Gov. Nathan Deal said Tuesday that lawmakers should model the proposal for next year's so-called “religious freedom” bill on the language from the 1993 federal bill, which does not include an anti-discrimination clause.
Deal to the AJC:
“As long as we follow the federal model, which has not produced the kinds of catastrophic results that maybe both sides are predicting that legislation of that type would do, I think we stand a very good chance of getting a piece of legislation accomplished that will rightfully protect people from government in terms of their religious beliefs and at the same time not be disruptive to commerce.”
The latest comments from Deal show the precarious position he's in as both a Republican and the chief executive of a state who's surely wary about the economic effects of passing any bill that could be deemed as anti-LGBT.
Following the failure of the bill's passage in this year's legislative session, Deal attempted to take the reins of the conversation, hoping to avoid what Indiana Gov. Mike Pence went through when their state legislature passed a similar bill without the anti-discrimination clause. He said at the time to stick to the language of the federal bill but add the clause.
Then in May, he backtracked, saying in an interview with WABE that the language “may not be necessary.” And the fun continues.