“And that is a delicate thing to do,” he told the AJC. “There’s been so much hyperbole. It’s hard to identify what can you say without saying too much, what can you say without saying too little, and what will people read into either version.”
Deal surely wants to avoid the embarrassment and controversy that Gov. Mike Pence and the state of Indiana experienced after passing their own RFRA with no anti-discrimination protections. Those protections were later added to the law (as well as to a similarly controversial law in Arkansas) but some progressive and LGBT groups say it’s not enough.
“The governor’s feeling is that people of faith should have protection. They should not be fired or sued because of holding to their religious convictions. But he also doesn’t want to see a message sent out to the rest of the country that Georgia tolerates discrimination against its citizens or against citizens of this state,” he told host Bill Nigut and the panel.
Robinson also called the legislation “a brand issue” and referenced the influx of film and TV productions in the state as an example of what could be at stake.
“It is a fine needle to thread, and the governor will get it threaded….When it comes back, and it’s cooled down, we’re going to get it done,” he said. “We’re going to perfect the legislation.”