Georgia lawmakers pass 'Religious Liberty' bill - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Georgia lawmakers pass 'Religious Liberty' bill

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -

After months of back and forth, Georgia lawmakers approved a religious freedom bill that is described by opponents as being discriminatory against same-sex couples. 

"They took my concerns and the concerns of others in the house and worked, and worked," said District 122 Representative Jodi Lott.

It's a topic across this country that can't seem to find a common ground.

"It is being sold to people as a very narrow bill where it is going to just impact the LGBT community, but it is broad where it will provide the opportunity to pick and choose what law they want to uphold," said Lonzo Smith, Vice President with Augusta Pride.

"It doesn't defines which ones of mine are more important than others. It is if I have a strongly held belief, that I am protected," Lott said.

Supporters say the bill  meets in the middle and benefits all, but others say no matter how the bill is worded, it's still discriminatory.

"I honestly believe that this bill is reaching from the low hanging fruit," Smith said. "It is a PR stunt, it is making people think that you are protecting you from something that you don't need protection from."

If the bill is approved, faith-based organizations would not be punished, under the law, if they decided not to hire, serve or marry someone based on their sexual orientation. 

Evans representative Jodi Lott says the previous bill went too far and now Georgia has the opportunity to get it right.

"That's the number one thing. Is that we found a way to do this with no discriminatory language in the bill and I'm very pleased about that," Lott said.

Now, the bill still has to be signed by Governor Nathan Deal to become law. Deal has made it clear that he will not sign a bill that allows discrimination.

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