Gov. Nathan Deal has just handed Georgia over to Democrats.
He vetoed the latest, most watered-down version of a religious freedom protection bill, HB 757. In fact, the bill mainly offers “pastor protection” not a sweeping overwatch for corporations and other individuals.
All individuals who are ministers of the gospel or clerics or religious practitioners ordained or authorized to solemnize marriages, perform rites, or administer sacraments according to the usages of the denomination shall be free to solemnize any marriage, perform any rite, or administer any sacrament or to decline to do the same, in their discretion, in the exercise of their rights to free exercise of religion under the Constitution of this state or of the United States.
In Georgia, we will now see Christian pastors sued for refusing, against their own consciences and the tenets of their denomination, to perform a marriage rite for same-sex couples. It will happen.
By vetoing even the most gentle version of an RFRA, Deal betrayed churches who don’t want to offer their sanctuaries or worship centers for gay weddings.
No faith based organization shall be required to rent, lease, or otherwise grant permission for property to be used by another person for an event which is objectionable to such faith based organization.
No faith based organization shall be required to provide social, educational, or charitable services that violate such faith based organization’s sincerely held religious belief as demonstrated by its practice, expression, or clearly articulated tenet of faith; provided, however, that government may enforce the terms of a grant, contract, or other agreement voluntarily entered into by such faith based organization.
In Georgia, we will now see churches sued and forced to rent their facilities, against their own consciences and tenets of their denomination, for same-sex weddings. It will happen.
And in the next election for governor, in 2018, any Republican running for office will have to carry the burden of surrender in the race. Meanwhile, all Jason Carter, who unsuccessfully ran against Deal in 2014, will have to do is say “I would have found a compromise.”
Every conservative voice has been silenced in Georgia, because we can’t call Disney on its threat to boycott Georgia, and expose their hypocrisy given that Florida has a stronger RFRA than Georgia. Wouldn’t it be great to call on Disney to boycott Florida and close Walt Disney World unless the state repealed its RFRA? But now we can’t because Governor Deal melted like wet toilet paper.
Deal has handed Georgia over to the Democrats, and almost guaranteed that by 2018 not only will Georgia be a swing state, it will be turning a deep shade of blue.