This bill is modeled after the Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 1993. The RFRA was introduced and passed after a Supreme Court decision that effectively took away the right of Native American Indians to use peyote in their religious ceremonies. The RFRA was the law of the land until 1997, when the Supreme Court decided it did not apply to the states. Since that time, eighteen states have adopted laws mirroring the RFRA. An additional eleven State Supreme Courts have ruled the federal law should applied in their states. McKoon’s bill would add those same protections here in Georgia. (1)

​Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has to decide soon whether to sign Senate Bill 1062, which broadens that state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act to protect religious freedom not only from acts by the state, but those by businesses and individuals. (1)

That bill appears to be a reaction to reports of retail businesses, including bakeries and florists, refusing service to gay couples planning their weddings because of their owners’ religious faith. The bill would allow these businesses to refuse to serve someone because of a valid religious concern. And some are wondering whether HB 1022 and SB 377 aren’t veiled attempts here in Georgia to achieve the same end. (1)

"If enacted into law, the 'Religious Freedom Act' would protect business owners who deny services to lesbians, gays - and pretty much anyone else - if the business owners allege that they are denying service on the basis of a 'sincerely held religious belief,' Better Georgia Executive Director Bryan Long says. "Our lawmakers know this bill is bad for Georgia. That's why they are trying to sneak it into law in the last minutes of Legislative Session. Religion is not an excuse for hate or intolerance." (2)

A bill moving swiftly through the Georgia House of Representatives would allow business owners who believe homosexuality is a sin to openly discriminate against gay Americans by denying them employment or banning them from restaurants and hotels.(3)

The proposal, dubbed the Preservation of Religious Freedom Act, would allow any individual or for-profit company to ignore Georgia laws—including anti-discrimination and civil rights laws—that "indirectly constrain" exercise of religion. Atlanta, for example, prohibits discrimination against LGBT residents seeking housing, employment, and public accommodations. But the state bill could trump Atlanta's protections.(3)