The House representatives and senators of Georgia wrapped up a busy session Thursday. While several bills now head to Governor Nathan Deal’s desk for signature, the latest religious liberties legislation is not among them.
Senate Bill 375 would have allowed faith-based adoption agencies to refuse their services to couples based on the owners’ religious ideologies. The bill faced backlash from advocacy groups and major corporations that claimed the bill was a thinly veiled attempt to discriminate against LGBT+ couples.
Among the groups that protested against the bill in early March is Colgay Pride of Columbus. Director Jeremy Hobbs says he believes the most important factor in adopting a child should be the competency of the parents and not their lifestyle choices.
“So many kids are kicked out of their homes every day for being gay, I was one of them,” Hobbs tells News 3’s Mikhaela Singleton. “We continue to make people feel like they’re wrong and unworthy, when in reality they’re not hurting others. … People say the greatest thing you can ever do in life is raise a child, and you know I would never want to neglect that joy from anyone, because we live on through our children. That’s how our legacy continues, and what we teach and what we mold our kids to be better stewards of society and leave it better than what they found it.”
Hobbs goes on he believes legislators turned down the bill based on Governor Deal’s past stance on another religious liberties bill in 2016.
“They knew that he has a no nonsense stance on this, because all Georgians are welcome, all Georgians are needed to succeed, and all these kids need a home that are out there,” he says.
Deal faced pressure from movie production companies and major corporations who threatened to pull their business from Georgia if the allegedly discriminatory bill was passed.
WRBL News 3 also reached out to several churches, religious organizations, and faith-based adoption aid agencies, but did not receive responses to interview requests.