Georgia “Religious Freedom” Bills and the Real Problem Nobody Is Talking About
Those of you following the influx of “religious freedom” initiatives in the state of Georgia over the last few years (SB 129, HB 757, and others) are likely either very much in favor or against them. Regardless, most of you are probably tired of hearing about it. And no matter what side you’re on, you might wish our elected officials would spend their time crafting productive legislation which benefits all citizens, rather than bills that carve out provisions for faith-based agencies already benefiting from tax breaks or governmental funding.
So what can we do?
We can choose to spend our time discussing how these bills might turn into laws which could potentially provide a legal leg to stand on, when faith-based business owners or agencies turn away citizens whose personal beliefs, lack thereof, or life choices are not in line with their own (like members of the LGBT community or single mothers).
Or, we can examine the hypocrisy of legislators who make claims about the bills that have turned out to be false…such as, how there will be zero negative financial impact from the legislation (even though the blossoming Georgia film industry has threatened to boycott, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has communicated his dissatisfaction publicly, with the possible intent to cancel large conferences and move their business from the state, and pushback against SB 129 is well known from Delta, Coca-Cola, and even Sir Elton John).
We can even look at comments from the sponsors of these bills, such as SB 129 sponsor (and recent YEA-voter for HB 757) Senator Josh McKoon’s recent claim on Facebook that as it stands today, he’s not aware of any faith-based shelter that has ever turned away a battered woman for any reason (even though it has happened — the “House of Mercy” in his own town of Columbus did so in 2011, simply because a woman was “suspected” of being gay).
No, no. There’s something else in play here, which isn’t getting a lot of press. Something far more concerning about current Georgia state law. And that is this disturbing fact:
In this state, it’s already quite fine and very legal to discriminate against gay Georgians, transgendered people, and even single mothers, with absolutely zero repercussions, in many situations.
Read the rest of my article here: