Georgia's Labor Movement Opposes So-called "Religious Freedom" Legislation
March 15th, 2019
An Open Statement From Georgia’s Labor Movement Opposing “Religious Freedom” Legislation
The Georgia AFL-CIO and its undersigned affiliates stand against any legislation which would create a so-called “Religious Freedom and Restoration” law in Georgia. These laws have generated backlash across the country. The intent of these kinds of laws is clearly an attempt to give cover to those who want to discriminate against LGBTQ workers and others. Organized Labor has fought against this discrimination in the workplace and society for decades. We oppose this attempt to legalize bigotry. We stand as workers against these laws that would lead to losing good jobs in the state of Georgia and legalizing the ability to discriminate against LGBTQ workers in our state. Georgia cannot afford this kind of legislation that would harm our workforce and open the door to other discrimination statewide.
This type of legislation was vetoed by Republican Governor Nathan Deal in 2016. The 2016 RFRA would have sparked massive economic backlash, with experts predicting a five-year loss of $600 million in convention and sporting events business, and three major movie studios announcing that they would move all future shoots out of state.
We call on all members of the Georgia General Assembly to oppose this legislation in whatever form it may take in this legislative session or future legislative sessions.
Charlie Flemming President, Georgia AFL-CIO
Yvonne Robinson Secretary-Treasurer, Georgia AFL-CIO
Michael Akins Business Agent, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 479
Randy Brown President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 728
Steve Lomax, President United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1996