That flurry of bills many expected to be proposed in Georgia in the wake of the Supreme Court striking down same-sex marriage bans nationwide is officially underway.
First it was State Sen. Josh McKoon (R-Columbus) saying he would take a third crack at his so-called “religious freedom” bill (which he technically announced the intentions of before the marriage decision). Then it was House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) with his Pastor's Protection Act, which would ensure that no faith leader can be forced to perform a same-sex wedding (even though clergy already have that protection).
Now it's McKoon again, telling an audience at a GOP event over the weekend that he plans on pushing a state version of the federal First Amendment Defense Act once the Georgia legislature reconvenes in January.
The remarks came at Saturday's 8th Congressional District GOP fish fry in Perry, according to Peach Pundit, and McKoon followed up about it on his Facebook page on Monday:
Thought for the Day: Every Republican in Georgia’s Congressional Delegation has co-sponsored the First Amendment Defense Act. If Georgia’s Supermajority Republican General Assembly fails to pass a state FADA in January, it will be clear proof that Elected State GOPers are to the left of our own U.S. Congressmen and Senators.
The federal version of the bill mostly has to do with preventing the government from revoking the tax-exempt status or federal funds from churches or nonprofit religious groups because of their religious beliefs. So why a state law? Peach Pundit weighs in:
The federal version would not apply to state law. If a state version of the act were to pass, it presumably would protect a baker or florist who prefers not to participate in a same-sex marriage from a discrimination claim.
So three bills so far this year that target the Supreme Court's decision. And counting…