Politics

With Super Bowl Coming, Controversial Religious Liberty Bills Unlikely To Surface

Georgia Chamber of Commerce President Chris Clark says it could hurt the state’s brand, if a so called religious freedom bill got any traction,  especially with the Super Bowl just weeks away.
Georgia Chamber of Commerce President Chris Clark says it could hurt the state’s brand, if a so called religious freedom bill got any traction,  especially with the Super Bowl just weeks away.
Credit Mike Stewart / Associated Press
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Georgia Business leaders are encouraged that State Leaders have so far stayed away from pushing controversial legislation that would expand protections for religious expression.

Georgia Chamber of Commerce President Chris Clark says it could hurt the state’s brand, if a so called religious freedom bill got any traction,  especially with the Super Bowl just weeks away.

“With the whole world coming to Atlanta, more cameras than anywhere else in the world, we don’t need to distract,” he said.

Georgia Republican House Speaker David Ralston has said there is no time for the controversial legislation and that Georgia has other priorities.

Clark said some lawmakers may still try to introduce a religious liberty bill.

“Keeping that outside the mainstream, keeping that off the front page, is what we all have to focus on right now,” he said.

LGBT activists and former Gov. Nathan Deal have said expanding religious protections could lead to discrimination. In 2016 Deal vetoed such legislation.

Georgia’s new Governor, Brian Kemp, made a campaign pledge that he would sign a state version of a federal religious freedom law, if it passes the legislature.