Georgia gov: ‘I don’t perceive this bill allows discrimination’

Nathan Deal

Nathan Deal Derek de Koff

ATLANTA — Georgia‘s governor says work is continuing on a bill to give legal exemptions to opponents of same-sex marriage that has riled the state’s business community.

Gov. Nathan Deal said Monday that he’s concerned about any legislation that could be perceived as allowing discrimination. Deal says that wouldn’t represent Georgia. He also says lawmakers can balance that concern while still protecting religious faith.

The bill approved by the Senate would prevent any government penalty for individuals or organizations that refuse service to couples based on a religious belief about marriage. Supporters say it’s intended to prevent religious adoption agencies, schools and other organizations from losing government funding for beliefs about marriage.

Georgia’s business community has mobilized against the bill, bolstered by high-profile opponents including Marc Benioff, founder of technology company Salesforce.

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