Arizona’s SB1178 seeks to avoid the situation in New Mexico where a Christian photographer was sued, and lost, because they refused to photograph a homosexual wedding. In short, SB1178 sought to make sure Christians could practice their faith not just on Sunday morning, but in the marketplace as well.
Although the bill passed both the house and the senate, Governor Janice Brewer vetoed the bill. She did not make any specific objections to the bill itself, but rather stated that she was making good on her threat to veto any bill that came to her before health care and the budget are resolved. Brewer has gone against the wishes of her party by supporting the expansion of Medicaid. Senator Ward calls this position short sighted. The expansion of Medicaid would make the state eligible for federal funding for 90% of the expansion costs, the other 10% would be captured from taxing hospitals. Senator Ward explains that the federal dollars may never come and are only promised for a limited number of years. She believes if Arizona is thinking long term, they will not increase spending in this area.
The casualty of this feud is SB1178. The protections people of faith in Arizona deserve are at risk because of this political stand off.