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Colorado Once Faced Same Problems As Arizona Over Perceived Anti-Gay Bill

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DENVER (CBS4) – The governor of Arizona announced that she vetoed a controversial bill that would have pitted religious rights against gay rights. Colorado faced boycotts when it waded into the gay rights issue in the early 1990s.

Gov. Jan Brewer held private meetings on Wednesday with people on both sides of the measure that passed the state Legislature. She held a news conference Wednesday evening to announce she will veto the bill.

The bill would have made it easier for businesses to deny service to gays and lesbians over religious beliefs.

In the early 1990s voters in Colorado passed a constitutional amendment to block laws designed to prevent discrimination against gays. Colorado took a lot of heat when that passed.

Colorado voters approved the measure that was perceived as anti-gay, but the courts — up to the U.S. Supreme Court — overturned it.

In Arizona the bill was designed to allow businesses to refuse service to gays based on their religious beliefs. In Colorado it was called Amendment 2.

At the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center in Denver, they see both as the same — discrimination.

“There were boycotts against the state, there was public outcry really across the nation against Colorado because of that,” Rex Fuller at the LGBT Community Center said.

Arizona faced the potential loss of the Super Bowl next year. It’s also vying with Denver, among other cities, to host the next Republican National Convention.

In Colorado, Masterpiece Bakery in Lakewood turned down a request to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. A court finally ordered it to do so.

“If only we have this bill in Colorado, I think it would have protected my client, Jack Phillips, and others like him,” Masterpiece Bakery attorney Nicolle Martin said.

That cake has yet to be made. A decision is still awaited from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission on whether to uphold the judge’s order.

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