Conservatives Slam ‘Corporate Bullies’ for Pressuring Veto on Georgia’s Religious Freedom Bill

REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

A Texas-based conservative family values group is condemning Disney, Apple, Intel and the NCAA as “corporate bullies” for pressuring Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) to veto a religious freedom bill that would have ensured protection for religious leaders and faith-based groups for whom same-sex marriage conflicts with religious beliefs.

Texas Values claims that – in supporting the militant LGBT agenda against religious freedom – the companies were “declaring public war” on Christianity, reports the Huffington Post.

The group’s president Jonathan Saenz stated:

It’s striking that the day after Easter, churches in Georgia are told their freedoms are not that important to protect. It’s clear that corporate giants like Apple, Disney, NCAA, Intel have finally come out of the closet and declared public war on the religious freedom of clergy and religious schools, as was the protection in Georgia’s very modest HB 757 that they worked to bring down. It’s sad that Apple, Disney the NCAA and others won’t even allow pastors to have religious freedom protections on marriage in Georgia, like they do in Texas. It’s sad that corporate bullies and cronyism is now taking away the power of the people.

Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, was also critical of Deal’s cave to corporate pressure in the following tweet:

In a Washington Post op-ed in March of 2015, Apple CEO Tim Cook called religious freedom laws as “dangerous”:

A wave of legislation, introduced in more than two dozen states, would allow people to discriminate against their neighbors. Some, such as the bill enacted in Indiana last week that drew a national outcry and one passed in Arkansas, say individuals can cite their personal religious beliefs to refuse service to a customer or resist a state nondiscrimination law…

These bills rationalize injustice by pretending to defend something many of us hold dear. They go against the very principles our nation was founded on, and they have the potential to undo decades of progress toward greater equality.

America’s business community recognized a long time ago that discrimination, in all its forms, is bad for business. At Apple, we are in business to empower and enrich our customers’ lives. We strive to do business in a way that is just and fair. That’s why, on behalf of Apple, I’m standing up to oppose this new wave of legislation — wherever it emerges.

Far more “dangerous” practices, however, have been occurring in other countries where Apple seeks and promotes its business.

Jim Hoft at The Gateway Pundit slammed Cook for his hypocrisy in attacking states’ religious freedom laws across the country at the same time his corporation promotes its business in countries that actually execute gays.

For example, Apple has numerous Apple Shops and Apple Premium Resellers in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia – one of ten countries in which gays are regularly executed.

On Wednesday, Express reported that Saudi lawmakers are now seeking to execute gays who show their sexuality in public or on social media.

According to the report:

The government in the Sunni Kingdom is reportedly demanding tougher punishments on those found guilty and claimed social media has caused a boom in homosexuality.

According to Okaz newspaper, the last six months has seen 35 cases of homosexuality and 50 cases of cross-dressers as well as cases of “sexual perversion” in Saudi Arabia.

The judiciary reportedly also claimed there has been a large rise in “perverts” displaying “sins and obscenities” on social media in the Sunni Kingdom.

It comes after a Saudi man was arrested this week when he raised the rainbow flag outside his home in Jeddah.

The doctor was arrested by religious police within hours of hoisting the flag in the port city.

But he was released shortly afterwards when he claimed he had no idea what the pride flag symbolised…

Currently, the Saudi government hands out fines, prison sentences and whipping for being openly gay.

A second conviction automatically merits automatic executions although vigilante executions are also common.

As Hoft observed, in addition to Saudi Arabia, three more of the countries in which gays are executed are on Apple’s list of locations where it sells its products: Uganda, Nigeria, and Qatar.

In Georgia, Deal vetoed a bill that would have only protected the rights of religious officials to marry only heterosexual couples according to their beliefs, and those of faith-based organizations to use their property and employ staff in a way that is consistent with the tenets of their faith. The Republican governor was criticized for caving to pressure from corporations such as Apple and Disney and militant LGBT groups.

In his veto statement, Deal suggested that protecting those who believe in traditional marriage from being forced to participate in same-sex marriages was discriminatory.

“I find it ironic that today some in the religious community feel it necessary to ask the government to confer upon them certain rights and protections,” Deal said, adding that when lawmakers attempt such legislation, discrimination can result.

“That is too great a risk to take,” the governor said.

The bill “wouldn’t block a single gay marriage,” wrote constitutional attorney David French at National Review, however. “It wouldn’t deny a single gay person access to the marketplace. Instead, it would merely offer a bare minimum of legal protections to Georgia citizens who are already confronting anti-Christian bigotry and discrimination.”

“Governor Deal decided to reject the wishes of the people who put him in office and instead to embrace the values and the propaganda of Hollywood and the corporate Left,” attorney Jane Robbins, a senior fellow with American Principles Project, told Breitbart News. “Quite simply, and shamefully, he traded away religious liberty in response to threats and bullying.”

“But he’s mistaken if he thinks this battle is over,” she added. “Georgians of faith will be back – this year, next year, as long as it takes – until we secure protection of our God-given liberties.”


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