Mayoral candidate and incumbent D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) is calling on the National Football League to move the 2015 Super Bowl from Arizona following the passage of a bill that would allow businesses to deny service to gay and lesbian customers by citing religious beliefs.
In a press release sent out by his campaign Monday evening, Evans asked the NFL to move the Super Bowl if Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) signs the bill into law. Brewer has not stated where she stands on the legislation, but is expected to make a decision this week.
''It is unconscionable to think that America's largest and most celebrated sporting event could be held in a state that discriminates as a matter of law,'' Evans said in a statement. ''Stadiums bring together thousands of people of diverse backgrounds by hosting events like the Super Bowl and are designed to boost local businesses and create jobs. Arizona doesn't deserve that benefit if its leaders single out the LGBT community and their supporters by declaring they are not welcome. Furthermore, the law is cruel and because of it, they should not be awarded with any special events, conventions or business recruitment opportunities.''
The business community has largely opposed the bill, with the CEOs of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, as well as corporate giants Apple and American Airlines, asking Brewer to veto the bill. The measure is also opposed by both Arizona's U.S. senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, both Republicans; U.S. Reps. Raul Grijalva, Kyrsten Sinema, Ann Kirkpatrick and Ron Barber, all Democrats; various mayors throughout the state; and several leading Republican candidates running for governor.
In addition, three state senators who voted for the bill now oppose it, announcing on Monday that they had sent Brewer a letter asking her to veto the measure.