Georgia’s Anti-Gay Religious Liberty Bill Passes Senate, Could Pass House

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Equally Wed founders Kirsten and Maria Palladino live in Atlanta, Georgia.

Extreme trouble is brewing in Georgia, where some homophobic lawmakers are intent on passing HB 757, also ridiculously known as the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), which would allow faith-based organizations and individuals to opt out of serving gay couples if they cite a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction regarding marriage. Or, in other words, a backward way to make sure that even though Georgia now has marriage equality, Republicans are trying to make sure gay and lesbian Georgians can still be fully discriminated against in the name of God.

Georgia’s main metropolitan newspaper, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, reports that the bill has already passed the Senate and is on its way to the House. However, Gov. Nathan Deal seems to be actively involved in the bill, and perhaps is trying to kill it because some businesses are sounding off that they won’t stay in Georgia if the hate law passes.

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Georgia has a lot to lose, for sure. The Peach State hosts entertainment companies for filming movies (Due Date, The Hunger Games, Fried Green Tomatoes, Ant-Man, Anchorman and more), and TV shows, such as The Walking Dead and The Vampire Diaries. Millions of dollars could be lost if Georgia allows this hateful bill to pass when the entertainment industry refuses to partake in this state’s ignorance by finding new filming locations.

Headquartered in Georgia are global forces such as CNN and Coca-Cola that lawmakers will hopefully recognize aren’t merely liberal nor Democratic bleeding hearts: They, like the rest of us, are simply interested is fairness, equality and justice for all.

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And Georgia’s home to Equally Wed, a fact that was so interesting to The New York Times that it printed an entire page about who we are and how we came into existence.

Georgia’s full of fear-mongering and homophobes, but it’s also overflowing with loving hearts who believe in equality for everyone. It’s terrifying to witness the group who hates in the name of Christianity wielding its power over everyone else.

When Maria and I were planning our Georgia wedding in 2009, we had quite a few hangups, unreturned phone calls and emails from vendors who didn’t want to work with us for the simple fact that ours was a same-sex wedding. It was heartbreaking enough to bear that discrimination. And now some lawmakers want to ensure that that type of discrimination is A-OK in their book, which, by the way, is absolutely not the Bible. We all know this isn’t what Jesus would do.

Want to help Georgia fight this ridiculous display of hate? Visit georgiaequality.org.

Photo: Entwined Studio

 

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