Last day of Georgia legislative session, controversial 'religious freedom' bill

Last day of Georgia legislative session, controversial 'religious freedom' bill

GEORGIA (WTOC) - These are the final hours of the Georgia Legislative session and lawmakers are scrambling to try and get bills passed before midnight.

One bill that is now headed to the governor is getting a lot of attention, and it's not the kind lawmakers are usually looking for.

Opponents say it allows discrimination based on sexuality and its already getting a lot of flak from Hollywood - including companies such as Disney - who are threatening to take their business somewhere other than Georgia if Governor Deal signs the bill into law.

Movies and films shot here in the Peach State generated an estimated $6 billion last year according to the state. And other states that have passed similar laws have seen major conventions pull out, so this could have a real economic impact.

One local attorney and advocate we talked to fears that the bill, if passed, could lead to more discrimination.

"It could be something like healthcare or maybe a banking decision that terribly affects someone's situation. So our community is obviously very unhappy about this, but I also think that beyond the LGBT community that people are getting a little embarrassed by these legislators who keep fighting these same fights every year instead of doing work that really matters," said Attorney and advocate, Robert Bush.

The Savannah Economic Development Authority also released a statement Thursday afternoon. It says SEDA does not support policies that allow organizations to discriminate and favors measures that provide opportunities for individuals from all walks of life regardless of their customs, traditions or beliefs.

Of course, supporters of the bill say it protects people with strong religious beliefs from prosecution by the government. Lawmakers have made their decision, now it's up to Gov. Deal to make his.

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