Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, a Republican, on Thursday came out against a proposed bill that seeks to protect opponents of marriage equality.

More than 400 companies have banded together to speak out against House Bill 757, which has cleared the Senate.

(Related: Marc Benioff suggests moving conference out of Georgia over anti-gay bill.)

Deal, who has largely kept mum on the debate, offered a lengthy condemnation of the bill from a biblical perspective.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Deal reminded those present that he is a Southern Baptist.

“What the New Testament teaches us is that Jesus reached out to those who were considered the outcasts, the ones that did not conform to the religious societies’ view of the world,” he said. “We do not have a belief in my way of looking at religion that says we have to discriminate against anybody. If you were to apply those standards to the teaching of Jesus, I don’t think they fit.”

“What that says is we have a belief in forgiveness and that we do not have to discriminate unduly against anyone on the basis of our own religious beliefs,” he said about a passage from the Gospel of John in which Jesus reaches out to an outcast. “We are not jeopardized, in my opinion, by those who believe differently from us. We are not, in my opinion, put in jeopardy by virtue of those who might hold different beliefs or who may not even agree with what our Supreme Court said the law of the land is on the issue of same-sex marriage. I do not feel threatened by the fact that people who might choose same-sex marriages pursue that route.”

Deal added that while he believes in “traditional marriage,” that does not mean that opponents of marriage equality “should feel like they are threatened by those who have a different point of view.”

“I hope that we can all just take a deep breath, recognize that the world is changing around us, and recognize that it is important that we protect fundamental religious beliefs,” he said. “But we don’t have to discriminate against other people in order to do that. And that’s the compromise that I’m looking for.”