Herrod says, "they (the attacks on SB 1062) represent precisely why so many people are sick of the modern political debate. Instead of having an honest discussion about the true meaning of religious liberty, opponents of the bill have hijacked this discussion through lies, personal attacks, and irresponsible reporting."
Herrod says SB 1062, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, actually strengthens protections in Arizona law to defend against religious discrimination.
But opponents say it's nothing more than hateful bill that will allow people and businesses to discriminate against homosexuals, and others, that don't share their religious beliefs.
"The far right of the conservative movement has been using our state as a petri dish for their anti-immigrant, anti-worker, anti-environment, anti-women, anti-education, anti-gun safety agenda for years now, and it needs to stop," Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) told The Huffington Post. "Arizonans did not ask for this bill or any other form of state-sanctioned discrimination."
The bill is currently sitting on Governor Jan Brewer's desk after the Arizona legislature passed it. Brewer has not yet indicated whether she will sign the legislation, which has garnered opposition from gay rights groups and Arizona businesses.
The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce released a statement that in part reads: "as leaders in the business community, we cannot support measures that could expose our businesses to litigation, nor do we want to send a message that our state is anything but an open and attractive place for visitors and the top talent that will be the cornerstone of our continued economic growth.
While many businesses urge Gov. Brewer to veto the bill, Herrod is urging her to sign it, "our elected leaders have a fundamental duty to protect the religious freedom of every Arizonan, and that's what SB 1062 is all about. Simply put, the fear-mongering from opponents is unrelated to the language of the bill, and proves that hostility towards people of faith is very real. It's a shame we even need a bill like this in America. But growing hostility against freedom in our nation, and the increasing use of government to threaten and punish its own citizens, has made it necessary."