Backlash hits GOP governors over ‘religious freedom’ legislation

Backlash hits GOP governors over ‘religious freedom’ legislation

By Elena Schneider | Politico

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — “Religious liberty” laws and bathroom bills were supposed to be conservatives’ counterattack to the growing codification of gay and transgender rights, including the Supreme Court’s approval of same-sex marriage.

Instead, social conservatives are losing battles over gay, lesbian and transgender policies in red states across the country, as GOP governors start to buckle under pressure from the business community and mainstream Republicans over laws that would allow discrimination against gay and transgender people.

In Georgia, under pressure from Disney and the NFL, GOP Gov. Nathan Deal on Monday vetoed a “religious liberty” bill that would have allowed faith-based organizations to deny service or jobs based on sexual orientation or gender identity. In South Dakota, Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed a bill that would have required students to use the bathroom or locker room that corresponded to their biological sex at birth, while a similar bill in Tennessee, to which GOP Gov. Bill Haslam objected, died in committee.

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