Lambda Legal Hails Georgia Governor's Veto of Anti-LGBT Bill HB 757

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March 28, 2016
Simone Bell

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal today vetoed House Bill 757, a discriminatory bill that would have invited private businesses, individuals and medical and social services agencies to discriminate against anyone in Georgia on religious grounds. 

Today we feel very fortunate that LGBT people and people with living with HIV were spared the terrible consequences of HB 757.  We applaud today’s veto and thank Gov. Deal for his willingness to listen to the voices explaining the damage this bill could have caused. In the end, Governor Deal did not allow hate and fear-mongering to dictate state policy; instead he chose to act reasonably and with compassion and demonstrated that equality is a Georgia value. He listened to the business community, hundreds of ministers, and tens of thousands of Georgians who opposed the bill.  Freedom of religion does not give any of us permission to discriminate against others.

HB 757 would have allowed anyone to use religion to treat LGBT people, and others, unfairly and to ignore anti-discrimination policies. As is always the case when discriminatory laws target LGBT people and people living with HIV Lambda Legal is poised to defend the rights of our community.  

But this is far from over. LGBT Georgians need strong and effective protections in employment and public accommodations — 21 states provide protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and 17 on the basis of gender identity, and we need to add Georgia to the list.

Lambda Legal is a member of Georgia Unites, a bipartisan grassroots campaign dedicated to protecting gay and transgender Georgians from discrimination and ensuring that individuals and businesses aren’t able to use their religious beliefs to harm others.