Whitely had performed an analysis of the bill on behalf of Georgia Equality, a group that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. Whitely told the governor that the bill “seems intended to send a message to LGBT Georgians, among others, that they are second-class citizens.”
The First Amendment already protects all Americans’ rights to speech, to worship freely, and to be free from a state-established creed, and the United States already has a robust tradition and body of law protecting free expression,” he said. “It is difficult for me to imagine any form of religious expression that is not already protected by the First Amendment or federal statutory law.
A veto, Whitley said, “is the right and courageous thing to do.” A short time later, Gov. Deal did veto the bill.
Click here to read Whitley letter to Gov. Deal. Whitley also sent a similar letter to the Speaker of the Georgia House.