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Georgia Tech Director Says LGBTQ-Inclusion Critical for Business Recruitment Aby Parsons ~ Georgia Tech
Backlash to SB 375 Heats Up As Sports, Entertainment & Other Major Industries React March 1, 2018

Sports and entertainment industry voices are speaking out against SB 375, a bill that would allow taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBT youth and same-sex couples.

Immediately after last Friday’s Senate vote to advance the bill to the House, producers Ben Wexler and Dustin Lance Black called on the entertainment industry to reconsider its investment in Georgia if SB 375 is signed into law. “Walking Dead” actor Daniel Newman has echoed these calls, and plans to participate in today’s scheduled rally against SB 375 at 1PM.

Georgia’s Department of Economic Development estimates the film and TV industry’s economic footprint grew to $9.5 billion last year, including $2.7 billion in direct spending.

This economic threat is why the Atlanta Metro Chamber and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce oppose SB 375, as does Atlanta-based First Data, which is one of the world’s largest electronic payment processors and is valued at more than $11 billion.

Prominent athletes have also registered their disapproval of SB 375, raising fears that the larger sports industry could soon make a move to re-examine its investment in Georgia.

The Atlanta Dream’s Layshia Clarendon says “it’s heartbreaking to see that Georgia is attempting to put restrictions on same-sex parental adoption.” Layshia also says she and her wife can’t “live and thrive” in a place that puts restrictions on their ability to build a family.

Olympic diving icon Greg Louganis, who is adopted, called the bill “appalling.” Louganis says his parents’ “love and commitment to raising me helped fuel my success in sports,” and that SB 375 will keep children from finding that same parental love.

One of proponents’ main arguments is that SB 375 will allow more adoption agencies to operate in Georgia, but child welfare agencies like Emory University’s Barton Child Law and Policy Center say that children will actually wait longer for loving homes if qualified LGBT parents are excluded.

LGBT youth could suffer most, since SB 375 would allow agencies to refuse to help place them.

All of this is why we must work overtime to stop SB 375 until the legislative session ends on March 31.

Email, call and tweet at your lawmaker right now to make sure they know just how much this bill could harm Georgia’s youth, families and economy.

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