Georgia proposal shocks LGBT community in Brunswick

BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- Some are calling it Georgia's Stand Your God Bill, others are calling it Georgia's Anti-Gay bill. The 'Preservation of Religious Freedom Act' is causing some controversy in the Brunswick community.

Amanda Mincey is a senior at College of Coastal Georgia .She's also the president of the Gay Straight Alliance club at the school, a position she plans to list her on resume when she graduates college in the spring.

"My coming out was difficult to begin with and then now these jobs and I'm about to go into the workforce and now this is going to be a factor in if I get a job or not and that's completely unfair," said Mincey.

Mincey said she learned about the same bill passing in Arizona. That bill was vetoed Wednesday night by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. She was appalled and never thought Georgia would propose the same bill.

"I was extremely shocked that this was even an idea that someone would bring to our state," added Mincey.

The Georgia 'Preservation of Religious Freedom Act' proposed would allow business owners to refuse service or employment based on their religious beliefs. It would be legal under state law to discriminate against gay or lesbian individuals.

"We would not discriminate, we welcome all business," said Mark Moran at Willie's Wee-Nee Wagon.

Some small businesses like Willie's Wee-Nee Wagon say they are against the bill. Slice Pizzeria Owner Joey Mysogland has been a business owner for eight years. He said turning away any customer is bad business.

"If the word got out of the street that you're discriminating against race, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation, who is going to see you then," said Mysogland.

After speaking to several business owners, many said they are against the bill, others didn't say and chose just not to comment. Only religious leaders would go as far to say they could see why some would support it.

"If I'm a private business owner, as twisted and as un-Christian as it may sound, I believe that you should have the right to be able to refuse that if you want to," said Dean Wilson, bishop of a local church.

The bill was scheduled to be reviewed in the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday, but meetings were canceled. A hearing will be rescheduled for next week.


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