Georgia state politicians may be getting a bit more pushback than they realized over the state legislature's passage of House Bill 757, better known as Georgia's “religious liberty” bill.
The bill, in short, states “religious officials shall not be required to perform marriage ceremonies in violation of their legal right to free exercise of religion”. Even shorter, it's the right to discriminate against any couple seeking marriage.
Gee, I wonder why they need something like that? I'm sure they'd never use it to discriminate against anyone*…
*While the LGBT community is most obviously on the chopping block, the bill is worded so vaguely that even interracial couples or those marrying across religious lines (among others) could be legally discriminated against.
The bill, which is currently awaiting Governor Nathan Deal's signature or veto is similar to another bill recently put before Indiana's Governor Mike Pence and, like the Indiana bill, it's getting a lot of pushback from some pretty big businesses.
For instance, The Walt Disney Co. and Marvel Studios. Both companies let Georgia know they're inclusive companies and they'd be taking their business elsewhere if the bill were to pass. Considering how big a production hub Georgia and particularly Atlanta have become in recent years – Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 is currently in production at Pinewood Studios in Atlanta – that'd be a whole lot of business leaving the state.
In addition to Disney and Marvel, the MPAA, the Human Rights Campaign, Coke, Home Dept and even Georgia's own Falcons and Braves have stated their disapproval of the bill. With this sort of response, something tells me this backlash is just going to grow.
I have no doubt that there are plenty of other states that would be happy to take the business Georgia might be losing if this bill becomes a law –– the question will be whether Gov. Deal cares more about “religious liberty” and the prejudices of a few or the fiscal health of the state as a whole.
I know what Cap would do.
[UPDATE 3/23/16]: AMC Network has added its voice to the growing boycott threat. There's a Walking Dead joke in here I can feel it.