Hillary Clinton says Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has shown “inclusive leadership” in vetoing a bill that would have legalised homophobic discrimination.

Speaking on Wednesday to thousands of students, lecturers and guests at the University of Miami, the former secretary of state and New York senator said Governor Brewer’s rejection of “discriminatory legislation” recognised that “inclusive leadership is really what the 21st century is all about.”

Mrs Clinton, widely seen as a strong 2016 presidential contender, said America’s future depends on whether it embraces the idea of “full participation.”

“It is the work of this century to complete the unfinished business of making sure that every girl and boy, that every woman and man, lives in societies that respect their rights no matter who they are, respects their potential and their talents, gives them the opportunities that every human being deserves – no matter where you were born, no matter the colour of your skin, no matter your religion, your ethnicity or whom you love,” she said.

Senate Bill 1062 would have prevented the State of Arizona from taking action against individuals and businesses who refuse services to people or groups based on their religious beliefs if such enforcement would “substantially burden” the free exercise of their religion.

Governor Brewer announced last night that she would not be signing the bill.

“Our society is undergoing many dramatic changes,” Governor Brewer said. “However, I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve. It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and nobody could ever want.”

Enough lawmakers have said they’re against the bill to ensure there will be no override of Governor Brewer’s veto.

Various large corporations lobbied Governor Brewer to veto the bill, and some speculated that the threat of Arizona losing its chance to host the 2015 Super Bowl could have influenced her decision.

The Hispanic National Bar Association cancelled its 2015 convention in Phoenix as a result of the proposal.