Georgia Religious Liberty Bill: Disney, Marvel Slam Anti-Gay Law
In anticipation of Governor Nathan Deal’s May 3 decision to sign or veto the religious liberty bill, known as the Free Exercise Protection Act in the Peach State, spokesman for media giant Disney commented on the anti-gay matters to the Los Angeles Times.
“Disney and Marvel are inclusive companies, and although we have had great experiences filming in Georgia, we will plan to take our business elsewhere should any legislation allowing discriminatory practices be signed into state law,” the spokesman said.
Georgia Religious Liberty Bill: Discrimination Against Gays
Should the Georgia Religious Liberty Bill be legitimized, it will offer protections to faith-based entities that refuse to provide services that they say violate their beliefs.
Deal has put strong effort into trying to convince people to continue filming in Georgia, even going so far as to host a “Georgia Night in L.A.” event last year at West Hollywood’s Sunset Tower hotel.
20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures have not yet commented on the controversy since being approached. Sony Pictures Entertainment declined to comment.
AMC Networks Joins Fight Against Georgia Religious Liberty Bill
AMC, on the other hand, which also owns IFC films, feels similarly to Disney about the act.
“As a company, AMC Networks believes that discrimination of any kind is reprehensible,” the company said in a statement. “We applaud Governor Deal’s leadership in resisting a previous version of this divisive legislation and urge him to reject the current version as well.”
Georgia Religious Liberty Legislation Text
Highlights from the Georgia Religious Liberty Bill text that critics say discriminates against gays
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT
1 To amend Title 50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to state government,
2 so as to provide for the preservation of religious freedom; to provide for a short title; to
3 provide for findings; to provide for definitions; to provide for penalties; to provide for the
4 granting of relief; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
5 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:
6 SECTION 1.
7 This Act shall be known and may be cited as the “Preventing Government Overreach on
8 Religious Expression Act.”
9 SECTION 2.
16 (2) Laws neutral toward religion have the same potential to burden religious exercise as
17 laws purposely intended to interfere with religious exercise;
18 (3) Governments should not substantially burden religious exercise without having a
19 compelling justification;
27 (b) The Georgia General Assembly further finds and determines that:
28 (1) Paragraph III of Section 1 of Article I of the Constitution of this state provides that
29 each person has the natural and inalienable right to worship God, each according to the
30 dictates of that person’s own conscience; and no human authority should, in any case,
31 control or interfere with such right of conscience;
32 (2) Paragraph IV of Section 1 of Article I of the Constitution of this state provides that
33 no inhabitant of this state shall be molested in person or property or be prohibited from
34 holding any public office or trust on account of religious opinions; but the right of
35 freedom of religion shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness or justify
36 practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the state;
58 SECTION 3.
80 (a) Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the
81 burden results from a rule of general applicability, except as provided in subsection (b) of
82 this Code section.
83 (b) Government may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if
84 government demonstrates that the application of such burden to a person is in furtherance
85 of a compelling governmental interest and the least restrictive means of furthering that
86 compelling governmental interest.
87 (c) A person whose religious exercise has been burdened in violation of this chapter may
88 assert that claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and obtain appropriate relief against
Read the Georgia Religious Liberty Bill legislation in full.