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Georgia Governor Vetoes Heinous “Religious Liberty” Bill

House Bill 757 sparked threats of boycotts from Disney, "Walking Dead" and others.

Governor Nathan Deal has vetoed Georgia’s House Bill 757, a so-called “religious liberty” measure that would allow businesses and individuals to discriminate against LGBT people.

In a press conference today in Atlanta, Deal said Peach State residents are “warm, friendly and loving people,” but added that he doesn’t respond well to threats of boycotts. Corporations like Disney and AMC threatened to leave the state if the bill became law, and the NFL warned it could risk Atlanta’s bid for the Super Bowl.

“Our people work side by side without regard to the color of our skin, or the religion we adhere to,” said Deal. “We are working to make life better for our families and our communities. That is the character of Georgia. I intend to do my part to keep it that way. For that reason, I will veto HB 757.”

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HB 757 is just one of several anti-gay measures that have launched across the country in the wake of the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling. Last week, North Carolina Governor Pat McCroy signed a bill that bans local municipalities from passing LGBT anti-discrimination laws.

Deal has vetoed similar efforts before, and stated earlier this year that he wouldn’t sign any measure that “allows discrimination in our state in order to protect people of faith.”

It is possible, though unlikely, the Legislature will attempt to override Deal’s veto. A three-fifth majority in both chambers is required to call a special session, and a two-thirds majority in both chambers to override a veto.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
@ItsDanAvery