A mere four days after Disney and Marvel threatened to stop fake-destroying Georgia for their films because of the state’s proposed “religious liberty” law, Republican Governor Nathan Deal has vetoed the legislation, Deadline reports.
HB 757, otherwise known as the Free Exercise Protection Act, would have allowed “faith-based organizations and business owners to deny services” to people whose lives—and, more specifically, marriages—do not align with certain other peoples’ religious beliefs. The bill’s previous iteration sought this protection only for religious officials, but the latest version would have allowed all Georgia businesses to take the same stance.
Disney and Marvel have constructed a lot of their superhero universe in Georgia. However, on the grounds that the bill would have legalized discrimination against members of the LGBT community, the companies claimed to be ready to move productions like Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 and Avengers: Infinity War to another state that looks good while exploding. Other organizations, including the NFL, Live Nation, Time Warner, the Motion Picture Association of America, and AMC Networks—which films The Walking Dead in and around Atlanta—have also publicly opposed the bill.
Upon vetoing the legislation, Governor Deal said in a speech, “I do not think we have to discriminate against anyone to protect the faith-based community in Georgia.” Deal added that the bill “doesn’t reflect the character of our state or the character of its people.” However, he criticized Disney and Marvel’s tactics of threatening to take their Infinity Stones elsewhere, saying:
Some within the business community who oppose this bill have resorted to threats of withdrawing jobs from our state. I do not respond well to insults or threats. The people of Georgia deserve a leader who will made sound judgments based on solid reasons that are not inflamed by emotion.
So point your arrows, shields, and powered exoskeletons elsewhere, Marvel.