Category Archives: Georgia

Demand That Legislators Override Georgia Governor Nathan Deal’s Shocking Capitulation To LGBT Extremists

Dear Marriage Supporter,

As you know, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has become the latest example of a cowardly Republican who has thrown people of faith to the wolves by vetoing extremely modest religious liberty legislation (HB 757) that would have protected pastors, churches and religious groups from having to participate in same-sex 'weddings' or host them in their facilities. Deal's action makes it open season on Christians, churches and other people of faith who do not want to be personally forced to be a part of a same-sex ceremony that they oppose on religious grounds.

I need to you act immediately to urge legislators to override turncoat Nathan Deal's veto of this important legislation.

Deal kowtowed to wealthy corporate interests who had already severely watered down the legislation by removing most of the needed protections, and then he showed himself to be a corporate lackey when billionaire sports owners and big business chieftains demanded that he veto even this modest protection for pastors, churches and religious groups.

What hypocrisy! Billionaire sports owners and corporate CEOs can spend whatever they want fending off demands by LGBT extremists, but pastors and churches can't. That is why they need the protection of the law that Nathan Deal vetoed. Without this law, they will be subject to all kinds of legal maneuvers and pressure designed to force them to perform gay 'weddings' and make their facilities available for something that many consider to be sinful.

Fortunately, the Georgia General Assembly has the ability to bring itself into special session to override Governor Deal's disgusting veto of this important religious liberty law. Please sign this petition calling on legislators to go into special session for the purpose of overriding Nathan Deal's veto of HB 757.

Act Today to Demand that Georgia Legislators Support Christians and All People of Faith

Last year, the North Carolina General Assembly overrode a Republican governor's veto of legislation that protected people of faith from having to perform a same-sex 'wedding' against their religious beliefs. Now it's up to lawmakers in Georgia to take a similar step to protect pastors, churches and religious groups from having to perform gay 'weddings' in that state.

It doesn't matter if you live in Georgia or not. The ACLU and other leftists are whipping up their allies in Hollywood and San Francisco to create a firestorm of protest in Georgia, and we need to counter that with a strong showing from people of faith all across the country.

Please act today to demand that Georgia legislators support Christians and all people of faith by going into special session to override Governor Nathan Deal's tragic and incredibly misguided veto of HB 757.

Thank you for acting today to support pastors, churches and religious groups who wish to stand for God's understanding of marriage and who refuse to be pressured into being personally involved in that which is against God's commands.


Brian S Brown

PS — After you sign our petition urging legislators to override Nathan Deal's veto of important religious liberty legislation, please use the share buttons to ask all your friends and family on social media to do the same. We need people all across the country weighing in so that Georgia legislators know that average Americans stand with pastors, churches, and religious groups and do not want them to be forced into participating in a same-sex ceremony that violates their religious beliefs.

Act Today!

Georgia Passes Weakened Religious Liberty Bill

Dear Marriage Supporter,

The Georgia legislature succumbed to pressure from the Human Rights Campaign and other LGBT extremists and significantly watered down religious liberty protections before sending the legislation (HB 757) to Governor Nathan Deal for his signature. Incredibly, it's possible that Governor Deal will not sign even the modest protections in the bill, which are designed to protect pastors and religious groups from having to perform same-sex 'weddings' or forcing them to be hosted at their facilities.

NOM asks you to urge Governor Deal to sign HB 757 into law even though it is far from the robust legal protections that people of faith deserve. Please sign our petition to Governor Deal today.

Opponents of the bill like to talk about “discrimination” but the fact of the matter is that the only people who've been discriminated against when it comes to gay 'marriage' are people of faith. Individuals, small businesses and religious organizations have been sued, fined, punished and threatened with jail simply for standing up for the truth of marriage in their daily lives.

Please sign our petition to Governor Nathan Deal asking him to support the modest religious freedoms protected by HB 757.

Over fifty million people in nearly three dozen states across our great nation went to the polls to cast their ballots in favor of defining marriage as one man and one woman. Countless legislators in numerous additional states represented the wishes of their constituents in a similar fashion by passing legislation to preserve traditional marriage. Yet, tragically, these votes were stolen by five unelected lawyers on the US Supreme Court when they issued their illegitimate, anti-constitutional ruling redefining marriage last year.

