Openly Gay Former Arizona Lawmaker Applauds SB 1062 Veto

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February 27, 2014 9:33 a.m.

A former Arizona Republican lawmaker who was the second openly gay person to serve in Congress applauded Gov. Jan Brewer’s (R) decision to veto the state’s proposed anti-gay discrimination bill.

“I felt all along that when she weighed all the issues that she would do exactly what she did,” former Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) said Thursday on MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown.” “She’s right. It’s not necessary. It harms the reputation of the state of Arizona, and it would be economically very damaging to the state. It’s not the right thing to do.”

Kolbe told host Chuck Todd that he doesn’t believe the situation in Arizona alone will sway congressional Republicans to change their stance on gay issues, saying it was one step further in an evolution on the issue for the country as a whole.

But when asked if he thinks Republican lawmakers who have anti-gay views make it more difficult for the GOP to expand its base, Kolbe said it was a missed opportunity.

“Yeah, I think it does do that, it just make it more difficult for us to expand that majority,” he said. “I’m not all-or-nothing, and I certainly have supported Republicans who have not been for gay marriage, but I think we’re moving in that direction. But there are some who just go beyond the pale in terms of their positions they take on this, and I have not supported them.”

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