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Passing RFRA will harm Georgia’s reputation and open the doors to discrimination Jonelle Shields McKenzie ~ Sandy Springs, GA
Lawmaker says anti-LGBT legislation a top priority in 2017 May 16, 2016

Senator Josh McKoon, a long-time backer of discriminatory religious exemptions bills, is threatening to reignite legislative attacks on LGBT Georgians when the legislature returns in 2017.

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In a news interview conducted last week, the Republican senator from Columbus, indicated that he not only wants to see anti-LGBT so-called “religious liberty” bills in 2017—he also anticipates NC-style legislation specifically targeting transgender Georgians for discrimination by denying them access to bathrooms.

Sen. McKoon’s unabashed fixation on restricting LGBT rights flies in the face of Republican Governor Nathan Deal’s views. The governor vetoed HB 757, one of the most extreme religious exemptions bills to advance through the legislature in years. He has since defended his veto countless times and warned against legislative attempts to advance LGBT discrimination in the future.

That’s not stopping Sen. McKoon who said, “We can’t simply say to our constituents we’re going to stop fighting because there was a veto.”

Gov. Deal’s HB 757 veto is viewed in large part as a response to pressure from the Georgia business community and threats of divestment. Turns out: Those threats weren’t empty.

North Carolina passed one of the country’s most heinous anti-LGBT laws (HB 2), and has since lost millions of dollars in frozen business investments and thousands of prospective jobs. Now the state is facing a federal lawsuit over discriminatory HB 2 because it violates the federal Civil Rights Act. If the state fails to comply with federal mandates to repeal the law, it stands to lose $4.5+ billion in federal funding.

Georgia narrowly avoided a similar fate when Governor Nathan Deal vetoed HB 757. Lawmakers should learn their lesson and stop legislative attempts to advance anti-LGBT discrimination. Click here to send a message to your lawmakers urging them to oppose discriminatory religious exemptions bills in 2017.

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A case from right here in #Georgia will soon give #SCOTUS the opportunity to say definitively: All #LGBTQ people should be able to work hard, make a living & support themselves & their loved ones without fearing discrimination. Learn more: bit.ly/2KNpZcE #GApol

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