• Source: Lori Geary/Twitter
  • Breaking: Georgia Senate Passes Discriminatory Anti-LGBT 'Religious Freedom' Bill By Huge Margin

    GOP Senators Allowed No Amendments to Be Proposed to Fast-Tracked Bill – Could Be Signed Into Law as Soon as Monday

    The Georgia First Amendment Defense Act just passed the Senate by a vote of 38-14. The bill now makes its way back to the Georgia House, which only needs to agree on it. In all likelihood, given that a previous version passed unanimously, it will. The anti-gay "religious freedom" legislation could be signed into law by GOP Gov. Nathan Deal as soon as Monday, after the House reconvenes.

    The bill, known as FADA, like many that have been making their way around the nation's legislatures this year, makes anti-LGBT discrimination legal by providing special protections for people who wish to claim their religious faith prohibits them from performing certain acts, including baking a cake for a same-sex wedding, or allowing a child to be adopted by a same-sex couple.

    Americans United for Separation of Church and State analyzed the legislation, and concludes the bill "allows any individual or 'faith-based' business, non-profit entity, or taxpayer-funded organization to ignore any law that conflicts with their religious beliefs about marriage."

    UPDATE: Georgia Based Telecom Says 'Time to Relocate' After Lawmakers Pass Anti-Gay 'Religious Freedom' Bill

    During the initial hearing Friday morning, Republican senators led by Sen. Greg Kirk (photo, lower center), moved quickly to engross the bill, banning any amendments to the legislation from being proposed. 

    In explaining the bill before the vote Friday, Sen. Greg Kirk claimed it does not impact any business, including its relationship with employees, and claimed "it is a live and let live bill." Legal experts disagree.

    In a letter to Georgia Senators this week, Maggie Garrett, AU's Legislative Director explains "any person, business, or taxpayer-funded organization could refuse anyone else rights, services, and benefits because they: are part of an interracial couple; are part of an interfaith couple; are a single mother; are part of a same-sex couple; are divorced; are remarried; live or have lived with a partner without being married; or have had sex outside of marriage at any time in their life."

    Just a few of the troubling real life consequences could include: a single mother and her child being denied safety at the domestic violence shelter; a hospital denying a man the opportunity to say goodbye to his dying husband; a cemetery corporation denying an interracial couple a shared cemetery plot; a restaurant refusing to allow a child’s birthday party because his parents are divorced; or an unmarried couple and their child being denied a room at a hotel late at night after their car broke down.

    Senator Kirk, who is also a minister, told his fellow lawmakers concerned about religious organizations denying help to someone because they are LGBT, "I have never known a faith-based organization to turn anyone away." 

    "This law does not allow discrimination," he falsely stated.

    He then told the Senators that on Sunday, "I want you to look at those church members in the eye and tell them how you voted."

    Democratic Senator Emanuel Jones, who is Black, challenged Kirk on his definition of "faith-based organizations," noting that the KKK would fall under that definition. Kirk then compared the Black Panthers to the KKK.

    UPDATE: Sponsor Of Georgia's 'Religious Freedom' Bill Has 'No Problem' Knowing It Would Protect The KKK

    Despite excellent arguments by Democratic senators, the bill passed by a huge margin.

     

    This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

     

    Image by Lori Geary via Twitter

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    • commented 2016-02-21 18:20:45 -0500
      Absolutely revolting. These “lawmakers” should be shot.

    • commented 2016-02-21 15:18:44 -0500
      @baruch ZEICHNER “two nations on one continent”. you do realize that Canada and Mexico are on the same continent as the US right? just want you to do the math also splitting up the county in two again would be a horrible idea do know what happened the last time that happened

    • commented 2016-02-21 09:33:19 -0500
      This is a stupid religion bill that all stupid representatives voted yes for. Sadly, we stupid people allowed stupid representives did this. I will vote to get those stupid people off the GA senate. Shame on you and shame on the State of Georgia!!

    • commented 2016-02-20 21:10:09 -0500
      This legislation was inspired by God. Praise Jesus.

    • commented 2016-02-20 17:46:13 -0500
      Christofascism shall not be tolerated. This “law” is illegal. I hope people defy it at every turn, and show christianity for the hate cult that it really is. Celebrate Marriage Equality loudly and visibly, and when christians come to practice their hatred, discriminate against THEM with whatever works. Christianity is truly one of the great scourges on the Earth. Anyone practicing this kind of hate needs to be shown in no uncertain terms that it and they are unacceptable.

    • commented 2016-02-20 13:34:37 -0500
      @michael Lauinger – As an atheist, I agree with you that Christianity does not allow even for the existence of gay people. The Bible clearly says that gay people are to be executed. It also says that witches should be executed and that slavery is OK. As a matter of fact, this is exactly how Christianity operated until a very few years ago. I strongly encourage you to try to live all the tenets of your faith and see how far you get before you end up in prison.

    • commented 2016-02-20 12:00:44 -0500
      As a progressive voter and ordained Christian, I highly disagree that this is discriminatory in any way, shape, or form. Neither Jews, Muslims, Christians, or people of many other faiths could do any or most of the otherwise protected acts without seriously violating their faith. For a Christian to voluntarily support a gay union would amongst one of the most severe breaches of faith, and it would translate as an act of hate against the individuals for them to participate in any manner. Many Christian church denominations would excommunicate parishioners who did so, and no theologically sound Christian would ever again be able to work at any employment within the United States. The same would be true for members of many other faiths. Many faiths are given similar protections, it’s only right that Christians are as well.

    • commented 2016-02-20 10:16:27 -0500
      I fervently believe that the ideological differences between the South and the rest of the country are irreconcilable and that the best idea is a Two State Solution. Two nations on one continent. Its done all the time.

    • commented 2016-02-20 03:14:07 -0500
      I look forward to the first time a muslim or satanist uses this bill to discriminate against christians

    • commented 2016-02-19 18:55:09 -0500
      The last gasps of the bigoted right. Twenty years from now, this will all be history and looked upon as the petty, hateful and short sighted legislation it is.

    • commented 2016-02-19 16:51:03 -0500
      I really wish I had a business in a Redneck state. I’d love to give them a taste of what discrimination feels like. “You’re Christian?!? No room for you, we only rent to Jewish and Muslim couples.” Or “you’re an ‘evangelical’ christian?! Sorry but you are not a REAL Christian. Only Catholics, who belong to the ONE TRUE CHURCH, get accommodations here.”

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