It's because of the illegitimate ruling of the US Supreme Court that legislatures and citizens must act now to protect the common-sense rights of Americans when it comes to gay 'marriage,' rights which previously were taken for granted. It should be patently obvious that no American should be forced to participate in a same-sex 'wedding' ceremony against their will, but since the LGBT extremists won't accept such common-sense, it's essential that statues be enacted providing people of faith with legal protections.

Governor Nathan Deal has an opportunity to take a modest but good step toward supporting the rights of all Georgians to live out their faith without fear of retaliation by government officials reacting to intense pressure by LGBT activists. Please urge him to do so by signing our petition today.

And please remember to use the social media buttons below to share this important email with family and friends.


Brian S Brown

Act Today

Georgia Columnist: "Support of Same-Sex Marriage May Hurt Democrats"

Jerry Haas writes in the Athens Banner-Herald:

"...There has been a backlash among traditional Democratic supporters. The Rev. William Owens, president and founder of the Coalition of African American Pastors, with a membership of 3,742 black pastors, has stated that it is time for African Americans to rethink their support for Obama based on the president’s stance on same-sex marriage. Owens has, in fact, mounted a national campaign aimed at that goal.

“The time has come for a broad-based assault against the powers that be who want to change our culture to one of men marrying men and women marrying women ... they have chosen to cater to the homosexual community, they have chosen to cater to Hollywood, to cater to big money and ignore the people who put the president where he is,” Williams said.

The recent reports on the Democratic Party platform are certain to stoke the CAAP fires, and give Owens a reason to lead more African Americans away from the Democratic Party.

Likewise, it may give other evangelical Christians who have doggedly continued to support Democratic candidates a reason to reflect on how the party’s stands on social issues speak toward a biblical worldview."

Georgia Federal Court Dismisses Christian Counselor's Attempt to Opt-Out of Gay Counseling

Religion Clause:

In Keeton v. Anderson-Wiley, (SD GA, June 22, 2012), a Georgia federal district court, in a lengthy opinion, dismissed claims by a former graduate student in Augusta State University's graduate counselor education program that her constitutional rights were infringed when she was dismissed for refusing to complete a required remediation plan. The remediation requirements were imposed when graduate student Jennifer Keeton, a devout Christian, told faculty that she would not condone the propriety of homosexual relations or a homosexual identity in a counseling situation. This position violates professional ethical standards of the American Counseling Association that require counselors to respect the diversity of their clients and avoid imposing values on them that are inconsistent with counseling goals. The court rejected both Keeton's facial overbreadth and vagueness challenges as well as her "as applied" challenges to the remediation plan. Finding no viewpoint discrimination against Keeton, the court said...

...The court also rejected Keeton's "compelled speech" claim, saying that when someone voluntarily chooses a profession, the person must comply with its rules and ethical requirements. Finally the court rejected Keetons's free exercise of religion, unconstitutional condition and equal protection challenges.

The court's decision was consistent with an earlier 11th Circuit decision in the case that refused to grant a preliminary injunction because plaintiff had not shown a substantial likelihood of succeeding on the merits. (See prior posting.) SPLC reports on the district court's latest decision. Company Responds to NOM Campaign in Student Newspaper in Georgia

Adina Solomon writing for the independent student newspaper of the University of Georgia Red and Black:

Not everyone wants to stop off at Starbucks for a morning latte.

In January, Starbucks issued a statement from Kalen Holmes, executive vice president of the Seattle-based company, supporting Washington state legislation recognizing same-sex marriage.

“This important legislation is aligned with Starbucks business practices and upholds our belief in the equal treatment of partners,” Holmes wrote. “It is core to who we are and what we value as a company.”

More than 25,000 people have signed a petition boycotting Starbucks on, according to the website.

... The Red & Black received multiple emails from on behalf of people across Georgia protesting Starbucks’ stance.

... Individual locations of Starbucks do not comment to the media. But a Starbucks company spokesman wrote in an email that Starbucks’ stance has not affected its business.

“Starbucks has many constituents and from time to time we will make decisions that are consistent with our values and heritage but may be inconsistent with the views of a particular group,” the spokesman wrote.

