• Source: Liz Flowers/Twitter
  • Georgia Based Telecom Says 'Time to Relocate' After Lawmakers Pass Anti-Gay 'Religious Freedom' Bill

    EXCLUSIVE: Passage of unconstitutional, discriminatory, anti-gay legislation leads one Georgia company to take a stand.

    Georgia state senators on Friday passed a highly-controversial bill that would enshrine into law special protections for people of faith who are opposed to same-sex marriage and LGBT people. Erroneously named the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), HB 757, according to legal experts, is likely unconstitutional and extends legal cover to both individuals and corporations – including taxpayer-funded non-profits – who wish to claim they have a sincerely held religious belief that prohibits them from serving LGBT people or same-sex couples.

    The passage of the bill led at least one Georgia company to announce their intention to exit the Peach State.

    "We are very saddened by the Georgia Senate which passed also known as ," 373K, Inc. announced via Twitter. "It's time to relocate."

    373K is a telecom company based in Decatur, Georgia. Co-founder Kelvin Williams stands by the tweet and its message.

    "I'm gay, our CFO is gay, we have people from every walk of life working here," Williams told The New Civil Rights Movement in a telephone interview Saturday afternoon.

    "I've got Muslims, Buddhists, atheists here," he added. "We've got great Christians working for us. They've never thought of not serving anyone – that's not the message of Christ."

    "We don't tolerate that crap," he said, explicitly, of discrimination.

    Williams says the anti-gay bill is "not conducive for Georgia," lamenting that the "business environment in the state is not that great anyway."

    "It's sad our state government wants to take us back in time," Williams says. "I wish Georgia would wake up."

    "If you're not a white married Christian heterosexual, prepare to be persecuted," he warned.

    Asked if he were concerned his tweet might lose business for his company, Williams said he doesn't care, and that he doesn't want to do business with those who support the legislation, whom he calls "fake Christians."

    373K Client Relations Manager Brian Greene echoed the sentiment, telling The New Civil Rights Movement that "what's wrong is wrong and sometimes you have to take a stand."

    He denounced "uninformed governing bodies continuing to act this way," adding he's "uncomfortable" with the environment manifested by the bill.

    Asked if 373K were truly considering relocating, Greene says they're "definitely seriously considering" it, no longer feeling "comfortable" in "paying taxes to the State of Georgia."

    The tweet and the sentiments behind it might come as a surprise to those unfamiliar with the national battle over anti-gay "religious freedom" bills, which many have labeled licenses to discriminate, but to those who remember the international attention a similar battle in Indiana drew last year, it doesn't.

    The CEO of the $4 billion corporation SalesForce last year announced he was canceling "all programs that require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination," after another "religious freedom" bill passed and GOP Gov. Mike Pence said he would sign it into law.

    Other companies around the nation expressed similar condemnation of Indiana's attempt to enshrine anti-gay discrimination into the law. Among them were Nike, Apple, Fortune 500 member Cummins, Eskenazi Health, Eli Lilly and Co., and NASCAR. 

    373K's Kelvin Williams says, "we're hoping Coca-Cola" takes similar steps in denouncing the legislation. The Coca-Cola Company, now 130 years old, is based in Atlanta, Georgia. On social media many have asked the $44 billion multi-national corporation to speak out.

    Across Georgia, literally hundreds of top corporations that do business in the state are doing so, having signed the Georgia Prospers pledge.

    "We believe that in order for Georgia businesses to compete for top talent," the pledge states in part, "we must have workplaces and communities that are diverse and welcoming for all people, no matter one’s race, sex, color, national origin, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity."

    During debate on Friday, Democratic lawmakers warned their Republican colleagues who had fast-tracked HB 757 that the world is watching Georgia, and the anti-gay bill could cost the state millions in lost revenue from companies refusing to hold meetings and conventions there.

    The bill passed by a huge majority, 38-14. The House, having already passed an earlier version of the bill will likely give it the thumbs up this coming week. GOP Gov. Nathan Deal hasn't said if he would sign it but chances are strong he will.

