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Could Arizona's 'religious rights' law cost the state the Super Bowl?

Jay Busbee
Shutdown Corner
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 03: The New York Giants wait during a time out during Super Bowl XLII against the New England Patriots on February 3, 2008 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
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Super Bowl XLII in 2008 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona.

 A controversial religious-rights bill awaiting the signature of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has drawn opposition on both social and economic grounds. There's now even concern that if Brewer signs the bill, Arizona could lose the 2015 Super Bowl.

SB 1062 would protect from lawsuits any Arizona businesses that refuse service to gays and others on religious grounds.

Arizona's Super Bowl Host Committee opposes the bill on the basis that it would create a business-unfriendly climate in the state. "On that matter we have heard loud and clear from our various stakeholders that adoption of this legislation would not only run contrary to that goal but deal a significant blow to the state's economic growth potential," the committee said in a statement. "We do not support this legislation,"

Meanwhile, the NFL is keeping a close eye on the Arizona goings-on: "Our policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or any other improper standard," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told USA Today. "We are following the issue in Arizona and will continue to do so should the bill be signed into law, but will decline further comment at this time."

There's precedent here, and it's even in Arizona. The NFL moved the 1993 Super Bowl to Pasadena after Arizona voters refused to honor Martin Luther King's birthday as a holiday in a 1990 vote. When the state re-voted and approved the measure in 1992, the NFL awarded it the 1996 Super Bowl.

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Jay Busbee is a contributor for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter.

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