GA religious freedom bill stalls in House committee - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

GA religious freedom bill stalls in House committee

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ATLANTA (AP) - A divisive religious freedom bill has stalled in a Georgia House committee days before the legislature plans to adjourn for the year.

The Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to table the bill after nine members backed anti-discrimination language proposed by Rep. Mike Jacobs, a Brookhaven Republican.

Supporters of the measure say that change guts the bill's protection for actions prompted by religious beliefs while opponents argue it's necessary to prevent its use as legal cover for discrimination against gays and transgender people.

The bill would forbid government from infringing on a person's religious beliefs unless the government can prove a compelling interest. Similar measures have surfaced in a total of 13 states.

Committees can resume debate on tabled bills. Georgia lawmakers plan to wrap up the session by midnight April 2.

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