Gov. Rick Scott says he’d veto controversial AZ bill: ‘We are for freedom here in Florida’

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In a statement that said Florida is “focused on economic growth, and not on things that divide us,” Gov. Rick Scott announced Wednesday that he’d veto Arizona’s controversial religious freedom bill, if given the chance.

The announcement came an hour or so before Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer did just that; vetoing the so-called “anti-gay” bill that “would have allowed people with sincerely held religious beliefs to refuse to serve gays,” according to The Associated Press.

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The statement released by Scott’s office followed an appearance earlier in the day on MSNBC, where Scott was asked by host Chuck Todd where he stood on the Arizona bill.

“Chuck, I’ve not seen that bill,” the Florida governor responded.

The statement released Wednesday, according to the Tampa Tribune:

“I don’t want to tell Governor Brewer what to do, she can do what’s best for her state. From my understanding of that bill, I would veto it in Florida because it seems unnecessary.

“In Florida we are focused on economic growth, and not on things that divide us. We are for freedom here in Florida.  And we want everyone to come here, create jobs, and live in freedom, and that includes religious liberty.

“I am very much opposed to forcing anyone to violate their conscience or their religious beliefs, and of course, I’m very much opposed to discrimination. As a society, we need to spend more time learning to love and tolerate each other, and less time trying to win arguments in courts of law. Other states can spend their time fighting over issues like this, but in Florida we are laser focused on creating jobs and opportunities. It’s working, and we need to keep it going and will not get distracted by this or anything else.”

Tom Tillison


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