A Republican member of the Georgia
House has filed a bill that would allow business owners to turn away
gay and lesbian couples seeking goods or services for a “matrimonial
State Rep. Kevin Tanner's bill (HB 756)
would allow florists, bakers or any other private business owner to
cite their religious beliefs in refusing to serve gay couples.
The bill is a clear response to the
Supreme Court's June finding that gay couples have a constitutional
right to marry.
“No sole proprietor, partner in a
business partnership, or statutory close corporation … shall be
required to sell goods or services directly to a religious
organization or for a religious or matrimonial ceremony in violation
of such seller's right to free exercise of religion under the
Constitution of this state or of the United States,” the bill
has also proposed a bill (the “Pastor Protection Act”) which
seeks to reiterate that religious leaders cannot be compelled to
marry gay couples.