Georgia’s Republican Governor Nathan Deal has denounced a proposed ‘religious freedom’ bill that would give religious organizations and individuals the right to discriminate against LGBT individuals in The Peach State and suffer no ramifications.
Said Deal on Thursday, “I don’t think we have to have anything that allows discrimination in our state in order to protect people of faith.”
Deal also said he would not sign the bill as it currently stands without major modifications.
“I know that there are a lot of Georgians who feel like this is a necessary step for us to take. I would hope that in the process of these last few days, we can keep in mind the concerns of the faith-based community, which I believe can be protected without setting up the situation where we could be accused of allowing or encouraging discrimination.”
Deal made a Biblical argument about why the ‘religious freedom’ law is unchristian, saying that Jesus preached love and acceptance of society’s outcasts, particularly those scorned by religious institutions. Deal is a Southern Baptist.
“What the New Testament teaches us is that Jesus reached out to those who were considered the outcasts, the ones that did not conform to the religious societies’ view of the world … We do not have a belief in my way of looking at religion that says we have to discriminate against anybody. If you were to apply those standards to the teaching of Jesus, I don’t think they fit.”
Deal added, “I hope that we can all just take a deep breath, recognize that the world is changing around us, and recognize that it is important that we protect fundamental religious beliefs. But we don’t have to discriminate against other people in order to do that. And that’s the compromise that I’m looking for.”
Georgia has been feeling the backlash in the past week from companies who are threatening to leave the state if the discriminatory law is passed. The bill also threatens to damage its $1.7 billion revenue boom from the entertainment industry which takes advantage of the states generous tax credit for shooting television and movies productions there such as The Walking Dead, and Ant Man,