Target: Nathan Deal, Governor of Georgia
Goal: Applaud the Governor’s courageous decision to keep discrimination out of his state.
Proposed discriminatory anti-LGBT legislation was recently vetoed by Georgia governor Nathan Deal. The law would have given businesses and non-profits in the state a license to deny services on the basis of sexuality. As The Advocate noted in “Georgia Lawmakers Make Antigay Bill Worse, Send to Governor,” the legislation would have meant that “social service providers, such as adoption agencies, food pantries, or homeless shelters, which often receive public funding,” would be free to discriminate in Georgia.
Thanks to outcry from members of the public including those at ForceChange, Governor Deal was moved to take a stand against discrimination in his state. On his decision to veto the bill, he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution “when you come to issues like that, you can’t be liked by everybody because people have such divided opinions about something. My job as governor is to do what I think is best in the overall interest of the state of Georgia and its citizens as a whole. And that’s what I did.” The Governor went a step further when asked for his thoughts at the prospect of similar legislation appearing in a later session. He told reporters “I don’t want to go through the same process all over again. I’ve made my position very clear.”
Governor Deal’s willingness, as a republican, to stand up for justice deserves our applause. Sign this position to thank Nathan Deal for doing the right thing.
Dear Governor Deal,
When discriminatory legislation reached your desk, you were Georgia’s last defense against a virulent anti-LGBT law. Thank you for vetoing the “religious freedom” legislation in order to protect the equality of Georgians.
Analyses conducted by Columbia Law School’s Public Rights/Private Conscience Project on similar legislation in Indiana concluded that the confusion generated by “religious freedom” laws would lead to individuals and corporations “taking the law into their own hands and acting in ways that violate generally applicable law on the grounds that they have a religious justification for doing so.” In Georgia, that confusion would have hurt the state’s most vulnerable citizens. According to The Advocate, the breadth of Georgia’s proposed “religious freedom” bill was such that social service providers, from adoption agencies to food pantries, would be free to deny service to LGBT Georgians. Moreover, many of the organizations that the legislation would free to discriminate receive public funding. Thank you for recognizing that situation as unacceptable and protecting Georgians from that future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Georgia Government