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GA Governor Vows to Veto Religious Protections Bill

03-28-2016
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Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has vowed to veto a bill that would have allowed clergy and pastors to refuse performing gay marriage and protecting people who refuse to attend the ceremonies.

"I have examined the protections that this bill proposes to provide to the faith-based community and I can find no examples of any of those circumstances occurring in our state," the Republican governor said.

Garland Hunt is senior pastor of the Father's House in Atlanta and an attorney who has worked closely with the legislators who crafted Georgia's Religious Freedom bill. He told CBN News religious leaders are furious and will fight the governor's promised veto. Click play to watch.

"I do not think that we have to discriminate against anyone to protect the faith-based community in Georgia," he said.

Republican majorities passed the bill to broadly protect people acting on their religion. Churches and affiliated religious groups also could have declined to serve or hire someone based on their faith.

First Liberty Institute said the governor has "turned his back" on the freedom the country was founded upon.
 
"The free exercise of religion is good for society, good for business, and good for the citizens of any state. Vetoing religious freedom is unwise and will harm the people of Georgia," Kelly Shackelford, FLI president and CEO, said.

The bill exempts religious groups from same-sex weddings, but it doesn't apply to businesses.

Meanwhile, evangelist Franklin Graham is defending the bill after the NFL threatened to reject Georgia's Super Bowl bid in protest.

Disney, Marvel, AMC and some Hollywood actors and producers have also threatened to boycott the state. Coca-Cola also joined in urging Deal to veto the deal.

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