Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal on Monday said he will veto legislation shielding opponents of same-sex marriage, after a groundswell of opposition from companies threatening to boycott the state if it became law.
The Republican announced his decision during a news conference in his office at the Georgia Capitol, saying, "I have examined the protections that this bill proposes to provide to the faith based community and I can find no examples of any of those circumstances occurring in our state."
Deal added, "I do not think that we have to discriminate against anyone to protect the faith-based community in Georgia."
I have maintained that the vast majority of those who look to enter into same-sex "marriage" have zero interest in forcing clergy to violate their religious conscience and thus be ordered to officiate the ceremony. If indeed a couple's wedding is viewed as one of the happiest occasions in their lives, why have anyone there who doesn't unconditionally support such a union?
With all that said, there is indeed a segment of the population (i.e. the "Gaystapo") which demands nothing less than 100% acquiescence to the homosexual lifestyle.
In Georgia, we will now see Christian pastors sued for refusing, against their own consciences and the tenets of their denomination, to perform a marriage rite for same-sex couples. It will happen.
By vetoing even the most gentle version of an RFRA, Deal betrayed churches who don’t want to offer their sanctuaries or worship centers for gay weddings.
In Georgia, we will now see churches sued and forced to rent their facilities, against their own consciences and tenets of their denomination, for same-sex weddings. It will happen.
And in the next election for governor, in 2018, any Republican running for office will have to carry the burden of surrender in the race. Meanwhile, all Jason Carter, who unsuccessfully ran against Deal in 2014, will have to do is say “I would have found a compromise.”
Every conservative voice has been silenced in Georgia, because we can’t call Disney on its threat to boycott Georgia, and expose their hypocrisy given that Florida has a stronger RFRA than Georgia. Wouldn’t it be great to call on Disney to boycott Florida and close Walt Disney World unless the state repealed its RFRA? But now we can’t because Governor Deal melted like wet toilet paper.
While Gov. Deal's statement would lead you to believe his veto decision was based on the legislation being overkill, I think we can all glean the real rationale.
Coca-Cola and other big-name Georgia companies joined the NFL, prominent Hollywood figures and film studios urging Deal to reject the proposal. Some threatened to boycott the state if Deal didn't veto.
Dr. Russell Moore, who is President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, definitely knows what's up.
GA Gov. @NathanDeal sell-out to big business pressure on religious freedom one more example of what serving Mammon does to the common good.— Russell Moore (@drmoore) March 28, 2016
The more we continue to give ground on licentious freedoms such as abortion and gay marriage, the more difficult (if not impossible) it becomes win any battles in the culture war. Religious Freedom is one we absolutely must not cede, now or ever.