Support the Café

Search our Site

Georgia joins states floating “religious freedom” bills

Georgia joins states floating “religious freedom” bills

The Georgia Senate and House are compromising on a “religious freedom” bill. The bill has gone through a few drafts, as reported by WABE public radio earlier today:

Titled the “Free Exercise Protection Act,” the legislation would reinforce the rights of clergy members to decline to perform marriages to which they are opposed on religious grounds.

It would also allow faith-based organizations to deny services to individuals based on religious grounds.

A previous version of the legislation contained more specific language that said faith-based organizations could deny services to individuals because of their marital status.

In an update from WISTV, the bill’s restrictions have been scaled back somewhat and the current compromise will be the subject of debate beginning tomorrow evening:

The legislation says clergy cannot be forced to perform a same-sex wedding ceremony in Georgia. The bill also allows faith-based organizations not to serve customers for an event that they morally oppose.

According to WSB-TV in Atlanta, “Opponents are already out saying this so-called compromise is worse than the original bill and will lead to heated protests and calls for businesses to boycott Georgia.”

Georgia’s governor is among those opposed to the bill, according to WABE:

Gov. Nathan Deal has said he will reject any legislation that condones discrimination, and many large corporations in Georgia have condemned the religious exemption bills, saying the measures will be interpreted as discriminatory.

Photo: The Georgia State Senate. Source:


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
William A. Flint

Panic! I have seen this before in the 1960’s and 1970’s during the Civil Rights Movement. Instead of living the Christian Faith some people want to legislate restrictions on living faithful lives.

It’s time to grow up. If a baker doesn’t want to bake a cake for me ok. I’ll find another baker. However, what do you do if a motel doesn’t want to rent you a room for the night? It might be hard to find another motel in the middle of West Texas.

What ever happened to see those Christians, they love one another and us too?

David Allen

The issue is when folks willfully want to confuse a baker, florist, printer, caterer or anyone else who vends wedding accoutrements or services to the public, and holds certain conservative beliefs, as a religious organization.

Jay Croft

Clergy have always had the right to refuse to officiate at weddings. I’ve turned down a few in my day.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café