Disney and Marvel have said they will “take their business elsewhere” if Georgia goes ahead with its new discrimination law.
Georgia is trying to pass a law that will further restrict the rights of LGBTQ community within the state. Known as HB 757, formerly the "pastor protection act," the law would protect the religious rights of churches, allowing them to not perform marriage ceremonies to same sex or transgender couples on religious grounds. HB 757 has already passed through the House (104-65) and Senate, and is currently awaiting Governor Nathan Deal's signature.
This goes directly against the Supreme Court marriage equality ruling of 2015.
Not only would the bill (similar to Indiana's own "religious freedom bill" from last year) restrict couples from getting married, but it would also allow hospitals to turn LGBTQ people away and deny them treatment.
“Disney and Marvel are inclusive companies, and although we have had great experiences filming in Georgia, we will plan to take our business elsewhere should any legislation allowing discriminatory practices be signed into state law,” a Disney spokesperson said in a statement on Wednesday, March 23.
Marvel and Disney are not the only companies threatening to pull their services from the state of Georgia. The NFL has threatened that the state "could lose out on hosting the Superbowl if the bill passes."
Marc Benioff of Salesforce, one of the largest tech market firms in America, told the Governor he had to "reject the bill or lose out on a 15,000 strong business convention."
The bill originally passed through the House of Representatives unopposed 161-0, but went through again after "protections" were added on behalf of businesses and employees, allowing them to discriminate against the LGBTQ community. The new vote came through at 104-65.
Human rights groups have pointed out the bill also gives hospitals the right to deny treatment to individuals based on their race and religion as well as their sexual or gender identity.
“We do not have a belief, in my way of looking at religion, that says that we have to discriminate against anybody," Deal said in a statement earlier this month, hinting that he might be against signing the bill. “I think what the New Testament teaches us is that Jesus reached out to those who were considered outcasts.”
Maybe there's hope in this world after all?