Georgia bill allows businesses to deny gay customers - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

GA bill allows businesses to deny gay customers

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

A bill being considered in the Georgia Legislature would allow businesses to deny gay customers over religious beliefs.

On Monday, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was among those kicking off the Southerners for the Freedom to Marry Act.

Gay and lesbian advocates call it pure discrimination - masquerading as freedom of religion - but they say it's really an attempt to impose religious beliefs on the communities where they live.

Gay and lesbian advocates call it purediscrimination masquerading as freedom of religion. They say it's really anattempt to impose religious beliefs on the communities where they live.

A group of Savannah gay, lesbian, bisexualand transgender advocates (LGBT) started a petition over the weekend and had 1,200plus signatures of people who oppose the bill in the first day. 

After two days, the petition has passed the4,000 signature mark.

Just like in Arizona, where similar legislation is pending, they say besides businesses discriminating against customers based on their religious beliefs employers would be able to discriminate against potential employees. Georgia Legal Services Robert Bush, who also is gay and active in the local LGBT community, says the bill opens a Pandora's Box of discrimination issues.

 "This opens a huge window and it is for a very discriminatory poor intention. This could be anything from whether you want to get lunch to needing a medical procedure. This opens the door for a very wide range of discrimination practices based on all kinds of discriminatory grounds," Bush said.

Youcan read the petition here.

Copyright 2014 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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