People are angry with Georgia’s new anti-LGBT bill that also protects the KKK. So far, one company has vowed to leave the state.Â
You’d think Republicans would have learned their lesson after Indiana was on the receiving end of a huge backlash for trying to make it legal to discriminate against LGBT people. Well, they didnâ€™t. In what appears to be a direct reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court granting equal marriage rights to same-sex couples, legislators across the country have been working overtime to find new ways to attack the LGBT community. Earlier this month, we reported that the state of Oklahoma broke a record by submitting at least 26 anti-LGBT bills! Now, Georgia is stepping up to the plate to hit a home run with their latest hate-filled legislation, and they are quickly seeing the consequences.
Georgia state senators on Friday passed a controversial bill that 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. Basically, itâ€™s a license to discriminate against the LGBT community without legal repercussions. For those of you thinking this law is just about “protecting” anti-gay bakers from having to bake wedding cakes for same-sex couples, think again.
Remember that doctor in Michigan who refused to treat a newborn last year because the baby had two moms? That could also be legal with this new bill. Georgiaâ€™s First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), or HB 757, would allow doctors to refuse treatment to patients if the doctor didnâ€™t agree with that patientâ€™s (or their family members) sexual orientation. It would allow foster and adoption agencies to deny qualified parents from adopting children, thus justifying using tax dollars to keep children homeless.
As if that weren’t enough to make you cringe, GOP Sen. Greg Kirk (photo) acknowledged his bill would protect members of the KKK from their hate-filled actions, and he had no problem with that.
â€œCouldnâ€™t that organization, if they chose to do so, identify themselves as â€˜faith basedâ€™?â€ State Senator Emanuel Jones asked referring to the KKK, an organization with a history of calling itself faith-based.
â€œIâ€™m not an attorney,â€ Kirk responded. â€œI guess they could, Senator. Iâ€™m not sure. I donâ€™t know what would stop them.
â€œSo thereâ€™s nothing in your legislation that would stop them, is that correct?â€ asked Jones.
â€œThatâ€™s right,â€ Kirk said.
â€œDoes that present a problem for you, Senator?â€ Jones continued.
After a long pause, Kirk simply said, â€œNo.â€
Many people took to Twitter to express their outrage over the senate passing the discriminatory bill.
A few companies in Georgia, including Delta, Coca-Cola, and Home Depot, appealed the legislature to table the bill, insisting it will hurt their ability to attract employees and customers, but the Republican-dominated legislature didnâ€™t seem to care. HB 757 passed the Georgia Senate on Friday with a vote of 38-14. The above companies have yet to make a statement since the billâ€™s passing, but one telecom company, 373K, has announced it is moving because of it.
“I’m gay, our CFO is gay, we have people from every walk of life working here,” co-founder Kelvin Williams toldÂ The New Civil Rights Movement in a telephone interview Saturday afternoon. The company has decided to move to Nevada.
“I’ve got Muslims, Buddhists, atheists here,” he added. “We’ve got great Christians working for us. They’ve never thought of not serving anyoneÂ â€“ that’s not the message of Christ.”
Former GOP Senate Majority Leader Ronnie Chance also spoke out in an editorial in Saturday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“No one in Georgia wants to go through what Indiana experienced. It is a little-known fact that Georgia state law offers no nondiscrimination protections for the LGBT community. In other words, this bill will take Georgia law from a â€œsee-no-evilâ€ approach to discrimination to tacit approval. That could prove devastating for our reputation as a great place to do business.”
GOP Gov. Nathan Deal made a public commentÂ on the legislation and explained that theÂ measure is still evolving. He mentioned he was working with his top aides, House Speaker David Ralston, also a Republican, and other legislative leaders, but declined to discuss specifics about the possible changes.
â€œWeâ€™re working with the leadership of the General Assembly now as that bill is continuing to move through the process,â€ he said. â€œSo weâ€™ll see.â€ He also added, â€œI donâ€™t comment until things are finalized, and, by far, itâ€™s not finalized yet.â€
Since the governor seems to have concerns about the bill, that’s all the more reason to add pressure to companies and organizations to speak out. Daily KosÂ noted that the NCAA has been noticeably quiet about HB 757 and they are urging people to put pressure on the organization to stand up against the bill.
