GA Clergy Decry Passage of Discriminatory ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill, Call for Veto

March 16, 2016, 7:10 pm | Posted by

For Immediate Release
March 16, 2016
Contact:
Michelle Nealy, (202)735-7123, mnealy@faithinpubliclife.org
Graham Younger, 678-739-8584, gyounger@faithinpubliclife.org

GA Clergy Decry Passage of Discriminatory ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill, Call for Veto

Atlanta, GA — Faith leaders are deeply disappointed by the passage of HB 757 and are strongly urging Gov. Nathan Deal to veto the bill. The amended bill is even worse than what previously passed the Senate and the House as it allows faith-based organizations to discriminate in hiring on the basis of religion. Over 300 clergy from across the state stand in firm opposition against the overly broad, discriminatory bill. Many of these join the call for comprehensive civil rights legislation to protect all Georgians from discrimination.

In recent public remarks, Gov. Deal denounced the type of sweeping religious exemptions found in HB 757. Faith leaders hope that the governor will move in the direction of inclusion and tolerance, disavowing legislation that allows for discrimination of members of the LGBT community.

From Rabbi Peter S. Berg, The Temple:
“As a person of faith, I stand firmly against this egregiously discriminatory bill because it compromises who we are as Georgians and as Americans. My faith teaches me that we are to treat others fairly, as we would wish to be treated ourselves. My faith is protected by the First Amendment. I am urging Gov. Deal to veto this bill and demonstrate that Georgia does not sanction discrimination.”

From Rabbi Joshua Heller, Congregation B’nai Torah:
“It’s been presented as a compromise, but in fact they have rushed through something that combines some of the worst features of all the different bills we’ve seen so far. It overreaches any reasonable attempt at protection of religion and would open new doors for discrimination and harm against the residents of our state.”

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GA Clergy Express Disappointment Over Passage of Campus Carry Bill, Call for Veto

March 11, 2016, 5:11 pm | Posted by

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2016
Contact:
Michelle Nealy, (202)735-7123, mnealy@faithinpubliclife.org
Graham Younger, 678-739-8584, gyounger@faithinpubliclife.org

GA Clergy Express Disappointment Over Passage of Campus Carry Bill, Call for Veto

Atlanta, GA – Outcry, a coalition of faith leaders against gun violence, is deeply disappointed the by the passage of HB 859 and is strongly urging Gov. Nathan Deal to veto the bill. As faith leaders, Outcry stands in firm solidarity with the presidents and campus police chiefs of all 29 University System of Georgia institutions, including the University of Georgia and the Georgia Institute of Technology, who all oppose concealed carry on campus.

From Rabbi Peter S. Berg, The Temple:
“HB 859 has the potential to turn our state’s prestigious colleges and universities into vehicles of violence. These institutions of higher learning serve as sanctuaries for thousands of students in pursuit of academic excellence and the sanctity of that space should not be corrupted by the presence of firearms.  As a person of faith, I call on Gov. Deal veto Campus Carry.”

From Rev. David Powers, Madison Presbyterian Church:
“The passage of this campus carry bill is a step toward a more violent, less moral society for Georgia. Our students and their professors and administrators deserve safe places to learn and grow. Georgia residents deserve common sense gun laws that make our streets and sanctuaries safe. I pray that Gov. Deal recognizes this, and vetoes this bill.”

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Faith Leaders Thank Gov. Deal for Opposing FADA, Call for Comprehensive Civil Rights Protections

March 8, 2016, 5:00 am | Posted by

A sample of media coverage from this event: 

Fox 5 Atlanta Some faith leaders praise Governor on religious freedom

WSB Religious leaders support Deal’s statements on ‘religious freedom’

Georgia Voice Georgia clergy praise Gov. Deal on opposition to anti-gay ‘religious freedom’ bill

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 8, 2016
Contact: Michelle Nealy, (202)735-7123, mnealy@faithinpubliclife.org

Faith Leaders Thank Gov. Deal for Opposing FADA, Call for Comprehensive Civil Rights Protections

Atlanta, GA – On Tuesday, March 8th, a group of prominent Georgia clergy gathered at Central Presbyterian Church to commend Gov. Nathan Deal’s recent denunciation of sweeping religious exemptions legislation that uses faith as the basis for discrimination. Nearly 300 clergy from across the state stand in firm opposition against the overly broad, discriminatory “First Amendment Defense Act” (FADA), and many are calling for comprehensive civil rights legislation. Georgia is one of only 5 states that currently lacks broad nondiscrimination protections. Clergy cited their faith, as well as concerns about the potential for discrimination and unintended consequences in their opposition to the bill.

