Anti-gay bill

Apple to Arizona: Anti-gay bill puts Mesa sapphire plant at risk

February 25, 2014: 8:37 AM ET

Could Apple do business in a state that sanctions discrimination against gays?

Gov. Brewer

Gov. Brewer

FORTUNE -- Apple (AAPL) has confirmed that it urged Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer over the weekend to veto a bill that would allow business owners with strongly held religious beliefs to deny service to gays and lesbians.

Since the Arizona statehouse passed the measure last Thursday, Gov. Brewer has faced growing pressure to kill the bill that opponents characterize as "state-sanctioned discrimination."

Three state senators who voted for the bill are now asking her to veto it. So are Arizona's two U.S. Senators: John McCain and Jeff Flake, both Republicans. American Airlines (AAL) and Marriott (MAR) have warned that an anti-gay law could be bad for business.

We don't know who at Apple phoned the Governor (it was not Tim Cook), or what exactly was said. But it was only last November that Cook announced that Apple was building a sapphire glass plant in Mesa, AZ, that would bring 2,000 new jobs to the state.

"Apple is indisputably one of the world's most innovative companies and I'm thrilled to welcome them to Arizona," Gov. Brewer said at the time. "Apple will have an incredibly positive economic impact for Arizona and its decision to locate here speaks volumes about the friendly, pro-business climate we have been creating these past four years."

It sounds like Tim Cook may be having second thoughts about how "friendly" and "pro-business" that climate really is.

UPDATE 1: Readers in the comment stream point out that in addition to a partially built factory, Apple has five stores in the state.

UPDATE 2: Gov. Brewer vetoed the bill on Wednesday.

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