ATLANTA, GA — Gov. Nathan Deal announced Monday morning that he is vetoing HB 757, the controversial religious liberty bill.
The bill, which was approved recently by the Georgia General Assembly, would have allowed faith-based groups to refuse services or terminate employees based on sexual orientation.
“Government doesn’t need to confer religious liberty,” Deal said. “Inclusions and omissions in their statutes may lead to discrimination, intentional or unintentional.
“This is about the character of our state and people. Georgia is full of loving, kind and generous people, who choose to worship God in their own way.”
All of Atlanta’s major sports franchises issued statements expressing their opposition to the bill. Other political leaders in the thick of economic development negotiations and CEOs and business leaders looking at Georgia for expansion have warned about the bill’s potential consequences.
AMC, which airs and produces the primarily Georgia-lensed “The Walking Dead,” joined an entertainment-industry chorus calling for Deal to veto the proposal.
Disney and its Marvel Studios also said they would stop filming movies in Georgia if Deal signed the bill.
The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which is scheduled to hold its annual board of directors meeting in Atlanta in May, came out this past Friday against the bill.
“This bill has caused many reactions, and many of those have been extreme,” Deal said. “Those who threatened me, including those in the business community, should know I don’t respond well to threats.”
By TIM DARNELL (Patch Staff) – March 28, 2016 10:30 am ET