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"It's time to move Arizona forward and make sure that something like Senate Bill 1062 never happens again," Senate Minority Leader Anna Tovar said. "It's time to show the nation and the world what Arizona is truly about."
The Center for Arizona Policy helped write the bill and argued it was needed to protect against increasingly activist federal courts and simply clarifies existing state law.
"It is truly a disappointing day in our state and nation when lies and personal attacks can over shadow the truth," said Cathi Herrod, the leader of the group.
Similar religious-protection legislation has been introduced in Ohio, Mississippi, Idaho, South Dakota, Tennessee and Oklahoma, but Arizona's plan is the only one that has been passed by a state Legislature. The legislation was withdrawn in Ohio on Wednesday, and similar bills are stalled in Idaho and Kansas.
The push in Arizona comes as an increasing number of conservative states grapple with ways to counter the growing legality of gay marriage. Arizona has a ban on gay marriage.
Federal judges have recently struck down those bans in Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia, but those decisions are under appeal.
On Wednesday, a federal judge declared Texas' ban on gay marriage unconstitutional, but he left it in place until an appeals court can rule on the case.