State lawmakers react to Governor Deal's veto - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

State lawmakers react to Governor Deal's veto

The general assembly can still vote for a special session to override the veto (Source: WALB) The general assembly can still vote for a special session to override the veto (Source: WALB)
Senator Greg Kirk is irate at Deal's veto (Source: WALB) Senator Greg Kirk is irate at Deal's veto (Source: WALB)
Rep. Darrel Bush Ealum said Deal's veto was a courageous act (Source: WALB) Rep. Darrel Bush Ealum said Deal's veto was a courageous act (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The General Assembly is a house divided when it comes to Governor Nathan Deal's decision to veto House Bill 757.

The bill would have allowed faith-based organizations in Georgia to deny services and jobs to members of the LGBT community.

Republican senator Greg Kirk introduced the original bill and said it was designed to protect religion, not discriminate.  He disagrees with the governor's veto.

"I just respectfully disagree," said Senator Kirk. "I think it was not the right move for Georgia. And I don't think it protects the faith-based community, and I don't see how it furthers the cause for the LGBT community either."

Albany state Representative Darrel Ealum was for a bill to ensure pastors could not be forced to perform same-sex marriages, but his position changed when that bill was combined with Kirk's senate bill.

"I voted no the second time around," said Rep. Ealum. "So I was surely glad the governor made the decision to vote against it, and I think it took a lot of courage."

Governor Deal said his veto was not due to the backlash from businesses that were opposed, but Senator Kirk disagrees.

"In my opinion the governor gave in to bullying."

"I feel like it would have been negative," said Rep. Ealum. "I think the larger corporations would have seen this as a negative.  And Atlanta in the coming years is going to be more and more of a major sports center for the United States, and probably for the entire world."

A three-fifths majority in the House and Senate is needed to call a special session to try to override the veto, but that's not something Kirk is pushing.

"I've carried this bill," said Senator Kirk. "And I've done my part. And it's up to someone else to pick it up and take it from here."

It would take a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers to override the Governor's veto. The bill fell just shy of that in the House and Senate when it passed.

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