A Gay Republican Reflects on the Promised Veto of House Bill 757

Back in 2014, I wrote a post about the Preservation of Religious Freedom Act, the first effort by Rep. Sam Teasley and Sen. Josh McKoon to pass a version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Georgia. In the post, I referred to the objections of a young Republican Christian activist who is also gay:

I spoke to a young Republican activist about the bills. You may have seen him out campaigning for his preferred candidates over the last year. He’s a strong Christian. He’s very much against discrimination, but allows there should be certain religious exemptions for churches, for example in hiring. But he is also strongly for marriage equality, and he is concerned that the Religious Freedom Act will set that back. He supports the GOP, but he feels that by advocating bills like this, his party is pushing him away. You see, in addition to being a Christian Republican, he is also gay.

After Governor Deal announced his intention to veto House Bill 757 on Monday, my source, who still wishes to remain anonymous, reached out to me with his observations about this year’s effort to pass what became the Free Exercise Protection Act. “As a member of the faith and LGBT community,” he told me, “I must say I’m torn on the veto.” He went on:

I think [the debate over religious liberty is] a discussion that needs to continue, but with more rational thinking and intelligent, understanding discussions from leaders on both sides. It’s very hard for me. I agree — I am all for the protection for pastors and churches having another state level protection, even though it’s already a constitutional right, because of the we way our legal system and judges have become so liberal. That being said, I can’t support what could be discriminatory legislation when it comes to those who serve the public. It’s tough…I don’t know how to feel…but I feel hopeful that [Governor Nathan] Deal did the right thing.

Despite the veto of the bill, and barring an unlikely veto override by the legislature, the debate over religious liberty will plau a role in this year’s elections, the 2017 legislative session, and likely the 2018 races for governor and other constitutional officers.

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Robbie
Robbie

This issue wasn’t an all-or-nothing thing until Kirk/Tanner/McKoon decided to go for broke and introduce the three-headed monster that was FEPA. If they had kept the PPA as it was, it would have passed, been signed, and everyone would have felt reassured that their already-existing rights were once again wrapped in another layer of protection. Everyone seems to be ignoring the fact that the PPA had widespread support – it wasn’t controversial, until the rest was added on.

Davo65
Davo65

Wow. Thanks for clearing this whole, thorny issue up for us, Christian Republican, who is also gay.

John Konop
John Konop

Watch this video, and see who Sen McKoon was promoting his bill with in Georgia. Why has no one asked Sen. McKoon why he would promote this bill with the IHOP church, a religious group, that claims Hitler was doing the work of GOD when he murdered 6 million Jews?

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

You’re just gonna drive this into the ground, aren’t you?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to see Josh McKoon’s nose rubbed in it, but you’ve got to find some new lines of attack.

Like how he spent yesterday googling “how to breathe through your nose” or “how come I always get the buttons on my shirt wrong?”

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

“because of the we [sic] way our legal system and judges have become so liberal.” I just took a trip to the break room at my firm. You aren’t able to take breaks, but calling it a break room allows us to keep up the myth that we could spend a few minutes enjoying a lukewarm cup of crappy pod coffee without having to think about the trudgery of our day. Where was I? Oh, that’s right. I took a trip to the break room and did a quick walk around the office. I sat back down at my desk… Read more »

John Konop
John Konop

Ted Cruz is one of the fathers of the RFRA movement, and we know Sen McKoon is a big time supporter. RFRA is a cornerstone issue for McKoon. Why has the media not asked Sen. McKoon about his association with advocates of the bill supporting the genocide of gay people? ……..Last weekend Senator Ted Cruz, along with fellow GOP presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, spoke at a conference in Des Moines headed up by a man who advocates the execution of gay people — per his interpretation of the bible — and who made his call… Read more »

Raleigh
Raleigh

I think it’s time to let this set on the back burner for a while. I think I understand the desire for something like this to relieve reverse religious discriminatory laws imposed by local governments. One case that bothers me which I don’t believe this bill covered is the bakery in Portland that was essentially run out of business and fined many thousands of dollars. There have been other incidence where other businesses were attacked and owners receiving death threats from LBGT radicals for taking a similar stand. They tried to do that to Chick-Fil-A and it backfired. You cannot… Read more »

DAinGA
DAinGA

The bakery thing is a red herring. They got sued and ordered to pay the money because they doxed the lesbian couple who made the complaint, which lead to the couple being harassed. It wasn’t about the cake. And besides, it doesn’t matter because even in places in GA that have LGBT protections, they are not written like the one in Oregon, so this is a non-issue. So much of this is a non issue. Even the issue Kirk raised about founding a religious 501c3 non profit adoption agency is stupid because he can easily pick and choose where to… Read more »

Raleigh
Raleigh

The order to pay was from a fine imposed by the government of Oregon not a separate law suit which is on going. As far as doxing that started first by the radicals in the LGBT community. That is one of their tactics which has been used by them in every case I know about. Georgia currently has a hodgepodge of local laws. Atlanta has a different one than surrounding communities which is an issue.

ScottNAtlanta
ScottNAtlanta

You know, I am pretty damn sick of an 80% majority (the number of ‘Christians’ in this country) acting like they are some sort of persecuted class. There was no need for this bill, and there isnt a need now. We seemed to have survived 200+ years without it and just because gay people can marry doesnt change anyone’s life one bit (unless of course you are gay).
Also, wrapping my head around ‘gay republican’ is, well…beyond comprehension to me, but its a free country even without this stupid unnecessary bill.

Jack Fitz
Jack Fitz

I’ve got a solution to the whole debate, just end tax exempt status for religious organizations. Those religions can go on living out their gospels as they see fit and the functions of the government can focus on more important issues facing their constituents.

Claiming to be a religious organization isn’t difficult, but its IMPOSSIBLE to audit them if you’re the IRS. The head of Scientology, David Miscavige, can go on living like a Saudi Prince and we as taxpayers don’t have to worry about it.

Case closed.

TheManUndertheBridge
TheManUndertheBridge

A M E N!!!

TheManUndertheBridge
TheManUndertheBridge

John Konop YOU made your point and now your are not allowed to make it anymore. So there. I wish the same type of ham-handed censorship and denial of free speech could be forced on Sen. McKoon so we would be in this politically ridiculous space right now. The good man from Columbus chose the wrong ‘hill to fight for.’ Nasty rumors of withholding local funding, unprofessional conduct, and so forth are a direct result of either the Senator’s future pol aspirations or truly misguided religious convictions, or both. Bring IT on next year, Senator, and you will face the… Read more »

John Konop
John Konop

Thank you for the comment, I like and respect Jon, but on this issue, I have asked him numerous times, why he has not called out the hate groups involved with Sen McKoon promoting this policy. I have numerous friends who are very socially conservative, when they find out the groups promoting this bill with Josh McKoon are hate groups claiming to promote Christianity, many are very upset. I am shocked the media has not exposed Sen. McKoon promoting the bill with hate groups. I would love to hear a polling question asking about Sen. McKoon and his association with… Read more »