Champion of GA religious freedom bill 'extremely disappointed' i - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Champion of GA religious freedom bill 'extremely disappointed' in Gov. Deal's veto

GA State Senator Josh McKoon. (Source: WTVM) GA State Senator Josh McKoon. (Source: WTVM)
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  • HB 757 presents religious liberty and potential economic fallout for state

    HB 757 presents religious liberty and potential economic fallout for state

    Monday, March 21 2016 7:36 PM EDT2016-03-21 23:36:18 GMT
    Tuesday, March 22 2016 7:46 AM EDT2016-03-22 11:46:08 GMT
    (Source: WTVM)(Source: WTVM)

    Weeks have passed since Georgia’s State Senate approved House Bill 757. It moved up from the State House with relative ease, and after amending and including newer language, legislators await Governor Nathan Deal’s decision on whether to sign in into law or veto it. 

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    Weeks have passed since Georgia’s State Senate approved House Bill 757. It moved up from the State House with relative ease, and after amending and including newer language, legislators await Governor Nathan Deal’s decision on whether to sign in into law or veto it. 

    More >>

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - One of the champions of the so-called 'religious freedom" bill - reacted swiftly and strongly following the veto of House Bill 757 by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal on Monday.

State Senator Josh McKoon (R-District 29), from Columbus, spoke on Monday about the veto. He says the veto goes against what Gov. Deal originally promised.

"I am extremely disappointed in Governor Deal. He campaigned as someone who was going to be a friend to people of faith around our state," McKoon said.

McKoon originally sponsored a similar type bill, SB 129 - the Georgia Religious Freedom Restoration Act

The governor has said he would have signed the bill if it included the so-called 'Pastor Protection Act' that passed the House of Representatives. HB 7575 was authored by state senators Kevin Tanner, Randy Nix, Paul Battles, Jay Powell, Matt Hatchett and Beth Baskins. It originally passed the Georgia House of Representative and the State Senate before making it to the governor's desk. 

The bill is summarized on the Georgia Legislative website as: 

A BILL to be entitled an Act to protect religious freedoms; to amend Chapter 3 of Title 19 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to marriage generally, so as to provide that religious officials shall not be required to perform marriage ceremonies in violation of their legal right to free exercise of religion; to amend Chapter 1 of Title 10 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to selling and other trade practices, so as to change certain provisions relating to days of rest for employees of business and industry; to protect property owners which are religious institutions against infringement of religious freedom; to define a term; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

During his press conference on Monday, Deal said it did not reflect Georgia's character.

"My decision regarding HB 757 is not just about protecting the faith-based community or providing a business friendly climate for job growth in Georgia," Deal said. "This is about the character of our state and the character of its people. Georgia is a welcoming state filled with warm, friendly and loving people."

You can read the full transcripts of Deal's statement here.

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