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Published On: Mon, Mar 28th, 2016

Georgia Gov Nathan Deal says he’ll veto religious liberty bill

Disney joined the NFL and others to urge the Georgia governor to veto bill that would protect businesses from non-participating in LGBT activities, such as a gay wedding. Gov. Nathan Deal says the religious liberty bill will not become law.

“I do not think we have to discriminate against anyone to protect the faith based community in Georgia,” Deal said Monday. “Georgia is a welcoming state.” With the veto coming weeks before the May 3 deadline, Deal added that House Bill 757 “doesn’t reflect the character of our state or the character of its people.”

Announcing his veto, Deal also noted the outcry against the bill and the economic implications it could have had for the Peach State.”Some within the business community who oppose this bill have resorted to threats of withdrawing jobs from our state.” he said Monday morning. “I do not respond well to insults or threats. The people of Georgia deserve a leader who will made sound judgments based on solid reasons that are not inflamed by emotion.”

The two-term Republican also noted that Georgia legislators had come up against not simply Hollywood, the NFL, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola and others but also the Founding Fathers. “Their efforts to purge this bill of any possibility that it would allow or encourage discrimination illustrates how difficult it is to legislate something that is best left to the broad protections of the First Amendment.”

Said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, the group behind the effort to pressure for the
veto.  “Our message to Governor Nathan Deal was loud and clear: This deplorable legislation was bad for his constituents, bad for business, and bad for Georgia’s future. Today, Governor Deal heard the voices of Georgians, civil rights organizations, as well as the many leaders in the entertainment industry and private sector who condemned this attack on the fundamental rights of LGBT people, and he has set an example for other elected officials to follow. Discrimination and intolerance have no place in the United States of America, and we hope North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and the North Carolina General Assembly are paying close attention to what has transpired in Georgia.”

Passed in mid-March, the bill would have permitted “that religious officials shall not be required to perform marriage ceremonies in violation of their legal right to free exercise of religion” and allow faith-based organizations to not hire or provide services to those who “violate such faith-based organization’s sincerely held religious belief.”

Disney last week came out strongly against the bill and asserted that it would “take our business elsewhere should any legislation allowing discriminatory practices be signed into state law.”

 photo  Julyo based on work by Gilbert Baker, 1979 via wikimedia commons

photo Julyo based on work by Gilbert Baker, 1979 via wikimedia commons

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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