Good news: Georgia Governor Nathan Deal vetoes a “religious freedom” bill that would permit all manner of discrimination and abuse in the name of sincerely held religious beliefs.
Governor Deal, a Republican, broke ranks with his conservative Christian colleagues in Georgia to reject the discriminatory and ill conceived House Bill 757. If signed into law, the legislation would have allowed faith-based organizations, including taxpayer-funded groups, to discriminate in hiring, housing and adoption.
Speaking to reporters Monday morning, Deal said he didn’t think the bill was necessary. Deal said:
I do not think we have to discriminate against anyone to protect the faith based community in Georgia…
Deal said his decision was “about the character of our state and the character of our people” while claiming he was not simply reacting to pressure from prominent members of the business and entertainment community, who had warned Deal that Georgia could lose jobs if he signed the bill into law.
Bottom line: This is good news, and Governor Deal deserves credit for vetoing the mean-spirited and bigoted anti-gay legislation. However, at the same time it is also important to note that Georgia is still among the 28 states with no discrimination protection for LGBT people, which means LGBT people in Georgia can still lose their homes and jobs simply because of who they love.
Watch Governor Deal deliver his remarks below: