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Updated Feb 28, 2014 - 7:23 pm

Opposition to SB 1062 begins pushing back

Beto Soto, field director of Citizens for a Better Arizona, reads aloud a petition calling for state Sens. Steve Yarbrough and Al Melvin to never again work with the lobby organization that backed SB 1062. (KTAR photo/Mark Remillard)

PHOENIX -- As much of the opposition to SB 1062 considers the bill's veto by Gov. Jan Brewer on Wednesday a major victory, some are now going on the offensive.

A group of more than a dozen people came to the state capitol Thursday armed with a petition, calling for two of the bill's strongest supporters to vow to never work again with the Center for Arizona Policy, which lobbied for the legislation, and its president, Cathi Herrod.

"They could move forward. They could be held accountable to taxpayers and not to the Center for Arizona Policy, and not to Cathi Herrod," said Beto Soto, field director of Citizens for a Better Arizona, which opposed SB 1062.

The petitions were brought to the offices of Sens. Steve Yarbrough and Al Melvin, who supported the legislation and helped introduce it. Both senators were not present as the time.

Soto said he believes Yarbrough and Melvin have been under the influence of CAP for too long.

"We've identified them as being very, very much tied up to the puppeteer strings of Herrod," Soto said. "If you follow (SB) 1062, they lead right to (Herrod's) office."

Soto said they presented the petition to the senators as a chance for reparation for their support of the pro-religious rights bill.

SB 1062 attempted to allow businesses to be legally immune from lawsuits if they refused service on the basis of a sincerely held religious belief, which raised concerns over whether the law could be used to target members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

About the Author

A southern California native, Mark Remillard began working in radio in 2010 while in community college as a host of late night and weekend programming for publicly supported 88.5 FM KSBR. While working through college, Mark also interned for the Bill Handel Radio Program at Los Angeles' KFI AM640, where he began his work in journalism. Mark moved to Arizona in August 2012 to finish his bachelor's degree at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and graduated in August 2014. Mark began working as a reporter for KTAR in November 2012.


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