Georgia, the latest to respond to nationally legalized gay marriage with legalized discrimination legislation, may have bitten off more than they want to chew. With the Atlanta Falcons opening a new state-of-the-art facility in 2017, the franchise and the state have been pushing pretty hard for a Super Bowl bid for 2019. The problem is, the NFL isn’t too fond of discrimination, and they’ve let Georgia know it.
In a statement released to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the NFL said:
NFL policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard. Whether the laws and regulations of a state and local community are consistent with these policies would be one of many factors NFL owners may use to evaluate potential Super Bowl host sites.
The warning is in direct response to Georgia House Bill 757, their version of the highly criticized Religious Freedom Restoration Act that Indiana Governor Mike Pence foolishly signed into law in 2015. The Georgia bill made it through the heavily Republican controlled legislature and is currently awaiting the Governor’s signature.
Republican State Senator Greg Williams explained why assholes from Georgia need legal bigotry under the guise of “religious liberty” to the New York Times:
When the Supreme Court changed the definition of marriage, dynamics changed. There was a need for a law, for this law, and it took Georgia to lead the way of the country to put this law together.
Almost every red state has followed Indiana in enacting some sort of legalized discrimination, so the senator’s claims are pretty much a load of bullhonkey. Georgia needs this law to protect bible-thumping business owners from being sued for being ignorant jerks to people because they disagree with how they were born.
The NFL is dead-serious, too. This won’t be the first time they’ve stepped in on behalf of people being discriminated against. They stepped in on Arizona for a similar law before their last Super Bowl and moved the event to Los Angeles in 1993 when Arizona refused to observe Martin Luther King Jr Day.
Will the threat of the loss of millions in revenue and a crushing blow to Georgia’s tourism industry be enough to stifle the bill? Probably not. Southern zealots love their bigotry and not even their beloved Falcons or the loss of the largest televised event in the country will likely sway them from their objective of making it the status quo.
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