Georgia Governor Nathan Deal Vetos Anti-Gay Bill
On Monday, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal pulled the plug on a religious liberty bill that would allow discrimination against members of the LGBT community.
Hollywood, the NFL, Disney, Coca-Cola, Tyler Perry, and others applied pressure on Deal urging him to veto the bill or they would pull all of their business and jobs out of Georgia.
Governor Deal said he made the decision because House Bill 757 “doesn’t reflect the character of our state or the character of its people.”
He also made it clear that he didn’t appreciate the threats.
Here’s the scoop via Deadline:
“I do not think we have to discriminate against anyone to protect the faith based community in Georgia, “Gov. 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.”
Georgia Gov Nathan Deal March 28Announcing his vet, Gov 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.”
Still, while not naming names, the 2-term Republican also noted that Georgia legislators had come up against not simply Hollywood, the NFL, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola and more, but 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.”
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 allows faith-based organizations to not hire or provide services to those who “violate such faith-based organization’s sincerely held religious belief.”
On March Disney 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.” The House of Mouse were soon followed by the likes of Time Warner, Netflix, CBS, Fox, Sony Pictures, Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners, NBCUniversal, Discovery, Open Road Films, The Weinstein Company, Lionsgate, MGM, AMC, whose blockbuster TV series The Walking Dead is made in Georgia, and Atlanta-based Tyler Perry Studios urging a veto of House Bill 757.
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