Lawmakers Angered by Veto of 'Religious Freedom' Bill
Republican state lawmakers are threatening to convene a special session for the singular purpose of overriding Governor Nathan Deal's announced veto this morning of an anti-gay discriminatory "religious freedom" bill. The Republican governor told constituents, "I can find no examples that any of the things this bill seeks to protect us against have ever occurred in Georgia."
But state GOP Sen. Mike Crane (photo), who is also running for Congress, has launched a campaign to convince fellow lawmakers an "emergency" exists and they must return to the state capitol to override his upcoming veto.
That may or may not present a challenge itself. The Atlanta Journal Constitution explains.
"Three-fifths of the members of both the House and Senate have to 'certify to the governor in writing … that in their opinion an emergency exists in the affairs of the state.'"
That would require 108 members of the House and 34 members of the Senate to call themselves back in. House Bill 757, the source of all this hubbub, received the votes of 104 of the 118 Republican members of the Georgia House and of 37 of the 39 Republican members of the Senate.
Crane issued a statement as soon as the Governor made his announcement.
"This fight is not over," Crane insists. "Today I am calling for a special session to override the Governor’s veto and protect the First Amendment rights of law abiding and hardworking voters throughout this state."
He already has a petition on his campaign website, blaming "a leftist-driven movement" that he claims "has spread misinformation about the law, threatened boycotts and fomented false rhetoric in the media and online."
"All Americans who live according to their religious beliefs should be free from fear of government punishment," Crane says.
Crane is not alone. The AJC adds that "Sen. Bill Heath, R-Newnan, last week said if Deal vetoed the bill he’d want his colleagues back at the Capitol to consider an override."
And religious crusader Sen. Josh McKoon was quick to weigh in as well.
“The question we have to resolve is whether or not government is going to be used to punish people with a particular point of view,” he said.
Georgia Republican House Speaker issued this statement on the governor's veto:
A special session would cost taxpayers, at minimum, $41,000 per day.
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