Lambda Legal Condemns Georgia Religious Discrimination Bill

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January 20, 2016
(Atlanta--January 20, 2016) Today, after Georgia State Senator Greg Kirk introduced the so-called "First Amendment Defense Act of Georgia (FADA)," a bill designed to allow private businesses, individuals and medical and social services agencies to discriminate against anyone in Georgia on religious grounds, Lambda Legal issued the following statement from Senior Attorney Beth Littrell:
“We are extremely disappointed that Georgia’s antigay lawmakers are once again trying to allow religious discrimination in many areas of life for Georgia’s families, workers and others. We have seen this over and over - bills that say they are about protecting one thing when the real goal is to target and discriminate against LGBT people, with vast implications for everyone. FADA is divisive and dangerous. It encourages discrimination, invites litigation, and collides with fundamental rights protected under the US Constitution.  

“As written, this bill will upend the balance between religious freedom and freedom from imposition of others’ religious beliefs.  It provides special protections for people to justify discrimination. Lambda Legal urges the Georgia General Assembly to halt this bill before it causes damage and legal havoc between neighbors, employee and employer, customer and company, and landlord and tenant. If enacted, FADA would extend religious rights to for-profit companies of all sizes - no matter what goods they make or services they sell, they would be treated much like churches. Freedom of religion is already strongly protected by federal and state law - this bill goes too far.

In efforts to defeat this destructive legislation, Lambda Legal joins with Georgia Equality and other organizations  as 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.