The Georgia legislature today passed the hotly debated HB 757, the ‘Religious Liberty’ bill which has been among the most controversial measures of the past two legislative sessions.

The final bill combines parts of several different bills which were introduced in both houses over the past two months.  Protecting pastors from performing same-sex marriages if they are against their belief and allowing faith-based organizations to deny service to anyone who violates their sincerely held views on marriage are two of its main tenets.  It also contains much of the same language outlined in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.

Governor Nathan Deal last week raised concern over the bill, worried by the business community’s continued opposition.  That concern led to a provision added today which states that it can’t be used for “discrimination on any grounds prohibited by federal or state law.”  A meaningless statement, by the way, considering LGBT individuals are not currently a protected class under federal or state law.  

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