By Rep. Greg Morris
The legislative news from the Capitol last week was dominated by the news of Governor Deal using his constitutional authority to veto HB 757, the “Religious Liberty Bill.” I was disappointed and angry but not very surprised. The governor had been hinting at a veto some few days before the end of the session. I have considered the governor’s remarks and reason for the veto and have found them unconvincing altogether. HB 757 is not discriminatory; it protects clergy and certain faith organizations from legal action due to their deeply held religious beliefs. Churches, non-profit faith organizations, and Christian schools would be the type of organizations protected under this bill. The deeply held religious beliefs of these organizations would determine their hiring of employees, the events held on their property and the content of their teaching without interference from state government. HB 757 was a good faith effort from members of the legislature in response to the Supreme Court’s unconstitutional ruling concerning same–sex marriage, and Governor Deal’s veto was both unwise and unfortunate.
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