If the Governor of the US state of Georgia, Nathan Deal, above, signs into law a ‘discriminatory’ Bill, the state could see a raft of big corporations taking their business elsewhere.
The Free Exercise Protection Act AKA House Bill 757 House Bill 757, passed last week by Georgia’s legislature, allows faith-based organisations to not hire or provide services to those who:
Violate such faith-based organisation’s sincerely held religious belief.
Deadline Hollywood reports that a Disney spokesman had warned that:
Disney and Marvel are inclusive companies, and although we have had great experiences filming in Georgia, we will plan to take our business elsewhere should any legislation allowing discriminatory practices be signed into state law.
And an NFL spokesperson cautioned late last week that it may boycott the state if local laws do not meet league polices that:
Emphasise tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard.
The city of Atlanta hopes to land a Super Bowl in the near future when its new stadium for the Atlanta Falcons opens in 2017.
Disney is the first Hollywood studio to tell the Peach State it will boycott that state if Governor Deal signs the bill now on his desk. Right now, Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 is filming at Pinewood Studios just outside Atlanta.
The Governor’s office did not respond to request for comment on Disney’s statement today but Deal has until May 3 to sign or not sign the Free Exercise Protection Act.
AMC Networks is another company that has slammed the Bill. A spokesman for AMC said on Wedneday:
As a company, AMC Networks believes that discrimination of any kind is reprehensible. We applaud Governor Deal’s leadership in resisting a previous version of this divisive legislation and urge him to reject the current version as well.
Part of the Bill says that:
Religious officials shall not be required to perform marriage ceremonies in violation of their legal right to free exercise of religion.
Deal, a Republican who was re-elected in 2014, has indicated he will review the bill in April and told the Atlanta-Journal Constitution he had a tough decision to make.