‘Religious freedom’ backer threatens last-ditch effort for bill

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The sponsor of a controversial “religious freedom” bill says he's trying to amend the legislation to any bill he can in the closing days of the Georgia General Assembly. 

Sen. Marty Harbin, who introduced the bill in late February, said he has eight legislative days left to try and get lawmakers to take action on Senate Bill 233. Via 11Alive:

“You play a little bit of politics with those that are in charge, and makes the rules,” said Sen. Marty Harbin (R-Tyrone). “But it’s not the first time it’s been done. And a lot of things happen quickly toward the end of the sessions.”

Supporters of the bill tried to add “religious freedom” language to two bills during Crossover Day on March 3. Senate leaders quashed both attempts, which meant the legislation did not pass one chamber of the legislature. That means the bill has a tough – but not impossible – road to passage in the closing days of the session.

Supporters of “religious freedom” measures have used legislative shenanigans to move bills in the past. 

But Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle assigned Harbin's bill to the Senate Rules Committee in an effort to stall it – sparking a skirmish on the Senate floor. Gov. Nathan Deal has made it clear he'd veto the legislation and House Speaker David Ralston has said he wants nothing to do with it this session.

LGBT advocates – who charge that the legislation would codify LGBT legislation in state law – warned opponents of the bill to “remain vigilant.”


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