You’ve probably heard all about the Georgia “religious liberty” bill, as if it is signed into law by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, it will allow state pastors to not perform same-sex weddings if it makes them uncomfortable.
The Human Rights Campaign is also concerned that the bill could “permit hospitals to refuse to provide medically necessary care” to LGBT people.
But, two very powerful forces are threatening to boycott Georgia if the bill goes through: Marvel and Disney. You might not know this, but Georgia is a popular location for filming, due to numerous tax incentives. The highly anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is currently shooting there, and Captain America Civil War was also filmed there.
A Disney spokesperson said yesterday: “Disney and Marvel are inclusive companies, and although we have had great experiences filming in Georgia, we will plan to take our business elsewhere should any legislation allowing discriminatory practices be signed into state law.”
However, there are also several other powerful companies that could very well turn the tide against House Bill 757, as they are also threatening boycotts if it passes.
Below you can find various comments from some very big money makers indeed.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy for the Superbowl: “NFL policies emphasise tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard. Whether the laws and regulations of a state and local community are consistent with these policies would be one of many factors NFL owners may use to evaluate potential Super Bowl host sites.”
Apple: “Our stores and our company are open to everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love. We urge Gov. Deal to veto the discriminatory legislation headed to his desk and send a clear message that Georgia’s future is one of inclusion, diversity and continued prosperity.”
The Human Rights Campaign: “If this bill is signed into law, your employees, your contractors, all those working on your production are at risk of state-sponsored discrimination. That is wrong, it’s un-American. It’s an affront on all the values Hollywood prides itself on. Join us as we urge TV and film studios, directors and producers, to commit to locating no further productions in the state of Georgia if this bill becomes law.”
Kelvin Williams, founder of Telecom company 373K: “One reason we decided to leave is because our employees are from around the world. You name it, we’ve got it here. What I tell people is that, under this law, if it is to become a law, I only have two employees that would be acceptable in the state of Georgia, only two heterosexuals that have only been married once.”
CEO of Salesforce, Marc Benioff: “Salesforce will have to reduce investments in Georgia, including moving the Salesforce Connections conference to a state that provides a more welcoming environment for the LGBTQ community.”
It has been estimated that passing the anti-gay legilsation could cost Georgia as much as six billion dollars. Not only would it be a huge monetary loss, it will also effect jobs, employment and the overall reputation of the state of they lose things such as the Superbowl.
Let’s hope that the threat of losing a huge amount of money and support moves Georgia Governor Nathan Deal to do the right thing and veto the bill.