GeorgiaGovernor Nathan Deal has vetoed the so-called anti-gay bill, HB 757. The bill, also known as The Free Exercise Protection Act, would have permittedreligious organizations to refuse marriage services and accommodations to individuals who violate their religious code of conduct.

Why the bill was vetoed

According to Deal, he vetoed the bill because of separation of church and state. Deal stated that, "In light of our history, I find it ironic that today some in the religious community feel it necessary to ask government to confer upon them certain rights and protections.

If indeed our religious liberty is conferred by God and not by man-made government, we should need the 'hands off' admonition of the First Amendment to our Constitution." According to this interpretation, the LGBTQcommunity is afforded rights under the Constitution but the rights of the religious community are protected by God and not by the government.

However in his veto speech, Deal stated that he does believe that he is also protecting the rights of the religious community with this action.

"Our actions on HB 757 are not just about protecting the faith-based community or providing a business-friendly climate for job growth in Georgia," said Deal. "We are working to make life better for our families and our communities. That is the character of Georgia. I intend to do my part to keep it that way. For that reason, I will veto HB 757."

Giving into pressure?

HB 757 has faced a huge backlash in the film community.

Georgia is a huge filming locale with two in-house major film studios, Tyler Perry Studios and the Pinewood Atlanta Studios and a booming industry which generated $6 billion for the state in 2015. Major corporations, which are responsible for bringing these films to Georgia issued thinly veiled threats to Gov. Deal, denouncing HB 757 and alluding to a possibly pulling their films' production from the state.

Tyler Perry Studios, Time Warner, Lionsgate, 21st Century Fox and the Weinstein Companyhave all issued statements in regards tothe bill. 21st Century Fox stated, "On behalf of 21st Century Fox's many creative partners and colleagues who choose to film their projects in the beautiful state of Geogia, we join the growing collation of businesses in asking Governor Deal to veto this bill."

After Gov. Deal vetoed the bill, many accused him of succumbing to corporate pressure.

ABC News and former Atlanta based CNN anchorT.J. Holmes was one of many who tweeted objectively about the studio pressure. President of theEthics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Commission,Russell Moore was more vocal, calling Deal "a sell-out".

For his part, Deal has said that he has been attacked on both sides.

"Some of those in the religious community who support this bill have resorted to insults that question my moral convictions and my character. Some within the business community who oppose this bill have resorted to threats of withdrawing jobs from our state. I do not respond well to insults or threats." To show his solidarity with Christians, Deal posted an Easter tweet one day before his decision. Instead of using the standard, "Happy Easter" tweet that many businesses and governments choose, Deal chose a blatantly Christian saying and then added a Bible verse for good measure. It will likely only add fuel to this already escalatingdebate.

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