From Rabbi Joshua Heller, Congregation B’nai Torah:
“Though we may agree or disagree with the governor on points of principle or policy, I think the people of our state owe him a debt of gratitude for speaking words of principle on behalf so many people of faith. We are here today because we want to make sure that these bills go away. The so-called First Amendment Defense Act cannot pass in its current form. People of faith are against this bill, because it turns faith into a political bludgeon, bringing back discriminatory practices that are best left buried. Let us hope that wisdom and kindness win the day. I would urge Georgians, especially Georgians of faith, to tell your legislators that whether it’s called: RFRA or FADA, we say NADA. We don’t want it. We didn’t ask for it.”

From Rev. William Flippin Jr., Emmanuel Lutheran Church:
“I want to thank Governor Nathan Deal for recognizing that it is our religious values that drive us to reject these bills. I, too, believe that Jesus calls us to reach out to those who have been outcast by our state’s laws and political debates. I hope that as Georgians and as Christians, we recognize that Georgia has to go beyond merely not passing these laws. Georgia is one of just five states in the country that does not have comprehensive civil rights protections for its citizens. We can and should support laws that make Georgia a better, more welcoming place for everyone.”

The press conference was part of an ongoing statewide campaign by Georgia clergy to oppose passage of controversial, broad religious exemption legislation. Hundreds of clergy have publicly spoken out against these dangerous bills in 2015 and 2016.

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GA Clergy Applaud Governor Deal’s Forceful Commentary Against “Religious Freedom” Bill

March 7, 2016, 1:41 pm | Posted by

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 7, 2016
Contact: Michelle Nealy, (202)735-7123, mnealy@faithinpubliclife.org

PRESS CONFERENCE: GA Clergy Applaud Governor Deal’s Forceful Commentary Against “Religious Freedom” Bill

Georgia clergy praise Gov. Deal’s strong words against discrimination and call for comprehensive civil rights legislation

Atlanta, GA – On Tuesday, March 8th at 1 p.m. a group of prominent Georgia clergy will gather at Central Presbyterian Church to commend Gov. Nathan Deal’s forceful denunciation of any legislation that uses religion as the basis for discrimination. Fueled by his personal faith, Deal’s recent comments regarding the need for tolerance and inclusion underscore the urgent need for both civility and legislative inclusion, not only for members of the LGBT community, but for every citizen in the state.

Nearly 300 Georgia clergy stand in firm opposition against the overly broad, discriminatory “First Amendment Defense Act” (FADA) and are calling for comprehensive civil rights legislation as Georgia is one of 3 states without a broad civil rights law. The clergy cite their faith, as well as concerns about the potential for discrimination and unintended consequences in their opposition to the bill.

The press conference is part of an ongoing statewide campaign by Georgia clergy to lobby against the passage of controversial, broad religious exemption legislation. More than 286 clergy have publicly spoken out against these dangerous religions exemption bills in 2015 and 2016.

WHAT: Press conference

WHO:

Rabbi Joshua Heller, Congregation B’nai Torah

Rev. William Flippin Jr., Emmanuel Lutheran Church

Pastor in Residence Molly McGinnis, Central Presbyterian Church

Rev. Susan Taylor, Starrsville United Methodist Church  

WHERE: Central Presbyterian Church Courtyard. 201 Washington St SW, Atlanta, GA 30303

WHEN: Tuesday, March 8th at 1:00 PM

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Clergy decry ‘First Amendment Defense Act’ at GA state capitol

February 25, 2016, 2:28 pm | Posted by
A sample of media coverage from this event: 
 

11 Alive Ga. clergy members voice opposition to religious freedom bills

WSB Religious liberty bill divides faith community

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 23, 2016
Contact: Graham Younger, 678-739-8584gyounger@faithinpubliclife.org 
 

PRESS CONFERENCE: Following senate vote, clergy decry FADA

Georgia clergy speak up for business and for their faith, calling legislature to reject First Amendment Defense Act

 

Atlanta, GA  – On Wednesday, February 24th at 11:00 AM, a group of prominent Georgia clergy will gather at the State Capitol to speak out against the overly broad, discriminatory “First Amendment Defense Act” (FADA) that just passed the Georgia senate. 

Immediately following the senate vote, there was an outcry from the business community, with several groups saying they will have no choice but to leave the state if the bill becomes law. This reaction echoes the reaction in Indiana that cost the state more than $60 million.

FADA is one of several religious exemption bills in the legislature. Our speakers are disappointed that these bills are attempting to create a divide. Even our Lt. Gov., speaking on a religious freedom bill that passed, declared it a victory over “radical atheist groups.” This kind of rhetoric comes from only some of the religious community, and does not speak for these clergy. 

More than 286 clergy have joined these businesses in publicly speaking out against dangerous religions exemption bills in 2015 and 2016.

WHAT: Press conference

WHO:

Rabbi Joshua Heller, Congregation B’nai Torah 
Rev. Timothy McDonald, III, First Iconium Baptist Church
Nan Orrock, Senator, 36th District
WHERE: Coverdell Legislative Office Building, Room 203, 18 Capitol Square, Atlanta, GA 30334
WHEN: Wednesday, February 24th, 11:00 AM
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