Editorial: The elephant in the room

Illustration by Erik Reid | The Signal
Illustration by Erik Reid | The Signal
Illustration by Erik Reid | The Signal

Have you ever had friend that seems like they keep making dumb decisions? Well today, that friend just happens to be the entire state of Georgia -or, to make matters worse, the state’s lawmakers.

Stacked on Governor Deal’s desk are some of the nation’s most controversial bills, waiting for his approval – a real nail-biter of a wait for all of us. Somewhere in the pile lies the vision of many Georgia politicians to provide college students with the chance to carry a handgun with them all around campus – because apparently the problem with shootings in America is that we don’t have ENOUGH handguns. So of course, the next best option would be give ‘em all a gun, let ‘em take it everywhere that the bill allows. Approximately ten thousand, angsty, blurr-minded youngsters carrying guns around – now THAT sounds like a safe campus.

But our thoughtful Georgia Senators and House members care for more than our physical health. For the troublesome losing sleep over having to serve same-sex couples and gay individual, have no fear, your pressured days are over. The religious bill passed onto Deal for signing would allow any individual to deny services to an LGBT person. But as Georgia House Speaker David Ralston puts it, this bill is not discriminatory. Advocacy groups claim the sole purpose of this bill is so that Christians would not be forced to “violate their faith” by serving those engaged in same-sex marriage. So if you’re preaching about God’s love and universal acceptance, it almost sounds despicable that you’d then hire or help out someone who happens to love someone of the same sex. Come on, after all, God’s love isn’t THAT universal!

Lucky for Georgia, some of its most influential and powerful businesses and companies just so happen to be members or supporters of the LGBT community. Thus it comes as no surprise that companies like Disney, Twitter, and Delta have basically told our lawmakers if that bill passes, they’re out of here. Followed by a coalition of hundreds of companies who refuse to neglect talented workers because of their sexual orientation, threats of businesses packing up and leaving started ever since early mentions of the bill.

And why is this bill a bad idea – besides being discriminatory and an obvious move of legislators to ensure their conservative voters’ vote? Because Atlanta’s booming economy is largely based on fresh and progressively-minded people with unique ideas in both the business and entertainment industry. And while they tend to be the most civilized and bigger minded people, even they won’t stick around to watch a re-play of the Civil Rights Era with the new twist of instead of skin colour, you’re denied service because of your sexual preferences. The bill not only will take the state a hundred years behind, but it comes as a slap in the face to everyone who ever said that America is a land of equality. Or liberty. Or any good thing for that matter.

And while Governor Deal promised Monday morning to veto it, Republican lawmakers have promised to try their best to override his veto. So indeed the fight is not over, and with the governor claiming he has received threats and insults upon his veto announcement. It seems like some people are really serious about making this abominable discrimination legal.