Georgia Governor Nathan Deal announced Monday that he will veto Bill 757, a controversial piece of legislation that would allow faith-based businesses to deny services and jobs to gay, lesbian, or transgender people.
Since the bill passed Georgia's Republican-dominated legislature it has inspired a torrent of criticism, not just from liberals but from many major business players in the state—Disney vowed to stop filming in Georgia if the measure became law, tech giant Salesforce threatened to avoid doing business in the state, and the NFL announced that it might jeopardize Atlanta's chances of hosting the Super Bowl.
Deal, a Republican, said the veto was not a reaction to pressure from religious groups, but rather to uphold the "character of our state and character of our people." He added during his press conference Monday, "I do not think we have to discriminate against anyone to protect the faith-based community in Georgia, of which I and my family have been a part of for all of our lives."
The announcement comes the same day that the ACLU, the LGBT group Equality North Carolina, and two trans men and a lesbian jointly filed a lawsuit against North Carolina officials over a law forcing trans people to use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender listed on their birth certificates. That law has been criticized by Charlotte's mayor as "literally the most anti-LGBT legislation in the country," and the suit's goal is to get it declared unconstitutional.