Arizona’s Super Bowl panel urges veto of anti-gay bill


PHOENIX — The Arizona state Super Bowl committee on Tuesday joined opponents of a state bill that has prompted a national debate over religious and gay rights.

The Arizona Legislature passed a bill last week allowing businesses whose owners cite sincerely held religious beliefs to deny service to gays. It allows any business, church or person to cite the law as a defense in any action brought by the government or individual claiming discrimination.

The legislation has caused a national uproar. The chorus of opposition has grown each day, with the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee saying the bill would create a negative climate for business.

The panel joins the business community and both Arizona Republican U.S. senators calling for a veto from Republican Gov. Jan Brewer. Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has urged Brewer to veto the bill.

The 2015 Super Bowl is scheduled to be held in Glendale’s University of Phoenix Stadium.

This isn’t the first time the NFL has flexed its muscles against Arizona politics.

The 1993 Super Bowl was moved to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., after Arizona voters failed to approve a paid state holiday to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in November 1990.

After a 1992 vote in favor of a King holiday, the 1996 Super Bowl was played in Tempe’s Sun Devil Stadium.