Twitter joined the massive list of companies opposed to anti-gay “religious freedom” legislation in Georgia, adding to what's become a deafening chorus of corporate opposition.
The list of companies lined up opposed to “religious liberty” legislation in Georgia now includes a big bird.
Twitter, the social network platform favored by politicos and journalists the world wide, has signed on to Georgia Prospers, the coalition of companies organized to advocate for openness and inclusion for all.
Georgia Prospers, directed by former Republican state lawmaker Ronnie Chance, is an initiative among business and education leaders launched to combat “religious freedom” bills. More than 350 businesses, schools and enterprises have signed the organization's pledge, which says they will welcome “all people, no matter one's race, sex, color, national origin, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.”
On Monday, Hyatt Regency Atlanta General Manager Peter McMahon told WABE that the business is “concerned deeply” about the legislation.
“Whatever people perceive to be discriminatory is part of how they understand legislation and any time that our brand – which would be our city and our state – is perceived in a negative manner, those are concerning to us,” McMahon said.
“They need to take a much closer look at this and really understand the deep economic effects this could have on our communities,” he added.
The opposition is to House Bill 757, which would allow faith-based organizations to discriminate against LGBT people and others based on religious beliefs. International businesses including Salesforce, Virgin, Dell, Microsoft, Unilever, InterContinental Hotels Group and Porsche have come out against the legislation. Opposition has also come from several trade groups and others including the Metro Atlanta Chamber, Atlanta Hawks, the Georgia NAACP and the Atlanta Business Chronicle. And local faith leaders and businesses are also speaking out, including HJ Russell and Cooke's Warehouse.
Twitter coming out against the legislation comes as Gov. Nathan Deal and House Speaker David Ralston both sent strong signals on Monday that the legislation as currently drafted won't pass muster with them. The AJC paints it as an alliance:
An alliance is brewing between Gov. Nathan Deal and House Speaker David Ralston to force changes to the “religious liberty” bill that’s inflamed corporate leaders and alarmed the LGBT community.
We'll see. Deal has waffled on LGBT protections in other “religious freedom” legislation. Here's hoping both Deal and Ralston stick their landing on their political gymnastics.