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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

February 26, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Alaska Airlines CEO urges Ariz. gov to veto bill aimed at gays

Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden sent a strongly worded letter Wednesday to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer urging her to veto Senate Bill 1062, which would permit businesses to refuse service to customers on religious grounds.

Opponents of the measure say it’s intended to allow discrimination against gays.

“This divisive law implies that all are not welcome, that diversity is not tolerated, and that a healthy business climate is an acceptable sacrifice to special interests,” Tilden wrote.

Tilden’s letter made an economic argument based on the tourism industry that Alaska Air participates in. The airline has 228 employees based in Arizona and operates 20 peak-season daily flights to Tucson and Phoenix from Seattle, Portland,  and Anchorage.

The proposed law “regardless of its intent, will have a chilling effect on travel to Arizona and negatively impact the state’s economy in other ways,” Tilden wrote, asking Brewer to “exercise your veto power prudently.”

Previously, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Delta had similarly called on Brewer to veto the measure.

Brewer must sign or veto the bill by Saturday.

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