By Guillermo Duralde,
Domestic News Assistant Editor
Over the course of the last few weeks and months, the United States has seen its fair share of ludicrous behavior from those individuals running for President and have seen the rise of violence and vitriol against people who are not considered to make up the majority of our great nation. As of this past week Indiana, North Carolina, and Mississippi wrote and passed laws that are designed to protect religious liberties of business owners from having to provide their goods and services to LGBTQ individuals because they conflict with their “sincerely held religious beliefs.”
Late last month, the state legislature took up a bill called HB 757, which followed the language of similar bills signed into law by the governors of Indiana, North Carolina, and Mississippi. When HB 757 was announced and approved by the state legislature, the outcry from major Atlanta-based corporations and business groups, technology and film giants around the country, and the state’s major professional sports teams was overwhelmingly negative.
In Atlanta, the professional sports industry is incredibly important and Atlanta is one of the four finalists to host the Super Bowl in 2019 and 2020, so when Roger Goodell said, as quoted by the AJC news source, “The bid process goes into April and all factors will be considered, the membership makes decisions upon the basis of each individual club. If they want to vote for it they will weigh certain issues however they determine to weigh them. That’s something that each owner will have to make that decision in May,” waves were sent through the city.
With many important and influential individuals, corporations, industries, and more putting pressure on Governor Nathan Deal, he faced quite a quandary. Should he back the bill passed by his state’s legislature or listen to the voices of all those groups from across the country?
Eventually, on Mar. 28, Governor Deal announced that he would be vetoing HB 757, saying, as quoted by the AJC news source, “Our people work side by side without regard to the color of our skin, or the religion we adhere to. We are working to make life better for our families and our communities. That is the character of Georgia. I intend to do my part to keep it that way.” With the governor’s announcement that he would be vetoing the bill, state and national LGBTQ organizations voiced their happiness that the governor stood up for the rights of everyone.
While there are many individuals and groups around the country who are incredibly pleased that the governor of Georgia, a state not necessarily associated with tolerance and acceptance, vetoed a religious freedom bill, there are those who are incredibly angered and saddened by the governor’s decision. Many conservative advocacy groups voiced their incredible displeasure with the governor for vetoing the law. Per the Washington Post, presidential candidate, Ted Cruz, said, “I thought that was very disappointing to see Governor Deal in Georgia side with leftist activists.”
While the governor is not endearing himself with some in the conservative party, unlike the governor of North Carolina, he is not facing a federal anti-discrimination lawsuit.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, April 12th print edition.
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