Another controversial bill making its way through AZ Legislature - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Another controversial bill making its way through AZ Legislature


All the protests and outrage surrounding Senate Bill 1062 has state lawmakers re-evaluating the bills  they support and the ones they don't.

SB 1062 gained national attention last week. The Religious Freedom Bill would have allowed business owners to deny service based on their religious beliefs.

Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed the bill last Wednesday, but now another controversy is brewing at the state Capitol.

House Bill 2481 would allow judges and other public officials to decline to perform same-sex marriages.

Same-sex marriages are currently not legal in Arizona.

Supporters tell CBS 5 News that HB 2481 will simply protect anyone who officiates weddings from having to do something that goes against their religious beliefs.

"I think that issue - SB 1062 - and other issues are going to be here and into the future because they are very real issues," said State House Speaker Pro-Tempore JD Mesnard, R-Chandler. "They are very controversial, very emotional, very personal, but they are issues we nevertheless have to develop public policy for."

However, opponents tell CBS 5 News that it's another example of Republicans focusing on another fringe issue that's out of touch with most Arizonans.

"We're talking about these very ideological bills which have nothing to do with big issues - funding schools, CPS, and getting people back to work," said State House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix. "We don't have right priorities as a body down here."

HB 2481 is expected to be voted on by the full House either this week, or next.

Republicans may be more hesitant to approve HB 2481 in light of the public outcry over SB 1062, according to some political experts.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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