     

    EARLIER:

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

    Georgia Senate Passes Discriminatory Anti-LGBT 'Religious Freedom' Bill By Huge Margin

    Anti-Gay GOP State Lawmaker Unveils New, More Dangerous Weapon Against LGBT Rights

     

    Image by Liz Flowers via Twitter 

    Get weekly news & updates
    Subscribe
    Support our work DONATE



    Register to VOTE

    Showing 16 comments

    Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.

    • commented 2016-02-21 20:58:04 -0500
      I support a boycott of Georgia, and any other states that passes this kind of legislation. I am a devout Christian and I expect this country to stick to the constitution and not allow narrow viewpoints of Biblical interpretation to be law. The state of Georgia has now legalized the right to discriminate against me. I will not set foot in this state while this law exists.

    • commented 2016-02-21 20:50:34 -0500
      I support a boycott of Georgia, and any other states that passes this kind of legislation. I am a devout Christian and I expect this country to stick to the constitution and not allow narrow viewpoints of Biblical interpretation to be law. The state of Georgia has now legalized the right to discriminate against me. I will not set foot in this state while this law exists.

    • commented 2016-02-21 20:05:02 -0500
      Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $100 per hour. I work through this link

      Clik This Link inYour Browser……

      === http://www.netjoin10.com

    • commented 2016-02-21 15:22:24 -0500
      Isn’t Georgia the state that banned non-documented workers from working on farms picking fruits and vegetables and then couldn’t even get prison inmates to do this back-breaking work? If I have the right state, there’s precedent for this stupidity. Maybe all those people moving to Georgia should take an interest in what their new state is doing.

    • commented 2016-02-21 03:31:19 -0500
      That company is not going anywhere. And all you will hear from Coke is crickets. The political wind has shifted.

    • commented 2016-02-20 22:12:16 -0500
      How can people have enough time to read and comment so emphatically on this article, yet have no time to actually research what actions major corporations in Georgia have taken to fight these backward bills? They have petitioned. They have even created a coalition to fight these bills. The question then, isn’t what have for-profit corporations done, but what have YOU done? Is it really up to Coca-Cola and Home Depot to save us? And if it is, shouldn’t you at least pitch in?

    • commented 2016-02-20 21:50:41 -0500
      Why couldn’t they have come forward before this second election? What is taking so long for the business community to say something? I hope they loose a ton of business and tourism. I hoe some business owner is ready to test the law by discriminating against a white christian. This law won’t last long once that happens. This law makers Don’t think things through.

    • commented 2016-02-20 20:40:19 -0500
      What does the E mean next to a name? Also, there’s one name with nothing next to it- Lucas. What does that mean in terms of a vote?

    • commented 2016-02-20 19:25:30 -0500
      YES TY to all who compiled this blog. I hope many other companies do too… or at least FUSS a lot. To specific ‘lawmakers’ perferably and from Church Pulpits if possible too.

    • commented 2016-02-20 19:24:54 -0500
      Good. I hope more companies do this.

    • commented 2016-02-20 18:15:32 -0500
      Most christians aren’t.

    • commented 2016-02-20 17:44:56 -0500
      Another RFRA law with a different name. It’s all the same, writing discrimination into law. When will we call them what they are, un-American, hateful, theocratic, bigots.

    • commented 2016-02-20 17:44:49 -0500
      Another RFRA law with a different name. It’s all the same, writing discrimination into law. When will we call them what they are, un-American, hateful, theocratic, bigots.

    • commented 2016-02-20 17:44:11 -0500
      David Newcomer: I’m not sure they really care — if they lose jobs and tax revenue because of these bills, they’ll just cut what few social network programs they have — or sell the public schools to some crony to make them more “cost-effective.”

    • commented 2016-02-20 17:24:59 -0500
      How many times does the business community have to tell these states that they don’t want these psuedo-“religious freedom” laws before they get it?

    • commented 2016-02-20 16:30:16 -0500
      Thanks to this company for taking a stand. Someone needs to start a petition to Coca Cola and other Georgia companies asking them to speak out against this barbarous legislation.

    Your rights, your movement.
    Join today:
    Your rights, your movement.
    Join today: