Will Georgia’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) allow businesses to discriminate against Georgians? Politifact Georgia rated this claim “true.”
Politifact looked into the specifics of this proposed piece of legislation—HB 29—to find if the language currently offered would grant businesses and corporations the legal right to discriminate against individuals in the name of religious freedom. What they found is unanimous, bipartisan support amongst legal scholars, confirming that the proposed bill would in fact allow for such discrimination against LGBT and other Georgians.
“Reaching out to legal scholars from across the political spectrum, we found a rare agreement. Without that exemption, businesses can claim a religious exemption.”
The consensus is based on a number of rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court, including last year’s Hobby Lobby case which ruled that private businesses do in fact have religious rights. But if Georgia passes RFRA, the implications will go far beyond last year’s Supreme Court ruling.
“Georgia code also clearly defines a person as ‘an individual, a corporation, a partnership, a business trust, an association, a firm, or any other legal entity.
Combined, that creates the opportunity for all sorts of businesses—not just the ‘closely held’ firms listed in the Hobby Lobby ruling—to potentially discriminate based on religious claims, legal experts said.”
And it isn’t just outside legal experts who agree, even the Legislature’s own counsel found that such a bill would apply to businesses as well.
“Like the outside scholars, the attorney for the Legislature agreed the measure would extend to businesses.”
Politifact concludes by pointing out the absolute rarity for legal scholars from across the board to come to a consensus on anything, leaving without a doubt proof that the proposed RFRA bill, as it’s written now, would absolutely open the door for discrimination against Georgians.
“In the world of politics and religion, we have found the equivalent of a leprechaun riding a unicorn across a field of four-leaf clovers: complete consensus.
The claim was whether the bill, as drafted, would allow businesses to claim religious exemptions. We rate it True.”SHARE THIS STORY