A Georgia group opposed to a state religious freedom bill ran two full-page newspaper ads Tuesday and plans to have a mobile billboard drive around the Capitol building Wednesday to raise awareness of what it warns are the dangerous unintended consequences of the proposed legislation.
The bill is broadly worded and states that the government cannot “substantially burden religious exercise without having a compelling justification.”
“He said his religion gave him the right to make his wife and child obedient,” the ad, which ran in the hometown newspapers of HB 29 sponsors Sen. Josh McKoon (R) and Rep. Sam Teasley (R) reads. A similar mobile billboard will driving around the Capitol in Atlanta at 8 a.m.
“People are starting to understand this bill is a Pandora’s box,” said Bryan Long, executive director of Better Georgia, the group responsible for the ad. “Even some Republican lawmakers are second guessing it.”
He said the ad copy was inspired by an op-ed by District Attorney David Cooke about a Georgia case where defendants accused of corporal punishment tried using their religious belief as a defense.
“We didn’t just invent these ads from nowhere,” Long said. “That really sparked this whole debate.”