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Brewer Expected to Veto Anti-Gay Bill Wednesday

<p>Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer will likely veto a controversial anti-gay bill on Wednesday evening, according to a source close to the governor.</p>
Image: Tom Cushing
Tom Cushing, a production expert at Fast Signs, cuts down a sheet of anti-Senate Bill 1062 signs that read "Open For Business To Everyone", Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 in Phoenix. Matt York / AP

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer will likely veto a controversial anti-gay bill on Wednesday evening, according to a source close to the governor.

Brewer will hold a press conference at the state capitol at 7:45 p.m. ET.

NBC News reported on Tuesday that the governor was likely to strike down the legislation, which would allow businesses to refuse service to gay and lesbians due to religious beliefs.

Earlier Wednesday, Brewer met with three state senators who voted for SB 1062 last week, but later changed their positions. They urged Brewer to veto the bill in the wake of criticism from businesses and state economic groups.

In a letter to the governor, the lawmakers said mischaracterizations of the bill are “causing our state immeasurable harm.”

The Hispanic National Bar Association announced on Wednesday that it would no longer hold its convention in 2015 in Phoenix because of the legislature’s passage of the bill.

“Laws that return us to a darker time in the nation’s history simply cannot be tolerated," said the group’s president Miguel Alexander Pozo in a press release.

The state legislature passed the measure last week. Brewer was in Washington, D.C., for the National Governors Association meeting and did not return to Phoenix until Tuesday. She pledged to meet with people on both sides of the issue on Wednesday.

The law would trump local ordinances that offer protections for LGBT individuals in places like Phoenix, Flagstaff and Tucson.

U.S. Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake, both Republicans, have also urged the governor to veto the bill. The state’s leading GOP candidates for governor in 2014 have done the same.

Sports Illustrated reported Wednesday afternoon that the Super Bowl is reportedly looking at options for relocating next year’s Super Bowl in Glendale if the bill is signed into law.

Companies from across the country, however, have increased the attention placed on the governor, urging her to veto the measure.

Apple, which just recently announced plans to build a new manufacturing plant in the state, was joined by Major League Baseball, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Delta Airlines, Marriott Hotels, Intel, PetSmart, Yelp and others in announcing their opposition to the bill.