It faces a steep climb toward passage, however. Because it proposes a constitutional amendment, it would need two-thirds approval in both the Senate and House before it could be placed before voters on the 2018 ballot. And while it may make it out of the state Senate, where the GOP holds a super-majority, it is unlikely to advance out of the state House, where Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, has backed Gov. Nathan Deal's plea to move on from last year's battle.
Deal vetoed a much broader "religious liberty" bill this past spring, saying it would damage the state's reputation of tolerance and inclusion. Critics, including some of the state's major business leaders, have derided such legislation as discriminatory toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender people, and have warned Georgia would suffer the same fate as Indiana and North Carolina — the loss of jobs, economic development and prestige — after those states passed similar measures.