LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — Hollywood loves a cause, a bandwagon and political activism.
They’re getting to deal with all three as the state of Georgia considers making law a “religious freedom” bill that would allow store owners the right to discriminate against people on the basis of religion.The bill like one already vetoed in Arizona and one that passed in North Carolina are seen as anti-gay.
The measure, House Bill 757, would bar government penalties against faith-based organizations that refuse to serve someone if it would violate a “sincerely held religious belief,” or hire someone “whose religious beliefs or practices or lack of either” violate its religion.
It includes language based on a federal “religious freedom restoration act,” preventing government from burdening religious belief.
The bill passed the state Assembly last week and is on Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk.
There has been a wave of opposition from big-name corporations and sports organizations.
Apple, Porsche, Atlanta’s professional sports teams and the NFL have spoken out against it. The NFL has warned that the bill could doom Atlanta’s bid to host a Super Bowl if the governor signs it.
Earlier this week, Disney slammed the bill. Georgia has been used many times, mostly through its Marvel division, for big-budget movies, including “Captain America: Civil War” in Georgia. New installments in the “Guardians Of the Galaxy” and “Thor” series are also slated to be shot in the state.
Deal has until May 3 to sign the bill into law or veto it.
On Thursday, according to Variety, CBS, NBC, Sony, Lions Gate, Discovery, Comcast Time Warner, the Weinstein Co., 21st Century Fox also lent their names in opposition to the anti-gay measure.
Variety quoted the various statements some of the companies made: Time Warner says the bill “clearly violates the values and principles of inclusion and the ability of all people to live and work free from discrimination,” while the Weinstein Company says it “will not stand behind sanctioning the discrimination of LGBT people or any American.” Sony said “Bill HB 757 is anathema to our studio and to all those who value diversity and inclusion.”
MGM says it’s “unequivocally committed to inclusion, diversity and tolerance in all circumstances.”
On Thursday, CBS said: “CBS Corporation is committed to an environment that values diversity and inclusion throughout the company and in all our business practices, The discriminatory language in Georgia’s proposed religious liberty bill conflicts with these core ethics and values. We call on Governor Deal to exercise his veto power.”
Variety also said many Hollywood stars and directors have said they will not work in Georgia if the bill is signed: these include Rob Reiner, Julianne Moore, Anne Hathaway, Aaron Sorkin and Lee Daniels.
The Human Rights Campaign sent a letter signed by Matt Bomer, Seth McFarlane, Ryan Murphy, Kristin Chenoweth, Marisa Tomei among others, also condemning the legislation.
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