TODAY   |  February 27, 2014

Arizona governor vetoes controversial bill

Jan Brewer vetoed the hot-button bill that would have allowed businesses to turn away gay customers on religious grounds. The governor said the measure threatened to divide her state. NBC’s Mike Taibbi reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> and the governor of arizona said this bill threatened to hurt her state and so she vetoed it.

>> reporter: governor brewer had until saturday to make her opinion. after just one day of soliciting opinions on this controversial issue, she'd heard enough. when governor jan brewer returned to arizona after five days of washington, demonstrations about the so-called religious freedom bill were still going on.

>> we will not stop until this is vetoed.

>> reporter: and she did just that.

>> the bill is broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences.

>> reporter: warning of those negative consequences, corporate and political voices kept piling on, demanding a veto and warning of economic disaster if the bill became law. and after republican stall warwarts designed to abandon it.

>> we made a mistake.

>> the governor vetoed it.

>> our voices have finally been heard.

>> reporter: the bill had some support.

>> this denied me a right as a christian to exercise my conscience --

>> if you have businesses that stand up in our society, they're not going to last long if they discriminate on the basis of same-sex marriage.

>> reporter: but the governor saw problems.

>> it could divide arizona in ways we could never imagine and no one would ever want.

>> reporter: now it's history. even the protesters were distributing preprinted, high-quality posters saying "thank you, governor, arizona is now open for business."