By: Steven Goodman – Opinions Editor
The end of March saw another state’s anti-LGBT bill draw national attention. Georgia’s House Bill 757, if passed, would have given religious groups the right to deny services and jobs to LGBT individuals. Proponents of the bill argued it was meant to protected religious freedom.
It’s a type of bill that seems contradictory. Can you really be protecting the freedoms of one group while denying the freedoms of another? But that’s a debate for another time, I suppose.
Luckily, and rightfully so, this bill was vetoed by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal. While Gov. Deal warned the Georgia House early on that he would veto the bill, this process was certainly aided by the threats of boycotts from major companies—mainly from Hollywood. Disney, Time Warner and Marvel vowed to cease all filming in Georgia if the bill was passed, the NFL mentioned Atlanta may not be considered to host the Super Bowl, and celebrities like Anne Hathaway and Aaron Sorkin spoke out against it.
Unlike the Georgia bill, which was vetoed, a North Carolina bill that features provisions discriminating against members of the LGBT community recently passed. As in the Georgia case, several massive companies have spoken out against the bill in North Carolina. In fact, several cities have even banned government-funded travel to the state. That’s something you think would get the state’s attention, but North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory continues to say there is a massive campaign to “smear our state’s reputation.”
Gov. McCrory may not have felt threatened by the boycotts against his state, but I get the feeling that he will eventually reach that point. While this would hopefully result in the repeal of the law, the logic behind repealing a law just to make money in your state is toxic. I imagine it would be extremely insulting to give a group of individuals improved rights just so major companies will remain in your state just because it is economically advantageous. It says you don’t really care about those people at all, or even see them as human— you’re just using them as a way to continue generate wealth.