The Republican governor of Georgia is set to veto a bill intended to protect religious freedom, apparently cowing to activists and business who threatened to effectively boycott the state if the bill passed.
Under increasing pressure from major corporations that do business in Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal announced Monday he will veto a bill that critics say would have curtailed the rights of Georgia’s LGBT community.
The bill — House Bill 757 — would have given faith-based organizations in Georgia the option to deny services to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Supporters said the measure was meant to protect religious freedom, while opponents have described it as “anti-LGBT” and “appalling.”
The measure was met by outcries from major players in the business, tech and entertainment industries.
The CEO of Salesforce said the company “can’t have a program in Georgia” if Deal signs it into law. Disney said it would stop filming in the state and Unilever said it would “reconsider investment” if it was signed.
The NFL said the bill could cost Atlanta the opportunity to host the Super Bowl.
More than a dozen states have approved similar laws in the past year.
Gov. Deal’s veto is a dangerous precedent for the First Amendment, as Col. West wrote previously:
So what gives? What is so damning about this Georgia bill HB 757? Well, after the SCOTUS decision it’s just seeking to provide protection for those who possess religious beliefs in opposition to the LGBT lifestyle. In other words, the bill seeks to protect that silly First Amendment individual right to freedom of religion, and the free exercise thereof.
Y’all know about the horrendous persecution of the bakers in Oregon, florist in Seattle, and the portrait studio owner in New Mexico? In the case in Oregon, the state has actually imposed fines against the couple and they’ve basically been driven out of business.
Seems to me, we’ve got the same problem the Pilgrims had, causing them to flee the persecution of the infamous Church of England where the head of Church was also the head of State.
What’s happening here in America isn’t about anti-gay, but rather the redefinition of freedom of religion. In each of the cases mentioned, no one was refused service because of their sexual orientation. Those business owners, because of their religious beliefs, do not consent to providing their service for a specific event that went against their conscience — and that is their freedom. It’s just like the Obama administration going after the Little Sisters of the Poor — again, the state persecuting a group because of their religious convictions and beliefs. In that case, these dear nuns are being told they must provide contraception — which is contrary to their faith.
Ladies and gents, the state, i.e. government, is now defining not freedom of religion, but where you can HAVE your freedom of faith and conscience.
Well worth reading Col. West’s entire piece on this topic here, to go beyond the emotional sound-bite rhetoric.
It’s a slippery slope, folks.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]