- Associated Press - Friday, February 21, 2014

PHOENIX (AP) - Several Republican candidates for Arizona governor are weighing in on a bill allowing business owners to refuse to serve gays by citing their religious beliefs.

Secretary of State Bennett and Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said Friday they don’t support Senate Bill 1062. Bennett called it unnecessary and divisive and Smith said it has the potential to negatively affect basic rights, including the freedom of religion. Both said it could hurt the state economy.

Attorney Christine Jones says 1062 should be withdrawn to avoid damaging the state’s reputation and economic growth.

State Treasurer Doug Ducey didn’t take a position but says no one should face discrimination for their religious beliefs or any other reason.

Candidates Andrew Thomas and Frank Riggs didn’t send statements.

Sen. Al Melvin voted for the bill.

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