Arizona state Sen. Steve Pierce (R) was one of the lawmakers who voted to pass SB 1062, a controversial bill that would allow businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples. He is now saying he made a mistake in supporting the legislation and wants the governor to veto it.
"I screwed up," he told Capitol Media Services Sunday. "I'm trying to make it right."
On Saturday, Pierce also said he didn't like the image and attention Arizona was getting because of the bill.
"I don't like the negative picture of Arizona, and I'm on board asking the governor to veto the bill," Pierce told the Daily Courier.
He added, however, that he didn't like calling the bill "anti-gay."
"To say [the bill is] anti-gay is following the feeding frenzy," Pierce said. "I have friends that are gay and I wouldn't do anything to hurt them. This is blown way out of proportion and it's too bad."
The Arizona state Senate voted along party lines last Wednesday to approve SB 1062. The state House followed up two days later. Supporters say the legislation simply protects the "religious freedom" of individuals, groups and businesses, but it would also allow these entities to refuse service to same-sex couples.
It is now up to Gov. Jan Brewer (R) to sign or veto it. She has not yet indicated what she plans to do.
"You know, the bill is in transmittal and I don’t have to make a decision until next Friday so I’ve got plenty of time," she said Sunday at the National Governor’s Association meeting.
The business community has come out strongly against the bill, with the tourism industry especially worried about the effects it could have on the state ahead of the Super Bowl, which is set to be held in Glendale, Ariz., in 2015.
In recent weeks, multiple states have been pushing these anti-gay bills, although they have not advanced as far as in Arizona.