary."

CBS 5 News was unable to contact the person who initially sponsored SB-1062, Republican Sen. Steve Yarbrough.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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