The wave of backlash against Georgia’s attempts to pass their version of Indiana’s notorious
“religious freedom” anti-gay discrimination bill HB 757 is beginning to snowball, potentially costing the state billions of dollars as civil rights organizations and multinational corporations alike condemn and boycott the state over their insistence on legalizing their bigotry.
Media conglomerate AMC, world-famous for their zombie apocalypse drama the Walking Dead, has announced that they will no longer film the show in Georgia if Republican Governor Nathan Deal signs the bill. They join some 300 major corporations such as Walt Disney, Marvel,Viacom, 21st Century Fox, Lionsgate, CBS, Starz, Netflix, Time Warner, CBS, The Weinstein Company, Sony, Comcast/NBCUniversal, MGM, STX Entertainment, Open Road Films, who have all threatened to pull their business from the state if the bill is passed. The National Football League has also strongly hinted that they will refuse to host a Super Bowl in the state.
HB 757 would allow “faith-based” groups to refuse employment and service to anyone who “violates” their religious beliefs by existing, and would allow business to fire people based on their sexuality. The state of Indiana passed a similar bill last summer, prompting a nationwide condemnation and boycott which ended up costing the state $60 million in lost business.
The state of Georgia is the 34th poorest state in the union, with a median household income of $49,321 and has a 18.3% poverty rate. They can hardly afford to take the enormous economic hit just because their legislators are uncomfortable selling cakes to same-sex weddings. This bill is just more evidence of how Republican legislators purposefully damage their state and make the lives of their constituents worse in the pursuit of their discriminatory and unconstitutional agendas.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.