❝ A coalition of more than 400 companies is openly opposing a Georgia “religious liberty” bill that is rapidly heading toward passage, with at least one major company already leaving the state over the proposal.
The proposed law would allow both individuals and organizations to refuse to conduct business with or otherwise discriminate against anyone whose marriage they find counters their religious beliefs. It also protects individuals from existing nondiscrimination laws in Atlanta and elsewhere.
❝ A similar bill was dismissed last year, but the speed at which this year’s version…is moving has raised serious concerns among state lawmakers, business owners, the faith community and activists.
The bill passed both the House and, in a different form, the Senate this month. The most recent version bars the government from taking “adverse action” against a person or faith-based organization that “believes, speaks, or acts in accordance” with the religious belief that “marriage should only be between a man and a woman”.
❝ Telecom startup 373k announced it would to relocate from Decatur, Georgia, to Nevada immediately after the Georgia senate voted in favor of the measure last week…
❝ Based on the over 500 emails he’s received from members of his district and elsewhere, House Representative Taylor Bennett agrees there’s “overwhelming opposition” to the proposed law.
Just in the last week, roughly 100 businesses have joined a coalition of what is now over 400 companies opposing the religious freedom bill. The group Georgia Prospers, of which Moore is a member, includes a range of businesses – from Fortune 500 companies like Delta, Coca-Cola, and Home Depot to smaller ones across the state – in support of “treating all Georgians and visitors fairly”.
❝ Several have cited fears that Georgia will suffer lost revenue, as in Indiana where public disdain for a similar bill, before it even became law, is said to have cost the state $60m. Atlanta’s chamber of commerce and visitors’ bureau produced separate studies citing a potential loss of $1bn to $2bn if the bill passes without civil rights protections.
The religious community is also represented among the many in opposition to the law. Nearly 300 clergy members in the state spoke out this week against the “overly broad, discriminatory” proposal.
This is part of the same range of defenses erected and attempted early days of the civil rights movement. Hard-core bigots can always rely on their officially religious peers to support any rejection of the rest of the nation moving forward. They get what they deserve when the civil portion of the United States decides to boycott backwards ideology and reactionary behavior.
I would be no more likely to support a business or social endeavor in a state with laws like this than I would have to deal with comparable bodies in apartheid South Africa BITD.
Want to go back to 19th Century bigotry – then you deserve a 19th Century income.