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Former Georgia AG: ‘Religious freedom’ bills deserve ‘a quick death’

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Bowers was no friend to the gay rights movement while attorney general. The Democrat-turned-Republican defended the state’s anti-sodomy law before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1986, after a man arrested for having sex with another man challenged it.

Several years later, Bowers withdrew a job offer after learning the female candidate was a lesbian and planned to marry another woman.

Robin Shahar, the woman who sued after Bowers rescinded that job offer, said in an interview Monday that she wasn’t surprised to hear he would oppose the bills on a legal basis.

She praised him in part, saying that working with Georgia Equality “shows that he is going beyond the label of gay and lesbian and transgender and bisexual.”

But she acknowledged that his history is different from his current work. “When you think about individuals in this country who have had the most negative effect on the advancement of LGBT rights, Mr. Bowers is one of those people at the top of the list,” Shahar said.

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In his analysis, Bowers, 73, only hinted at his own role in the history of gay rights. He told reporters Tuesday that he “has changed some” but declined to give specifics.

McKoon tried to fast-track the Senate bill last week. But a fellow Republican, Majority Leader Bill Cowsert, unsuccessfully asked to add language explicitly preventing discrimination to the bill in committee and then joined several other Republicans and Democrats on the panel voting to table the bill.

McKoon said he’s hopeful all Republican members of the committee will support a future version. The House version also remains in committee.

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