â€œThe NCAA recently awarded their College Football Championship to Atlanta for January 2018. The NCAAâ€™s nondiscrimination policy and threats of sanctions against the state of Indiana helped win the fight against Indianaâ€™s RFRA last year. A similar threat to revoke the CFB championship would likely drive the GA legislature into a tizzy to kill this bill.â€
Daily Kos is urging people to signal boost and tweet at NCAAâ€™s press/media/legal contacts. We support that too. Feel free to use the following tweet:
Finally, here’s Gov. Deal’s contact information as well. Make sure you tell him that you don’t agree with state sanctioned discrimination.
Image via the Georgia Senate
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Watch: Schumer Compares McConnell to Southern Segregationists for Blocking Voting Rights
On Tuesday, following Senate Republicans’ lockstep vote to block debate on voting rights, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) gave a thunderous speech comparing Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to the southern segregationists who fought the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
“Republican state legislatures across the country are engaged in the most sweeping voter suppression in 80 years,” said Schumer. “Capitalizing on and catalogued by Donald Trump’s big lie. These state governments are making it harder for younger, poorer, urban and non-white Americans to vote. Earlier today, the Republican leader told reporters that, quote, ‘Regardless of what may be happening in some states, there is no rationale for federal intervention.’ The Republican leader flatly stated that no matter what the states do to undermine our democracy — voter suppression laws, phony audits, partisan takeovers of local election boards — the Senate should not act.”
“The Republican leader uses the language and the logic of the southern senators in the ’60s who defended states rights, and it is an indefensible position for any senator, any senator, let alone the minority leader to hold,” said Schumer. “When John Lewis was about to cross that bridge in Selma, he didn’t know what waited for him on the other side. He didn’t know how long his march would be. And his ultimate success was never guaranteed. But he started down that bridge anyway. Today Democrats started our march to defend the voting rights of all Americans. It could be a long march, but it is one we are going to make.”
Pelosi Will Create Select Committee to Investigate January 6 Insurrection After GOP Kills Bill for Bipartisan Group
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has just told Democrats she will create a special Select committee to investigate Donald Trump’s violent January 6 insurrection, a deadly attempted coup.
WASHINGTON (AP) — AP source: House Speaker Pelosi tells Democrats she will create new committee to investigate Jan. 6 attack at Capitol.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 22, 2021
The House voted to approve a bipartisan committee but Senate Republicans killed that bill.
Pelosi made the announcement as Senate Republicans killed debate on the voting rights bill.
This is a breaking news and developing story.
GOP Senators Orchestrate ‘Blockade’ of Key Biden Agenda Bills: Voting Rights Bill Killed, Infrastructure in Doubt
Republicans Tuesday evening killed debate on the For the People Act, a key component of Democrats’ agenda to protect democracy, expand and strengthen voting rights, and reduce the influence of dark money in elections. As Senators were voting on the motion to begin debate on the bill, news broke that the GOP Whip, Sen. John Thune of South Dakota had announced another critical piece of Democratic legislation, the infrastructure bill, was even further in doubt.
GOP Senators appeared to be orchestrating a complete and total shutdown of key legislation critical to President Joe Biden’s progressive agenda.
Democratic Majority Leader Schumer immediately denounced Republicans’ “blockade.”
Sen. Thune also said Republicans would oppose a slimmed down version of a voting rights bill:
Thune contradicts Blunt when asked just now if GOP leadership would come out against narrower measures like the VRA: “I suspect yes.”
“It just replaces a state’s sovereignty with the federal government, and that’s a bridge I don’t think our members are willing to cross.” https://t.co/mmVduM5fPH
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) June 22, 2021
60 votes were required to begin debate on the voting rights bill. The motion failed in a 50-50 vote. As voting was taking place GOP Minority Leader Mitch mcConnell could be seen huddling with other top Republican Senators including John Cornyn of Texas and John Kennedy of Louisiana.
The only option to pass the bill now would be for a simple majority of Senators agree to kill the 60-vote filibuster. Some are supporting a modification to 55 votes. Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona had steadfastly refused to support killing the filibuster.
“This is a dark day in this country,” Al Sharpton said on MSNBC.
“This is a dark day for Republicans,” host Nicolle Wallace replied. “Republicans won’t just walk over norms, they will burn them down,” she told host Ari Melber during the handoff.
Voting rights expert Ari Berman weighed in, chastising the GOP:
Vote on For the People Act isn’t on legislation itself, but whether to start debate on the bill. Republicans are so afraid of democracy they won’t even allow a debate on how to fix it
— Ari Berman (@AriBerman) June 22, 2021
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