AP Photo/David Goldman
AP Photo/David Goldman
Georgia's governor is standing up for the LGBT community by saying no to a controversial law in progress.
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal announced Monday that he will veto HB 757, a bill that was previously passed by both chambers of Georgia's state congress on Wednesday.
"Georgians deserve a leader who will make sound judgments based on solid reasons that are not inflamed by emotion," he wrote on Twitter while revealing the long-awaited news.
The contentious bill would have allowed faith-based organizations to refuse service to members of the LGBT community, including solemnizing a marriage, attending a marriage, hiring church personnel or renting church property, according to Deal.
"Georgia is a welcoming state. It is full of loving, kind and generous people and that is what we should want. They choose to worship God is the way they see fit, in a myriad of ways and a variety of different settings," he said during a press conference Monday afternoon. "I believe that is our best side and our people every day work side by side without regard to the color of their skin of their fellow mate, or the religion that their coworker might adhere to. They are simply trying to make life better for themselves, their families and their communities."
Jason Merritt/Getty Images for amfAR
The news comes as a favorable response to many of America's leading businesses and entertainment companies, including Disney, Apple, Time Warner Inc. and NBCUniversal, who have publicly denounced the legislation.
"Disney and Marvel are inclusive companies, and although we have had great experiences filming in Georgia, we will plan to take our business elsewhere should any legislation allowing discriminatory practices be signed into state law," the company announced last week amid the legislation's passing.
In response to the news, Disney was ready with a round of applause.
"We applaud Governor Deal for making the right decision on this piece of legislation and look forward to continuing our film production in Georgia," a spokesperson tells E! News.
Scandal's Kerry Washington expressed her pride in the show's parent company.
"This is huge," she tweeted after Disney threatened to take business out of the state on Thursday. "So proud of Disney."
American Horror Story's Matt Bomer expressed his gratitude after the announcement Monday. "Thank you to everyone who helped out on this!" he tweeted.
Deal's reaction to the bill is a stark contrast from Georgia's neighboring state, North Carolina. Created by the state's general assembly and signed by Governor Pat McCrory, House Bill 2 was recently passed in the state to block local government from enacting any anti-discrimination legislature designed to protect the LGBT community. On Monday, a lawsuit was filed against McCrory for the discriminatory bill.
"I am so disappointed in the governor and legislature of North Carolina. Overturn #HB2," Laverne Cox tweeted after the news broke in North Carolina. "Stay strong. This law is clearly unconstitutional and will not survive a court challenge. Let's let this mobilize us."