Last year, Indiana passed the so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to national outcry ranging from the business community, sports organizations, universities, tech giants, and state governors.
Shortly thereafter, Georgia’s RFRA bill stalled out quietly in committee.
Georgia’s RFRA has been dormant since the legislature went on recess in April. But it’s very much still alive and is slated to be one of the biggest legislative battles of 2016.
The bill was introduced by Sen. Josh McKoon and would allow someone to use their religious beliefs to deny housing and employment, or refuse service to others.
The Senate passed RFRA without much fanfare in March, after Sen. McKoon fast-tracked the bill through committee process absence feedback from member Democrats.
Now, the legislation sits in the House Judiciary Committee where it was shelved by Republicans after three party members proposed an amendment that would prohibit discrimination.
The proposed non-discrimination amendment was largely viewed as an attempt to hedge public outrage.
Nevertheless, despite the catastrophic blowback to what became known in Indiana as anti-LGBT legislation, Sen. McKoon has been in the media nearly every week since April vowing to make RFRA a number one 2016 priority—and he’s not interested in compromising for non-discrimination clauses.
Already, members of Georgia’s business community are mobilizing in opposition. Two separate studies, commissioned by the Metro Atlanta Chamber and the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, have found that the proposed “religious liberty” bill could cost the state $2 billion in revenue losses if it passes.
The same studies estimate up to 4,000 jobs could be slashed, particularly in the convention industry, which will be hard-hit when major companies realize they can take their business to neighboring states where all employees are welcome and protected from discrimination under the law.
The legislature resumes session in one month. Click here to send a message to you lawmakers saying you oppose RFRA and urging them to reject this harmful legislation.SHARE THIS STORY