Georgia Governor Nathan Deal Will Veto Anti-LGBT Bill
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal announced today that he is going to veto a “religious liberties” bill that would allow faith-based groups to deny services and employment to LGBT individuals. Gov. Deal’s veto comes after immense pressure from industry: The NFL threatened to pass over Atlanta for future Super Bowls, Disney said it would stop filming in Georgia, and Unilever, Salesforce, and Georgia Prospers — a business group representing Coca-Cola, Home Depot, Delta, UPS, and Marriott — all denounced the bill.
Deal told reporters this morning, “I do not think we have to discriminate against anyone to protect the faith-based community in Georgia, which I and my family have been a part of for generations. Georgia is a welcoming state.”
The Washington Post points out that social conservatives are angry about the veto, pulling this Tweet from Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Committee at the Southern Baptist Convention:
It highlights beautifully one of the inner conflicts that American conservatism is facing, and that, in fact, Russell Moore himself has been noodling on for at least a decade: Do they want free markets with businesses that have unhindered influence and personhood, or do they want the kind of “religious liberty” that means discriminating against people we perceive as immoral? Conservatives have pushed so hard for big business for so long without considering whether or not the free market, serving all of its customers (including the gay ones), would run headfirst into their social values.
The fact that businesses are using their influence to speak out on behalf of LGBT consumers is almost enough to make me support the free market! But then I remember how nice it is to no longer be in a recession, and the fever dream ends. In any event, good on Gov. Deal and good for the people of Georgia.