GSU Constitutional Scholar Sees Unintended Problems with Religious Freedom Bill

The bill, SB 129, is one of two “religious liberty” measures state lawmakers are considering this year.

Ken Lund /

Most of the debate surrounding the controversial “religious freedom” bill (SB 129) has centered around whether or not it would clear the way for discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. But one constitutional scholar says there are other big ─ and unintentional ─ problems with the legislation as it is now written.

L. Lynn Hogue is professor of law emeritus and director of the master’s program for foreign-trained lawyers at the Georgia State University College of Law.

He says the bill has no clear definition of the term “religious exercise,” and that could open the door to all kinds of problems for the state.

In that respect, Hogue argues, SB 129 is very different from the 1993 Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, to which it is often compared.

On “A Closer Look,” Hogue spoke with WABE’s Denis O’Hayer about the bill.