Test of character

Georgia Gov. to veto anti-LGBT “religious freedom” bill

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal. (KENT D. JOHNSON/The New York Times)

Nathan Deal, the Republican Governor of Georgia, announced on Monday that he would veto a proposed religious freedom bill which would discriminate against LGBT people, under increasing pressure from the public and major Georgia corporations, including Coca-Cola, Delta and Home Depot. The proposal would allow any person or corporation in the state to refuse to do business with people whose marriage they believe violates their religious beliefs, as well as do away with already existing anti-discrimination protections in local governments. “I do not think that we have to discriminate against anyone to protect the faith-based community in Georgia,” the Governor said on Monday, adding: “I have 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.”

The bill had been passed in Georgia state legislature in February, but Deal had not made his decision on whether he would sign the bill until now. Along with pressure from local businesses, civil right groups and the public, Disney had also threatened to boycott the state and the NFL announced it could affect their chances of hosting the 2019 Super Bowl. Deal said his eventual decision to reject the bill was about “about the character of our state and the character of our people”, adding that Georgia is a “welcoming state” full of “loving, kind and generous people.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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