A Georgia lawmaker has scrapped a bill Thursday that would have barred women from wearing burqas in certain public areas, Fox 5 Atlanta reported.
“After further consideration, I have decided to not pursue HB 3 in the upcoming 2017 legislative session due to the visceral reaction it has created,” Georgia State Rep. Jason Spencer (R-Woodbine) wrote in a statement obtained by the station.
The bill would have expanded current Georgia law, aimed at Ku Klux Klan members, that bans people from wearing masks that hide their identity. The current law bans men from wearing a mask, hood, or other device that hides a portion of the face, and the now scrapped House Bill 3 would have added women to that ban.
Public outrage soon followed the filing of the bill on Tuesday, and Spencer said that the bill would not have survived “political scrutiny.”
“While this bill does not contain language that specifically targets any group, I am mindful of the perception that it has created,” he said in the statement, according to Fox 5. “My objective was to address radical elements that could pose a threat to public safety. However, further consideration dictates that other solutions will need to be considered. In conclusion, anti-masking statutes have been upheld as constitutional (State v Miller, 1990), and HB 3 would withstand legal scrutiny, but not political scrutiny.”