'Religious liberties' bill renews recurring Georgia debate

February 28, 2019 - 2:29 pm

ATLANTA (AP) — A 'religious liberties' bill that aims to add greater protections for personal beliefs has renewed a recurring debate in Georgia about discrimination and religious freedom.

Republican state Sen. Marty Harbin of Tyrone said Thursday his proposal was drafted to mirror a federal law passed in 1993.

Harbin said he believes Georgians need to be fully protected under the First Amendment by state as well as federal law.

Critics say the bill would allow discrimination against the LGBT community.

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp pledged during his election campaign last year to sign only a mirror image of the federal law.

His predecessor, GOP Gov. Nathan Deal, vetoed a similar bill three years ago amid threats by major companies to boycott Georgia if the measure became law.

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