Institute on Religion & Democracy Press Release
March 29, 2016
Contact: Jeff Walton Office: 202-682-4131, Cell: 202-413-5639, E-Mail: jwalton@TheIRD.org
Washington, DC—Georgia Governor Nathan Deal announced Monday that he has vetoed a religious liberty bill passed by the state legislature.
Evangelical Christians strongly supported the legislation, citing its protections for pastors to opt out of performing same-sex weddings. The Washington Post reports that the legislation would have given religious organizations the ability to refuse certain services, including charitable services, if doing so clashed with their religious beliefs.
The legislation sparked objections from major donors and corporations including AT&T, Bank of America and Delta Airlines, who saw it as discriminatory against persons who identify as gay or transgender.
IRD Evangelical Action Director Chelsen Vicari commented:
“When corporate bullies dangling dollar bills is enough to cause a Baptist governor to veto a bill protecting freedom of conscience and speech, a bigger problem exits.
“Gov. Nathan Deal’s veto of Georgia’s religious freedom bill represents a wider movement among America’s Christians to compromise Scripture and morality for the sake of votes and popularity. Unfortunately, many Evangelicals, Mainline Protestants, and Catholics are bowing down at altars of sexual liberation and political correctness, erected by cultural Leftists.
“Meanwhile, Christians in Syria and Iraq refuse to abandon their faith in the face of death and Islamic terror. Compromising Christians, such as Gov. Deal, should be ashamed of themselves for sacrificing the protection of pastors and faith-based organizations for the sake of approval. This isn’t compassion. It’s cowardice.
“Religious freedom is an essential cornerstone of democracy. Compromising Christians who condemn legislation intended to protect citizen’s freedom of conscience and speech, hand over our convictions to a coercive government incapable of refereeing truth.”