Georgia governor Nathan Deal vetoes ‘religious liberty’ bill
Georgia governor Nathan Deal will veto the “religious liberty” bill passed by the state legislature after it received criticism from gay rights groups and businesses, including the NFL and the Atlanta Falcons, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Deal said that the bill does not reflect the feelings of the state or its people as a whole. It was spearheaded by religious conservatives in the Georgia state government, and would allow business to discriminate against gay people.
The bill was passed in direct opposition to the Supreme Court’s ruling in June that states cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying.
“When the Supreme Court changed the definition of marriage, dynamics changed,” said Georgia Senator Greg Kirk (R) said of the bill, according to The New York Times. “There was a need for a law, for this law, and it took Georgia to lead the way of the country to put this law together.”
Among the major corporations to condemn the bill and threaten to pull investments from the state include Disney, Apple and Time Warner.
The NFL had previously stated that the bill could threaten Atlanta’s ability to host a Super Bowl.
“NFL policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy wrote in a statement. “Whether the laws and regulations of a state and local community are consistent with these policies would be one of many factors NFL owners may use to evaluate potential Super Bowl host sites.”
Major conservatives in the Georgia government have already said they will revive the bill next year.