Gov. Nathan Deal has announced that he will veto the so-called “Religious Liberty” bill passed by the Georgia General Assembly, after a tsunami of business and community protest against the bill for its obvious intent to enable discrimination against LGBT people. The MADSA LGBT and Allies committee had sent a letter urging the veto, signed by our officers, which became a petition. We are proud that we could contribute our bit to this victory. Many more struggles to come! To see the text of the letter, click on “read more.” (Photo by Reid Freeman Jenkins was taken at the 2015 Atlanta Pride march.)
Dear Governor Nathan Deal,
The Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America (MADSA) wish to express its disappointment at the passage of HB757, the latest manifestation of the “Religious Freedom” bill emanating from the Georgia Assembly, and its hopes that you will exercise your good judgment by vetoing this bill. This act awaiting your signature is prejudicial and discriminatory towards LGBT citizens. In particular, MADSA believes strongly that HB757 would have injurious political consequences and far-reaching social and economic implications for LGBT citizens as well as the countless allies who stand in solidarity with them.
As an organization that promotes a society and a world where resources are democratically controlled to the benefit of all, it is incumbent upon MADSA to stand in solidarity with people who are prevented from realizing their full potential as socially and politically empowered citizens. HB757 seeks to obstruct LGBT people and others from this potential based on religious convictions, which also serve to prevent government officials, functionaries, and private entities from recognizing and safeguarding the rights and dignities of all citizens of Georgia. So to ensure that all citizens of Georgia be enfranchised politically and socially, MADSA urges you to veto HB757 and to deny the will of those inclined to denigrate others for political gain and/or out of religious zeal.
Furthermore, various opponents of HB757 have expressed their discontent over the commercial and material ramifications of this bill. While we are certainly in agreement with many of the concerns raised by other opponents of it, MADSA wishes to emphasize the material impact of this faith-based piece of legislation on the LGBT and Ally community. HB757 makes clear – in no uncertain terms – that citizens could be refused goods and services based on their gender identity and sexual orientation. Aside from what this bill allows in the way of discrimination on the part of government officials and representatives, HB757 enables private citizens and entities to do the same in their economic/financial dealings and interactions. Therefore, this bill – if signed into law – will serve to increase the economic and material disparities between citizens and compound the indignities already experienced by the working class. MADSA urges you to veto this bill and to help steer the focus of government away from prejudicial, faith-based initiatives and redirect the attention of government to the material needs and enfranchisement of all citizens.
Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America therefore appeals to your good judgment in disavowing HB757 and rejecting any such legislation that is prejudicial against the LGBT and Ally community. We hope that the State of Georgia, under your supervision, will tend to the overall political, social, and material enfranchisement of all citizens and neither favor nor embolden only those who fit certain religious criteria.
Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America