Georgia’s LGBT+ community is celebrating after Governor Nathan Deal announced his intention to veto the ‘religious freedom’ bill that came under fire from LGBT activists for being anti-gay and broadly discriminatory. This follows threats of a statewide boycott by prominent entertainment companies like Disney and the NFL.
In a statement to the press, Governor Deal said he had “examined the protections that this bill proposes to provide to the faith based community and I can find no examples of any of those circumstances occurring in our state.”
He also added:
“I do not think that we have to discriminate against anyone to protect the faith-based community in Georgia.”
The ‘religious freedom’ bill approved by the Georgia State House of Representatives was no more than thinly-veiled religious discrimination. It would have offered “protection” for clergy uncomfortable with officiating gay marriages, as well as “protection” for churches and religious groups in allowing them to choose who they serve or hire based on their religion (or lack thereof) or sexual orientation.
Deal’s full statement can be read below:
“Our actions on House Bill 757, are not just about protecting the faith-based community, or providing business friendly job growth for Georgia. I believe it is about the character of our state and the character of our people. Georgia is a welcoming state; it is full of loving, kind and generous people. And that is what we should want. They choose to worship God in the way they see fit, in a myriad of ways, in a variety of different settings. I believe that is our best side. And our people, every day, work side by side without regard to the color of [anyone’s] skin, or the religion that their coworker might adhere to. They are simply trying to make life better for themselves, their families, and their communities. That is the character of Georgia. I intend to do my part to keep it that way. For that reason, I will veto House Bill 757.”
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