This year in Georgia, an unprecedented coalition of grassroots supporters defeated 8 anti-LGBT bills, including HB 757, a "license to discriminate" that would have carved out a broad religious exemption designed to promote discrimination against LGBT Georgians. In a landmark decision, Governor Nathan Deal vetoed that heinous legislation on March 28.
This is huge! But the fact still remains that Georgia lacks statewide laws explicitly prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Without comprehensive protections at the state level, LGBT Georgians can still face discrimination at their jobs, in housing, or be refused service at public places—like restaurants, movie theaters, hotels, and sports stadiums—just because of who they are.
Furthermore, until non-discrimination protections for LGBT Georgians are a matter of law, extremist lawmakers can keep introducing—and we'll have to keep fighting—anti-LGBT bills like HB 757.
LGBT Georgians will never be fully safe from threat of discrimination and harm until lawmakers take proactive steps to advance non-discrimination legislation. Georgia needs statewide non-discrimination protections now.
If you support LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination laws in Georgia, sign Georgia Unites' petition today.
To the Georgia legislature:
I strongly urge you to pass LGBT-inclusive statewide non-discrimination protections.
This year, an unprecedented coalition of grassroots supporters stood against discrimination in Georgia, helping defeat 8 anti-LGBT bills in less than three months. Nearly 500 businesses joined together to make an economic case for comprehensive LGBT non-discrimination protections and against legislation that could result in billions in economic losses.
More than 300 faith leaders raised their voices in agreement that religious freedom didn't need further protecting in Georgia—it's already safe-guarded by the First Amendments to the U.S. and Georgia Constitutions. And 100,000+ Georgians wrote directly to the Governor, urging him to veto HB 757, Georgia's License to Discriminate, because they know that their communities are safer without the threat of state-sanctioned discrimination looming around every corner.
A recent study of Georgians' attitudes on this issue shows a strong majority oppose discriminatory legislation like HB 757. Meanwhile, public support for non-discrimination laws are stronger than ever before. Strong majorities of young Georgians (64%) and Catholics (63%) oppose allowing businesses to discriminate in serving LGBT people, while 78% of young Georgians, 59% of Republicans, and 73% of Catholics are in favor of non-discrimination protections.
Georgians from all walks of life support comprehensive protections for their LGBT friends and neighbors. But without non-discrimination laws at the state level, LGBT Georgians can still face unfair treatment at their jobs, in housing, or or be refused service at public places—like restaurants, movie theaters, hotels, and sports stadiums—just because of who they are. Furthermore, until non-discrimination protections for LGBT Georgians are a matter of law, extremist lawmakers can keep introducing harmful and divisive religious exemptions bills like HB 757.
Georgia simply cannot afford the economic boycott that is sure to bludgeon our state if discriminatory legislation keeps cropping up in the legislature. Our state narrowly avoided economic disaster to the tune of billions of dollars thanks to Governor Nathan Deal's timely veto of HB 757. Now, it's time to ensure Georgia's prosperity for generations to come by passing pro-business non-discrimination laws that allow the state to compete in a global marketplace by attracting and retaining top talent.
I have confidence you will continue working to make Georgia a great place to live, work and raise a family. Right now that means ensuring that LGBT Georgians are protected from discrimination by passing statewide LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination protections.
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