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Updated Feb 26, 2014 - 9:39 pm

Center for Arizona Policy President: Veto marks 'tragic day'

PHOENIX -- Gov. Jan Brewer listened to the entreaties of thousands of Arizona residents when she announced her veto of SB 1062 on Wednesday.

The Center for Arizona Policy is also speaking out, but against the governor. The center and its president, Cathi Herrod, were largely responsible for backing the bill.

Herrod released a statement via press release Wednesday afternoon, saying:

"Today's veto of SB 1062 marks a sad day for Arizonans who cherish and understand religious liberty. SB 1062 passed the legislature for one reason only: To guarantee that all Arizonans would be free to live and work according to their faith. Opponents were desperate to distort this bill rather than debate the merits. Essentially, they succeeded in getting a veto of a bill that does not even exist.

When the force of government compels one to speak or act contrary to their conscience, the government injures not only the dignity of the afflicted, but the dignity of our society as a whole.

SB 1062 made certain that governmental laws cannot force people to violate their faith unless it has a compelling governmental interest-a balancing of interests that has been in federal law since 1993. The religious beliefs of all Arizonans must be respected and this bill did nothing more than affirm that. It is truly a tragic day in our state and nation when lies and personal attacks can overshadow the truth."

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