Georgia Senate passes anti-LGBT adoption bill, Hollywood threatens GA film industry

Georgia Senate passes anti-LGBT adoption bill, Hollywood threatens GA film industry
(Source: WTOC)

GEORGIA (WTOC) - Georgia lawmakers and various representatives of the state's booming film industry met to celebrate Georgia Film Day on Tues. Feb. 27.

It comes at a time when a controversial Georgia bill is causing upset to some in Hollywood.

Last week, Georgia's Senate voted in favor of Senate Bill 375 which would allow taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to refuse placement services based on religious belief.

Those in favor of the bill say it would bring more faith-based adoption agencies to open in the state, but others call it a discrimination act which could stop certain industries from coming to the state.

Several actors have voiced their thoughts on social media.

Actor Bradley Whitford tweeted saying, 'This is sick. Hey Hollywood, we shouldn't be pouring millions of dollars into a state that codifies hate.'

Actor Ben Wexler calls for a boycott, tweeting, 'To my fellow showrunners: if this dumb bill becomes law, let's be done filming television shows in Georgia.'

Beth Nelson is the Executive Director for the Savannah Area FIlm Office. She was in Atlanta for Georgia Film Day.

"It was mostly celebrating the industry. I'm sure there was talk among individuals who were there because it is concerning, but for the speakers and main topics, it wasn't mentioned," Nelson said.

Charles Bowen, Founder of the Savannah Film Alliance, was also in Atlanta. He says he talked to several lawmakers.

"Every single one I had the opportunity to do so, and to me, this isn't just about economics, it's about morality. I think the bill itself is an embarrassment and puts Georgia in such a negative light," Bowen said.

Bowen believes Georgia and the adoption bill could have similar repercussions to North Carolina and it's bathroom bill which limited people to public restrooms aligned with their gender at birth.

"Ask the State of North Carolina. The economy was devastated, not just by the entertainment industry which was a large part, but industries across the board," Bowen said.

The bill cost the state millions of dollars. Even the NBA moved it's 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte to New Orleans.

Lawmakers repealed the law last March. Bowen hopes the same will not happen here at home.

"It would be a giant black eye to the state, and I encourage our lawmakers to do the right thing here and make sure everyone who comes to the State of Georgia feels welcomed," Bowen said.

The bill now moves to the House of Representatives.

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