Monday, March 30, 2015

Georgia: House Judiciary Committee Cancels Meeting For "Religious Liberty" Bill

A Georgia state House Judiciary committee meeting scheduled for Monday morning to further consider a “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA) was abruptly cancelled last night.

With only two more days left in Georgia's legislative session, it's possible the cancellation was due, in part, to a disastrous appearance by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on ABC's This Week.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

The back-and-forth on the bill comes as Indiana deals with the backlash from adopting a similar law that has led to calls of boycotts and the potential loss of tens of millions of dollars in tourism and economic development. Indiana Gov. Mike Spence on Sunday told ABC News the law is not about discrimination but refused to say whether it would permit a business owner to refuse service to someone with whom they disagree.

In Georgia this past Thursday, in a surprise 9-8 vote, the Judiciary Committee voted to amend Senate Bill 129 to add language making clear the bill could not be used to discriminate against anyone already protected by any local, state or federal law. It was quickly tabled by supporters who said adding anti-discrimination language “gutted” the bill.
The amendment was sponsored by Rep. Mike Jacobs, R-Brookhaven, who said at the time, "I take at face value the statements of the proponents that they do not intend discrimination with this bill but I also believe that if that is the case, we should state that expressly in the bill itself. That is what the amendment does."

Perhaps Georgia doesn't want to be the next Indiana.

RFRA legislation has become the new means to attack the LGBT community by conservatives who see the writing on the wall with the impending decision coming soon from SCOTUS on marriage equality.

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