Although the bill has passed in Georgia legislature, Governor Nathan Deal has made it clear he will not sign a bill that allows discrimination.
UPDATE: Monday, March 28, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal struck down the bill. At a news conference discussing the veto, “I do not think we have to discriminate against anyone to protect the faith-based community in Georgia, which I and my family have been a part of for generations,” Deal said.
The Religious Liberty Bill, if becomes law, will grant religion-based organizations like churches, associations, religious schools, and so on, the right to reject events or ceremonies that they think goes against their belief.
As of now, the state government can take legal action against organizations or individuals for taking a stand against the LGBT community. However, if the bill is made law, then anybody who is against the gay community can deny them facilities or services, and they will not face legal action. It will give the right to a priest to refuse to perform a same-sex marriage ceremony and employers will be able to fire a gay person for no apparent reason other than the person’s sexuality.
Corporations large and small have been protesting the bill. The latest to join in has been media giant Time Warner, while Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola have been campaigning against it for weeks.
Hollywood is also banding together pledging that they will boycott Georgia if the bill becomes law. Disney, Marvel, Fox, Lionsgate, and Sony have all announced they will halt filming in the state. Major movie studios bring big bucks to the state when they film their blockbusters within state lines. Georgia’s generous tax incentives have drawn movie studios looking to save some dollars. Marvel’s Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War, and a Guardians of the Galaxy sequel were all filmed in Georgia. Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games franchise was filmed in and around Atlanta.
Please Veto the "Religious Freedom" bill, @GovernorDeal. Prove to the rest of the US and to the world that Georgia is not a state of bigots.
— Sgtstumpy (@Sgtstumpy) March 24, 2016
The Legislature of Georgia passed the Religious Liberty Bill last Wednesday. The bill has always been controversial ever since it was introduced two years ago. The bill is the culmination of two years of fighting from both the opponents of the bill and the supporters of the bill. Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, one of the ardent supporters of the bill, said that religious freedom is a vital part of the democracy, and it should be respected, preserved, and protected. He said the Religious Liberty Bill does just that. All the bill now requires is the signature of Nathan Deal, the Governor of Georgia, to become law.
The corporate leaders have always opposed the bill, and they still do. The Metro Atlanta Chamber, in a statement, said that the bill will affect their ability to create and keep jobs. It will have a very negative impact on the families of Georgia. Gay rights advocates said the bill will legalize discrimination in the state. They said the Religious Liberty bill is a slap in their face. Anthony Kreis, a constitutional law expert and a professor at the University of Georgia, said the bill would allow companies or organization to discriminate even against single mothers who are not seen in favor of the Church. In effect, if you are not a religious person or you are not associated with any religion, you can be denied services or other basic rights and the government will not be able to do anything about it.
Governor Nathan Deal said that he will not sign a bill that allows discrimination. he has until May 3 to make a decision.