Breaking: Georgia Governor Speaks Out against License to Discriminate LegislationMarch 3, 2016 • 2:05 pm
Gov. Deal says HB 757 “is not on my agenda” for remainder of legislative session
WASHINGTON – Georgia Republican Governor Nathan Deal criticized the current version of HB 757 this morning, saying he would reject any bill which “allows discrimination in our state in order to protect people of faith.” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) broke the governor’s comments this morning. According to the AJC, Governor Deal went on to say that the License to Discriminate legislation wasn’t on his agenda for this legislative term, which ends March 24.
“It’s encouraging to see Governor Deal speak out against this discriminatory legislation. His comments send a message to lawmakers that Georgia doesn’t need a divisive bill that does nothing to advance religious freedom, but does allow for discrimination against LGBT people and that does hurt the state’s economy,” said Matt McTighe, Freedom for All Americans executive director. “Rather than spending time on harmful bills like this, lawmakers should be discussing policies that protect all Georgians and strengthen the state’s pro-business environment.”
Governor Deal, himself a Southern Baptist, then cited a reading from the Gospel of John in explaining his opposition to the bill’s current form: “We are not jeopardized, in my opinion, by those who believe differently from us. We are not, in my opinion, put in jeopardy by virtue of those who might hold different beliefs or who may not even agree with what our Supreme Court said the law of the land is on the issue of same-sex marriage. I do not feel threatened by the fact that people who might choose same-sex marriages pursue that route.”
Deal’s remarks come one day after the Georgia Unites against Discrimination coalition delivered more than 75,000 letters to his office from Georgians opposed to HB 757. This isn’t the first time the Governor has expressed concerns about the License to Discriminate legislation, though his remarks today are his most forceful to date. In the days immediately following the bill’s Senate passage, he noted that the legislation was far from final and indicated he expected to see changes made.
Freedom for All Americans is proud to work with our national and local partners through the Georgia Unites Against Discrimination coalition. FFAA will continue working through the coalition to defeat the License to Discriminate and other anti-LGBT bills, and advance support for comprehensive nondiscrimination protections that extend to all Georgians.
Freedom for All Americans is the bipartisan campaign to secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people nationwide. Our work brings together Republicans and Democrats, businesses large and small, people of faith, and allies from all walks of life to make the case for comprehensive nondiscrimination protections that ensure everyone is treated fairly and equally.