Georgia’s dodged a harmful, discriminatory bullet

Marc Scheipe is the president of Sage‬ North America, which works in integrated accounting, payroll, and payment systems. Its U.S. headquarters is in Atlantic Station. Scheipe earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, and an F/A-18 strike fighter pilot.

On Monday, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal announced that he is vetoing House Bill HB 757. It’s important for Georgians to take a step back and understand the enormous bullet that we just dodged.

HB 757, dubbed the “religious liberty bill,” had the potential to seriously compromise the progress Georgia has made in becoming a state that welcomes everyone, regardless of race, creed, gender or sexual orientation. But, in the past few weeks, Georgians came together as one to ensure HB 757 was stopped before any damage was done.

And, Sage is proud to have been on the side of opposition and the right side of history. We stood alongside countless other businesses and individuals who believe in our right to live free from discrimination because, simply, it was the right thing to do – for our state, for our businesses, for our people.

While falsely sheltered under the idea of religious freedom, it’s important that we all understand the true implications of HB 757. Make no mistake; HB 757 was not rooted in religious freedom. HB 757 was a strategic attempt by discrimination apologists to create new ways to legally discriminate against the LGBTQ community, which was but a nefarious stepping stone to endangering the civil liberties of all individuals.

Today is not just a day that a bill was vetoed. Today is the day that Georgia said discrimination is not and will not be tolerated here. Today is the day that Georgians said we will not stand idly by while a dangerous bill that does nothing but create a breeding ground for prejudice is stamped into law. At Sage, we are committed to fostering a diverse and welcoming community for all people, and we’re proud to have our North American headquarters in a state that feels the same.

We are happy to see Gov. Deal veto HB 757, joining the Atlanta business community and the majority of Georgians who value the dignity and rights of all our citizens.