Former Georgia Republican Attorney General Michael Bowers held a press conference today in Atlanta announcing his strong opposition to the proposed “license to discriminate” Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
In his legal analysis, his three main points were as follows: the proposed RFRA authorizes discrimination, makes every person or private business the unilateral arbiter of the law and destroys uniformity of the law, ushering in uncertainty for those bound by and those enforcing the law.
He said the bill is “unequivocally an excuse to discriminate….[P]ermitting citizens to opt-out of laws because of a so-called burden on the exercise of religion in effect ‘would permit every citizen to become a law unto himself.’”
The proposed RFRA entails government overstepping its bounds, allowing people and private businesses the autonomy to disobey any law they claim conflicts with their religious beliefs. Bowers presented an example of a Muslim city clerk who refused to issue a marriage license to a heterosexual couple because one partner was Muslim and the other was of a different religion. Bowers said it could take decades to sort out the legal chaos that would ensue.
Bowers raised the point that there is absolutely no way that the bill did not come about in the wake of the freedom to marry movement, and that “the proposed RFRA is nothing more than an effort to legalize discrimination against disfavored groups.”
Bowers concluded with this statement:
“It is not just bad public policy; it is ill-conceived, unnecessary, mean-spirited, and deserving of a swift death in the General Assembly.”
Bowers recognized that he had a change of heart through the years about his views on discrimination, but that he is now ready to fight if the bill passes.SHARE THIS STORY