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The Message of Georgia’s “Religious Freedom” Bill: LGBTQ People Don’t Deserve Equal Rights

Last week, as the Georgia legislature debated the Free Exercise Protection Act, a bill designed to gut local nondiscrimination ordinances and enable faith-based organizations that receive taxpayer funding through grants and contracts to use that money to deny services on the basis of religion, I asked a tongue-in-cheek question on Twitter: Where does legislative gay-bashing fit into Georgia’s motto of“Wisdom, Justice, Moderation”?

As he defended his motivations for the bill, lead sponsor state Sen. Greg Kirk, R-Americus, said: “When the Supreme Court changed the definition of marriage, dynamics changed. There was a need for a law—for this law.”  While the bill has changed significantly from when it was first introduced (it no longer allows private, for-profit businesses like restaurants and hotels to deny service to LGBTQ people), its basic approach remains the same: Gay couples, and LGBTQ people more broadly, do not deserve to be treated equally in Georgia, because God says so.

Read more at Slate.