Georgia legislator files religious freedom legislation

Bible(Photo by Todd DeFeo)

ATLANTA — State Representative Ed Setzler, R-Acworth, has filed a bill he says mirrors federal legislation under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

House Bill 837 “takes a balanced, time-tested approach to protecting the right of religious expression,” Setzler said. “HB 837 does not apply to cases between private parties, but only to cases between citizens and their state or local government.

“HB 837 also makes clear that the First Amendment freedom of religion will enjoy the same level of first class legal protection in Georgia that the other First Amendment rights of speech, press, and assembly currently enjoy,” Setzler added. “While historically the job of the Courts, the US Supreme Court instructed state legislatures in 1997 to act legislatively to codify these protections into state law, following the lead of the US Congress in 1993.”

Meanwhile, a state senator from South Georgia is sponsoring a bill designed to protect Georgians from discrimination for believing in the traditional definition of marriage. The First Amendment Defense Act of Georgia, sponsored by state Sen. Greg Kirk, R-Americus, is modeled after legislation sponsored by U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and David Perdue, R-Ga.

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