The combined legislation under HB 757 would enable faith-based organizations and individuals to opt out of serving couples — gay or straight — or follow anti-discrimination requirements if they cite a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction regarding marriage.Not sure if it will pass. It's already got some corporate opposition, which normally spells doom even for carefully-crafted compromise bills in the Georgia legislature. Corporate opponents say they believe the law might prevent them from firing people whose religious views are against company policy.
The bill would bar state and local governments from taking any “discriminatory action” to punish those beliefs, specifically over convictions that marriage should be between a man and a woman or that sexual relations between two people are properly reserved to such a marriage.
It would protect government grants and contracts, among other things, held by faith-based organizations such as those that receive money to aid in adoption. Those organizations would also not be required to register as a nonprofit, although they would have to state a religious belief or purpose in their governing documents or mission statements.
Additionally, the bill states clergy could not be forced to perform a same-sex wedding ceremony.
The bill would not, however, allow public employees or elected officials such as Georgia probate court employees to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses if that offends their faith.
UPDATE: The Senate passed the bill on Friday, having just approved it out of the Rules Committee on Tuesday. No word yet on next steps, or if the governor is willing to sign it if it gets to him.