New Georgia lawmaker ready to revive ‘religious freedom’ fight

A West Cobb lawmaker who defeated a PFLAG mom in her election to the Georgia House said she’s ready to push for “religious freedom” legislation once she takes office this month. 

“I’m a Republican, what do you think?” Ginny Ehrhart told the Marietta Daily Journal when asked if she looked forward to voting for such legislation.

Ehrhart — who compared transgender people to moose during last year’s election for the House District 36 seat — said “religious freedom” legislation won’t discriminate against LGBTQ people.

“I don’t think it’s an issue of discrimination if you’re asking an individual to violate their religious beliefs,” she said. “I just think it’s apples and oranges, not the same thing. I’m not condoning discrimination. However, I feel it’s important that we protect those people and to not pressure, persecute or litigate them for expressing their freedom of religion.”

Ehrhart beat LGBTQ ally Jen Slipakoff by nearly 30 points in the November election. Ehrhart succeeds her retiring husband, Earl Ehrhart, who was the longest-serving Republican in the House and its most outspoken anti-LGBTQ member. 

Ginny Ehrhart told the Marietta Daily Journal that while she shares many of the same views as her husband, her time in office will not be a continuation of his.

Earl Ehrhart was appointed to Gov.-elect Brian Kemp’s Inaugural Executive Committee, according to a Dec. 21 press release from Kemp’s office.

Kemp has vowed to sign a “religious freedom” bill into law that mirrors the federal version. But he might not get that chance, as House Speaker David Ralston said he has “serious concerns” about the legislation.

The legislative session begins Jan. 14.