Ga. governor cites Jesus in signaling ‘religious freedom’ bill opposition

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Source: CNN

(CNN)As in other states with Republican-led legislatures, a so-called “religious freedom bill” has passed in Georgia. Those who oppose it say the measure permits unjust discrimination against gays and lesbians. Those who support it call it necessary protection for conservative Christians who don’t agree with same-sex marriage.

Yet Gov. Nathan Deal, himself a Republican, has signaled he’s not eager to sign such legislation — citing his own Christian faith.

Talking to reporters earlier this month, Deal noted he’s a Baptist, just like many of those pushing for passage of HB 757. And he said that, “We do not have a belief, in my way of looking at religion, that says that we have to discriminate against anybody.”

“I think what the New Testament teaches us,” the governor added, “is that Jesus reached out to those who were considered outcasts.”

Gay and lesbians — in the sense that their lifestyles don’t conform with the views of some people in some religions — would be the “outcasts” in this case. Deal said he does not feel threatened by a man who wants to marry a man, or a woman who wants to wed a woman. And he certainly doesn’t believe Georgia’s government needs to safeguard those who on, religious grounds, treat such people differently than others.