“Gov. Nathan Deal on Monday vetoed the ‘religious liberty’ bill that triggered a wave of criticism from gay rights groups and business leaders and presented him with one of the most consequential challenges he’s faced since his election to Georgia’s top office,” reports the Atlanta Journal and Constitution.
The story continues, “The legislation, which first surfaced on March 16 and passed both Republican-controlled chambers in hours, would allow faith-based organizations to deny services to those who violate their ‘sincerely held religious belief’ and preserve their right to fire employees who aren’t in accord with those beliefs.”
The article adds that Governor Deal, a Republican, “In stark terms…said earlier this year that he would reject any measure that ‘allows discrimination in our state in order to protect people of faith.’ Rooting his critique in biblical language, he urged fellow Republicans to take a deep breath and ‘recognize that the world is changing around us.’”
The story notes, “The governor…had ample cover from the measure’s critics. Executives from dozens of big-name companies, including Disney, Apple, Time Warner, Intel and Salesforce, called on the governor to veto the bill. The NFL warned it could risk Atlanta’s bid for the Super Bowl and the NCAA hinted it could influence the state’s ability to host championship games. And Deal’s office said two economic development prospects have already abandoned Georgia because of the legislation.