EXCLUSIVE: Georgia Business Group Wants Anti-Gay Bill Scrapped

Like the Arizona business community, which has pressured Republican Gov. Jan Brewer to veto an anti-gay bill there, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce wants the Georgia legislature to reject the anti-gay bill that’s been introduced in that state.

“We feel strongly that the laws of our nation and state already adequately protect the concept of religious freedom that this country was founded on,” the chamber said in a statement to TPM after an inquiry about its position on the bill. “We encourage the General Assembly to reject proposals that would do little to enhance this basic right yet significantly threaten our business climate.”

Bills have been introduced in both Georgia chambers. The Senate bill was introduced on Feb. 11 by Sen. Josh McKoon, a Republican. The House bill was introduced on Feb. 18 by Rep. Sam Teasley, also a Republican. Both are similar to the legislation in Arizona that sparked a national firestorm.

According to WABE, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved its bill last week and a floor vote is expected by Monday. The House bill has been held up as the national outcry over Arizona’s bill has increase the pressure on other states.

In Arizona, the business community has also urged Gov. Jan Brewer to reject the bill. Major groups, including the state chamber of commerce, signed a letter pushing for a veto. Tourism industry officials have warned that a boycott could follow if the bill were signed, and the NFL has reportedly begun exploring whether it could move next year’s Super Bowl, scheduled to be in Phoenix, if Brewer were to sign the bill.

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