Georgia State Senate advances anti-LGBT discrimination bill

Today, Georgia's State Senate voted in favor of a harmful anti-LGBT discrimination that will now be sent to Georgia's House of Representatives for a response. And this so-called "First Amendment Defense Act,"  is just the first of a series of so-called "religious freedom bills" under consideration in the Georgia legislature, which would allow individuals to cite their religious beliefs to discriminate against LGBT Georgians.  

Another one of these bills, the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” would not only allow individuals and businesses to openly discriminate against Georgia's LGBT community, but it would also cause problems related to child welfare, domestic violence, and public safety.

Among the other bills being considered are:

In today's vote, Georgia's Senate voted 36-19 to prohibit amendments to the so-called "First Amendment Defense Act" (FADA), which allows any taxpayer funded, faith-based nonprofit or agency to deny all services based on religious beliefs. Not only does FADA open the door to state-sanctioned discrimination against LGBT Georgians, but if also affects single mothers, unwed parents, people of other faiths and more -- all under the guise of so-called "religious freedom." 

Georgia Unites Against Discrimination immediately took to Twitter to condemn the move and encourage followers to act now:

Not only have prominent national human rights organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign and Anti-Defamation League spoken out against the bill, but prominent celebrities have, as well.

Actor and LGBT advocate George Takei is among those who have already publicly denounced the bill on social media and has encouraged his followers to take a stand.

 

In Georgia, as in many states, there are no express statewide laws prohibiting LGBT discrimination. Now some GA lawmaker...

Posted by George Takei on Tuesday, February 2, 2016

And actress and LGBT ally Kat Graham of The CW  drama The Vampire Diaries informed her Twitter followers of potential harms imposed by the bill:

As a part of the Southern Stories program, GLAAD has been supporting Georgia LGBT advocates' efforts to oppose anti-LGBT bills in whatever form they take. Help defeat RFRA, FADA, and the other so-called "religious freedom bills," and assure the protection of Georgia's LGBT community by contacting your state's lawmakers and signing Georgia Unites Against Discrimination's online petition. For even more ways to get involved, go to Georgia Unites' website.