DULUTH — Georgia Baptist Mission Board Executive Director J. Robert White became the latest to urge greater involvement supporting legislation to protect religious freedom in the Peach State.
In a message Thursday, Jan. 25, White encouraged pastors and ministry leaders to provide a clearer understanding about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). One way to do that, he added, was by sharing the following video on social media and asking friends to do the same.
“Encourage others to join you in urging your state representative and state senator to pass the Federal RFRA out of the Senate,” White said. “This is a timely request that needs to be pursued at the earliest opportunity.”
On Jan. 21 Concerned Women for America, a legislative action committee, released a statement pointing out what it deemed “hate crimes” bills being introduced in the state legislature. Those three bills currently working their way through the Georgia General Assembly are HB 660, HB 663, and SB 316.
“All three bills would add additional punishments for crimes committed against protected classes of people based on race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, mental disability, and physical disability,” stated CWA.
Should the bills pass, the group maintains, “individuals in Georgia could claim, and courts interpret, that merely expressing one’s sincerely held beliefs is ‘intimidating’ or represents a ‘threat’ of force.”
“I am frustrated with a legislature that seems to be struggling to schedule hearings on religious liberty legislation,” expressed Mike Griffin, Georgia Baptists’ Public Affairs representative, “but appears to be willing to schedule hearings in the House and the Senate on Hate Crime legislation.”
In addition to sharing the video, supporters are encouraged to contact:
- Lt. Governor Casey Cagle call (404) 656-5030
- Sen. Jesse Stone (R-Waynesboro), chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, and ask that SB 316 not have a hearing. Email or call (404) 463-1314
- Speaker of the House David Ralson (R-Blue Ridge), and ask him to not allow HB 660 or HB 663 to receive a hearing. Email or call (404) 656-5020
- Rep. Rich Golick, chairman of the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee, and ask him to not allow HB 660 or HB 663 to have a hearing. Email or call (404) 656-5943.