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Updated Mar 5, 2014 - 8:00 am

Religious leaders thank Gov. Jan Brewer for SB 1062 veto

Universalist Church Executive Director Paul Mitchell (left), the Rev. James Pennington and an unidentified woman talk to media. (KTAR Photo/Bob McClay)

PHOENIX -- Religious leaders who opposed Senate Bill 1062 showed up at the Arizona State Capitol Tuesday to thanks Gov. Jan Brewer for vetoing it.

Brewer could not meet with them, but members of the Universalist Church and the United Church of Christ brought a letter to her office to show gratitude for rejecting the bill.

The Rev. James Pennington of the United Church of Christ said that over 200 people signed the letter.

"We're here to thank Jan Brewer for vetoing this," he said. "We've gathered numerous signatures at a higher level from the Unitarian and the United Church of Christ to thank her and just be grateful."

Another church official echoed Pennington's sentiments.

"We really wanted to make it clear that not all folks who are spiritual and religious and from a variety of backgrounds really would want discrimination written in on a religious level," said Paul Mitchell, executive director of the Universalist Church.

The letter also thanked all of the state lawmakers who voted against the bill. The last sentence of the letter reads "May the long nightmare of Arizona as a state that legally sanctions discrimination and oppression finally come to an end."

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About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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