'Religious Freedom' and 'Campus Carry' Bills Pass House And Senate

Mar 18, 2016

Starting out under the Gold Dome, both the House and Senate have passed HB 757, “an Act to protect religious freedoms.” 

Proponents of the legislation say that it was necessary to protect members of the clergy who refuse to perform same sex marriages. The law also appears to give faith-based organizations the right to refuse to hire, retain, serve, sell or rent to people whose beliefs are at odds with an organization’s beliefs. Opponents of the bill, including the LGBT community, say that in passing the law, the legislature is sanctioning discrimination. The business community says that the law could result in businesses leaving Georgia, or not coming here at all, costing Georgians jobs. Officials in Atlanta believe that the law will cost Georgia’s capital city conventions and sporting events, including the Super Bowl. Supporters of the law say that those fears are overblown. Who’s right? We are joined in studio by State Representative. Karla Drenner, an opponent of the bill and by phone by State Senator Josh McKoon, who last year wrote a religious freedom bill that, was passed by the Senate. The legislation, thought by many to be mostly dead for this session, was suddenly resurrected, debated and passed by both the House and Senate in one afternoon. What motivated the urgency? Is the bill even necessary? And how will Governor Nathan Deal deal with it?

HB 859, the “campus carry” bill continues to be discussed at the Capitol, even though it has been passed by the House and Senate. Governor Deal has indicated that there are changes to the finished legislation that he would like to see before he signs it. The author of the bill in the House does not seem inclined to make any changes to the bill. Does the governor sign it? And what is the future of HB 560, the “rape kit” bill. The legislation was passed by the House but has been held up by a Senate committee. With two legislative days left in the session, will the bill get a Senate vote?

In presidential politics, an Atlanta talk show host is among a group on conservative Republicans looking for ways to prevent front runner Donald Trump from gaining the GOP nomination, and in the event he does get the nomination, stop him from costing the Party in down ballot elections. There is even talk of the two remaining contenders, Texas senator Ted Cruz and Ohio governor John Kasich teaming up to stop the New York businessman. Trump predicted that there would be civil unrest in Cleveland if he was denied the nomination. Can anyone stop Trump? What about a third party candidate? And whither the 1976 Republican convention?

The panel weighs in on all of this and more!


Jim Galloway – AJC Political Insider Blog,

Greg Bluestein – AJC Political Insider Blog,

Todd Rehm – GaPundit.com,

Rep. Karla Drenner – Ga. House District 85

Sen. Josh McKoon – Ga. Senate District 29