Legislation singling out LGBTQ families for harm could imperil Atlanta’s standing in Amazon’s HQ2 search
ATLANTA – Lawmakers in the Georgia Senate have advanced SB 375, an anti-LGBT “License to Discriminate” bill, by a 35-19 vote. The legislation would allow taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to turn away same-sex couples and even refuse to work with children in need who identify as LGBT. The discriminatory bill stands to impact the approximately 14,000 children in the state’s foster and child welfare system.
“This is mean-spirited legislation that hurts Georgia’s families, does an incredible disservice to the thousands of children in the state foster care system, and really threatens our ability to attract vibrant businesses that strengthen our communities – like Amazon,” said Jeff Graham, Georgia Equality’s Executive Director. “Placing children in loving, stable homes should be a top priority for lawmakers. Unfortunately, SB 375 makes it harder than ever before to protect and secure vibrant futures for the 14,000 kids in our state’s child welfare system.”
Businesses across the state have spoken out increasingly against the legislation, warning that hostile bills like SB 375 will impact Georgia’s ability to attract new investments from corporations like Amazon. It’s estimated that upwards of 50,000 new and high-paying jobs will be created in the state where the tech giant ultimately puts down roots for its HQ2.
Both the Atlanta Metro Chamber and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce oppose the legislation, noting that “Legislation that sanctions discrimination takes us further away from our goal of attracting investment that would improve the lives of Georgia families.” Global commerce giant First Data also is warning against the legislation, saying SB 375 “violates our core belief that all Americans deserve to be treated equally and respectfully.”
“We urge Governor Deal and Speaker Ralston to consider what types of policies make Georgia a prosperous place to live and an attractive place to do business – we know from past experiences that bills like SB 375 take us in exactly the wrong direction,” added Graham. “Rather than talking about ways to exclude all Georgians from participating fully in society, we should be talking about what we can do to ensure every single person in our state – including both people of faith and gay and transgender people – are fully protected from the type of discrimination SB 375 promotes.”SHARE THIS STORY