Dear Decaturish – ‘Religious Freedom’ bill is wrong, disgraceful
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Following the 2011 repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” gay and lesbian soldiers have been able serve and defend our country and its citizens, openly and an authentically. It is a refreshing change from how critical it was to hide one’s sexual orientation in the past, including during my service as a former Army major.
This new age of openness shines a harsher light on the disconnect between asking LGBT soldiers to risk their lives fighting injustice around the world (including religious-based oppression), while they are targeted by discriminatory bills wrapped in religious themes here in Georgia and across the U.S.
As someone who was raised in Griffin, Ga., it is frightening and disheartening to know that my home state is attempting to tell me that I am not welcome or eligible for certain public accommodations, which is the message being sent by Sen. Josh McKoon’s “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”
LGBT Georgians are already denied important rights and protections for themselves and their loved ones, something I too often witness as a family law attorney in Atlanta. Adding another level of state-sanctioned discrimination to people who call Georgia home, and people who have fought to keep America free, is wrong and disgraceful, and will be judged as such by history.
Jeffery M. Cleghorn