State Sen. Greg Kirk’s HB 757, the combined Pastor Protection Act/First Amendment Defense Act, was passed by the State Senate last week. Gov. Deal has stated that the bill has not been finalized. The final version of the bill has to pass the House again before it is sent to Deal’s desk.
In reaction to the bill’s passage, 373k, a telecommunications startup led by CEO Kevin Williams (who is African-American and openly gay), announced that they would immediately move their operations to Nevada.
It’s a seriously-detrimental bill which has the ACLU and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce speaking out in opposition.
What the bill demonstrates is that so many of the conservative legislators backing this bill, including Sen. Kirk (a former pastor who has no background in law), have no idea of what they’re talking about, what they’re fighting against or who they’re defending. Sen. Kirk can even glibly claim 3(!) “gay friends” in order to justify his utter, dunder-headed lack of discussion or intelligence-gathering over this bill outside of his social circles.
Those Senators who voted for HB757, as well as those who voted for Sen. McKoon’s RFRA last session, are lashing out against a changing world and a changing Georgia. Their claims of seeking a “live and let live” status quo only benefit their privilege against those who don’t live their lives by their precepts.
If you’re in Columbus or anywhere in Georgia and want to defeat this bill, here’s what you can do, courtesy of my friend Rob Woods at Georgia Equality:
Call the Speaker / Governor / Lt Governor
David Ralston (Speaker of the House)
Email – http://www.house.ga.gov/Representatives/en-US/member.aspx?Member=189&Se
Tweet Ralston – @GaHouseHub #SpeakerRalston
Governor Nathan Deal
Call Governor Nathan Deal Office – 404-656-1776
Email – http://gov.georgia.gov/webform/contact-governor-domestic-form
Tweet Governor – @GovernorDeal