National News

Bid for Amazon stirs up conversations about religious legislation

Posted October 26, 2017 5:14 p.m. EDT

— The fight over religious liberty legislation is heating up again and it's because of Atlanta's bid to win over Amazon.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is a divisive issue in Georgia, and when you throw in the potential for massive business it becomes even thornier.

When the stakes mean billions of dollars, tens of thousands of jobs and bragging rights, Atlanta's leaders aren't playing around.

Amazon means big business until you bring the words religious liberty into the conversation.

"We know Accenture relocated to Atlanta and they tried to sidestep it, if there was an issue regarding religious liberty."

But in this case, the majority of Georgia's Republican candidates for governor are speaking out saying they're not going to let up on trying to pass the legislation which some view as discrimination and others view as protecting religious freedom.

"If you want to win the Republican primary, you have to be for the religious liberty law."

Secretary of State Brian Kemp said, in part, "I will sign legislation that mirrors the federal RFRA."

State Senator Hunter Hill said, "I believe religious freedom is good for business and for all Georgians."

State Senator Michael Williams said, "my goal is not to please big corporate in New York and L.A., but rather the people of Georgia."

Lt. Governor Casey Cagle has not made a public statement regarding the matter, but Gov. Deal has said it's not reflective of Georgia's spirit.

"He believes the religious liberty law is going to hurt Georgia's economy, so he'll continue to veto it if it's passed."

But since Amazon is deciding where it's going to plunk down five billion dollars and 50,000 positions, religious liberty legislation could be a deciding factor, if it comes down to talent.

"Amazon is going to say, look, we're looking to recruit people beyond just white, heterosexual Christians. This really isn't going to seem like a market that seems hospitable to the workforce we're trying to recruit."

Republican Strategist David Johnson wonders why Amazon would want to face potential backlash to its brand and sales by those who oppose RFRA Legislation.

The questions remains unanswered as the story unfolds.