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Georgia Governor vows to veto any future anti-LGBT ‘religious freedom’ bills

Joseph McCormick April 14, 2016
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Georgia’s Governor Nathan Deal has vowed to veto any future “religious freedom” bills, after killing a bill which reached his desk a few weeks back.

Deal at the end of March blocked HB 757, after spending some time deliberating on the fact that he received threats of business boycotts.

Speaking on Thursday, the Republican said: “I knew it was a divisive issue. Everybody knew that from the beginning.”

He made his comments to the Atlanta Journal – Constitution, saying it “attracted a lot of connotations”.

Deal added that there were “words and language that was in the bill that could lead to the conclusion that it was intended for purposes other than what those who were supporting it said it was intended for.”

Asked his position on the fact that a similar piece of legislation could reach his desk next year, Deal said: “I don’t want to go through the same process all over again.”

Continuing, he said: “I’ve made my position very clear. I tried to write a very thoughtful veto message. It expressed my concerns and it expressed my reasons for vetoing it. And those reasons won’t change in my mind.”

“My job as governor is to do what I think is best in the overall interest of the state of Georgia and its citizens as a whole. And that’s what I did,” Deal told the Journal – Constitution.

Deal was threatened by Disney, Marvel, AMC, Viacom, 21st Century Fox, Netflix, Time Warner, the Weinstein Co, Lionsgate.

The NFL said Atlanta could lose the chance to host the Superbowl if the bill were signed into law.

The Human Rights Campaign said Hollywood should turn its back on the state of Georgia if Deal had signed HB 757 into law.

Speaking at the HRC Gala in Los Angeles, President Chad Griffin addressed a thousand-strong crowd at the event which honoured TV show ‘Empire’ with an Equality Award, and saw singer Estelle perform.

North Carolina passed similar legislation just days before Deal chose to veto his state’s.

Hundreds of business leaders have urged the repeal of North Carolina’s HB2, and multiple celebrities have pulled out of appearances, including Ringo Starr and, Bruce Springsteen.

Springsteen was even accused of using “bully tactics” for cancelling the concert by one of the state’s Representatives.

But dozens of celebrities and hundreds of fans came to the defence of Springsteen, commending him for taking a stand.

Deal said of the North Carolina law: “I see what’s happening in North Carolina. I see what’s happening in Mississippi. And I would hope that many of the ones that are pushing for [such a law] would not want the state of Georgia to go through that kind of scenario.”

Others such as Mumford and Sons and Cyndi Lauper have said they will appear but that they will donate their profits to LGBT rights organisations.

Mississippi also faces similar threats as Bryan Adams and Sharon Stone have pulled out of appearances there.

Related topics: bill, Georgia, nathan deal, religious freedom, US, veto

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