Georgia Gov. vetoes anti-LGBT bill

The Governor moved to veto the bill after mounting pressure from major corporations who do business in the state.

By Bronte Price, PoliticKING

Gov. Nathan Deal announced Monday he will veto a bill that critics say would have infringed on the rights of Georgia's LGBT community. This announcement comes after increasing pressure from major corporations that do business in Georgia who threatened to take their business elsewhere if Deal doesn’t veto the bill.

Under the House Bill 757, faith-based organizations in Georgia would have the option to deny services and jobs to LGBT people. Supporters of the bill said that it was meant to protect religious freedom, while opponents have described it as "anti-LGBT" and "appalling."

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, said the company "can't have a program in Georgia" if the bill were to become law. Unilever said it would "reconsider investment" in Georgia and Disney said it would stop filming in the state if the legislation were signed. Atlanta based Coca-Cola and Home Depot spoke out against the bill, as did and many other Fortune 500 companies based in the state. The NFL said that if the bill passed it could cost Atlanta the opportunity to host the Super Bowl. Time-Warner, which is the parent company of CNN, also opposed the legislation.

Gov. Nathan Deal told told reporters Monday morning that he didn't think the bill was necessary. "I do not think we have to discriminate against anyone to protect the faith-based community in Georgia, of which I and my family have been a part of for all of our lives," he said.

The governor said that he was not reacting to pressure from either side of the argument. His decision, he said, was "about the character of our state and the character of our people. Georgia is a welcoming state. It is full of loving, kind and generous people. ... I intend to do my part to keep it that way. For that reason I will veto House Bill 757."

The legislature passed HB757 by an overwhelming majority so unless some lawmakers switch sides, legislators may be able to override Deal’s veto.

Watch as openly gay actor and activist Ian McKellen discusses LGBT acceptance in the U.S. and Great Britain:

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