Atlanta might pass a bill that would allow faith-based organizations to deny services to people who violate their “sincerely held religious beliefs.” Basically, it’s a way around the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage. It would legally allow people to discriminate against gay marriage if they don’t believe in it.
If the bill passes, the city’s Super Bowl bid might be passed over. The league views the bill as intolerant based on sexual orientation.
“NFL policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard. Whether the laws and regulations of a state and local community are consistent with these policies would be one of many factors NFL owners may use to evaluate potential Super Bowl host sites.”
Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank hopes to host multiple Super Bowls in the team’s new stadium, which is scheduled to open in 2017.
Blank expressed concerns in regards to the bill. He says that including everybody is one of his core values:
“One of my bedrock values is ‘Include Everyone’ and it’s a principle we embrace and strive to live each and every day with my family and our associates, a vast majority of which live and work in Georgia. I strongly believe a diverse, inclusive and welcoming Georgia is critical to our citizens and the millions of visitors coming to enjoy all that our great state has to offer. House Bill 757 undermines these principles and would have long-lasting negative impact on our state and the people of Georgia.”
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has until May 3rd to decide whether or not to sign the legislation to make the bill law.