GO
Loading...

More jump into the fray on Arizona bill debate

The controversy surrounding SB 1062, the Arizona law that would let businesses refuse service to gay and lesbians on the basis of religious freedom, intensified Wednesday.

Marc Benioff, CEO of cloud computing provider Salesforce.com, took to Twitter to express his disapproval.

"If this bill passes we will never do another corporate event in Arizona. Good bye @the_phoenician and @ArizonaBiltmore - my two favorites!" he tweeted, mentioning two hotels in the Phoenix area.

(Read more: Apple calls for veto of Arizona religious freedom bill)

A number of corporations oppose the bill. Business review website Yelp, pet supply chain operatorPetSmart, American Airlines, hotel chain operator Marriott and technology giants Apple and Intel have all gone on record against it.

Gov. Jan Brewer has until Saturday to veto SB 1062 or sign it into law. Using a hashtag to refer to the bill, she tweeted Tuesday, "I assure you, as always, I will do the right thing for the State of Arizona."

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer
Bill Clark | CQ Roll Call | Getty Images
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer

Supporters say the proposal would protect religious freedom, but critics argue that it could allow businesses to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

"The fact that she didn't veto it immediately sends a really strong message to business that discrimination is actually OK or something to even be considered in Arizona," said Todd Sears, founder of Out on the Street/Out Leadership, on "Street Signs."

The delay is just "one more black mark" that could have a significant impact on Arizona's economy, if it hasn't already, he said.

Ilya Shapiro, a legal policy analyst at the Cato Institute, told "Street Signs" on Wednesday that the bill has more to do with upholding constitutional rights.

(Read more: Arizona-based PetSmart calls bill bad for business)

"This is about the freedom of association ... not about state discrimination or state-enforced discrimination," said Shapiro.

The only economic effect will be on businesses that support the LGBT community, he said, and that will be a positive one.

—By CNBC's Drew Sandholm and Ryan Ruggiero with Emily Caruthers. Follow them on Twitter @DrewSandholm, @RyanRuggiero, and @EmilyCaruthers.

Contact Politics

  • CNBC NEWSLETTERS

    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    To learn more about how we use your information,
    please read our Privacy Policy.
    › Learn More