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Greg Bluestein

The growing corporate outrage over Georgia’s ‘religious liberty’ bill

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Gov. Nathan Deal at a press conference. AJC file/Kent D. Johnson

Gov. Nathan Deal at a press conference. AJC file/Kent D. Johnson


With Gov. Nathan Deal unclear on whether he’ll sign the “religious liberty” bill, supporters and opponents of the measure are desperately trying to fill the vacuum.

The Faith and Freedom Coalition launched robo-calls Thursday urging supporters to call Deal’s office and urge the governor to support the bill, which some conservatives see as protecting religious beliefs but critics view as legalized discrimination.

More: Weeks of debate ahead over Georgia’s religious liberty bill

And state Sen. Greg Kirk, the measure’s sponsor, said the corporate outrage over the measure was simply a “scare tactic.”

“We have international businesses in this state who do business in countries that chop off the heads of homosexuals and they never say a word about that,” he told The Albany Herald. “I don’t think making this bill law will have any meaningful impact on businesses in the state.”

The corporate backlash only grew late Thursday. Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff, who championed the fight against similar legislation in Indiana, corralled other company honchos to blast Georgia’s proposal.

Yelp chief executive Jeremy Stoppelman:

PayPal co-founder Max Levchin:

Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich:

CNBC host Jim Cramer:

Dow Chemical executive Kevin Kolever:

Live Nation head Michael Rapino:

And Twitter executive Colin Crowell sent this to Deal:

“It is essential that our employees live and work in Georgia without the fear of being denied essential services or suffering institutional discrimination. We strongly urge you to veto this bill.”

More: Will Nathan Deal sign the new ‘religious liberty’ measure?

More: Kasim Reed warns religious liberty bill will bring ‘terrible harm’ to Atlanta business