Georgia Congressional Candidates Spar Over Who is More Pro-Marriage

Jim Galloway of Political Insider on two GOP candidates jockeying over whose pro-marriage conservative credentials are more solid:

You can tell we’re reaching the end of the 2012 session of the Legislature – election-year attacks have already resumed.

The 9th District congressional campaign of Doug Collins, a state lawmaker from Gainesville, has signaled that gay marriage will have its traditional place in the Republican primary – by passing along statements made by Collins’ chief rival, north Georgia radio talk show host Martha Zoller.

Why is this an issue? Because Georgian conservatives care about marriage!

11th Circuit Sides with CDC Against Woman Who Refused to do Same-Sex Counseling

One News Now:

A federal appeals court has upheld the firing of a Christian counselor who lost her job at the Centers for Disease Control for refusing to advise a woman in a homosexual relationship.

Marcia Walden launched a lawsuit in 2008 saying she was illegally laid off by a company the CDC hired to provide counseling to CDC workers. She said the CDC requested the dismissal.

Walden said the layoff violated her free exercise rights under the First Amendment and her rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. But on Tuesday, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta upheld a federal judge's dismissal of Walden's claims.

"We accept that Ms. Walden's sincerely held religious beliefs prohibit her from encouraging or supporting same-sex relationships though counseling," the court said. But the record in the case is "devoid of evidence" supporting her claim that she was removed because she needed to refer potential clients engaged in same-sex relationships to other counselors.

In response, the Alliance Defense Fund has released a statement that reads: "A counselor who is a Christian shouldn't lose her job for upholding the highest professional standards. It is unlawful to punish a Christian for abiding by her faith, particularly when she made every effort to accommodate the interests of a potential client. We are disappointed that the court ruled against these fundamental principles, but we are determining next steps to ultimately vindicate Marcia and the freedoms for which she's fighting."

11th Circuit Refuses to Grant Preliminary Injunction in ASU Counseling Dispute

The Eleventh Circuit has just rejected a counseling student’s effort to prevent Augusta State University in Georgia from requiring her to participate in a special “remediation plan” to get her to separate her religious beliefs about sexuality from her work as a counselor.

The school made the requirement a condition of her ability to participate in its Masters program for school counselors because faculty objected to comments she made in class discussions and assignments in which she expressed that “she believes GLBTQ ‘lifestyles’ to be "identity confusion” and because of “unsolicited reports from another student that she related her interest in conversion therapy for GLBTQ populations, and she has tried to convince other students to support and believe her views.”

The student has sued to prevent being forced out of the program if she does not complete the plan and sought to have a federal court issue a preliminary injunction to keep the school from enforcing the requirement immediately. In deciding whether the injunction should be issued, the court assessed the constitutional claims and decided that the student would likely lose since the school’s requirement did not, the court held, single her out for unfair treatment because of her religious beliefs but because of her desire to act on those beliefs in her work.

Since she is not likely to prevail on the constitutional claim, the court did not think an injunction should be issued. Unless the 11th Circuit panel’s decision is reversed or the school changes its requirement, the student will be forced to fulfill the special requirement or be kicked out of the Masters program. Her discrimination claim against the school can proceed even if she is forced out but will have to do so despite the 11th Circuit panel’s announcement that she is not likely to win on her constitutional claims unless she can show new evidence or provide new arguments.

The Eleventh Circuit decision can be found here (PDF).

AP on Jennifer Keeton's Fight to Avoid Expulsion Over Holding Christian Views

The Associated Press reports on Jennifer Keeton's story:

An attorney for a graduate school counseling student told federal judges in Atlanta on Tuesday that the student's First Amendment rights were violated when professors at a Georgia university sought to punish her for her biblical views on gay rights.

Augusta State University put Jennifer Keeton on academic probation for saying it would be hard for her to work with gay clients, and threatened to expel her unless she attended events like Augusta's gay pride parade, Keeton's attorney Jeff Shafer told the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

"She was told, `You don't have to believe it. You just have to say you do,'" Shafer said.

... She was asked in May 2010 to agree to a remediation plan that would require her to attend sensitivity training, read counseling journals and mix with gays at events like the city's gay pride parade.

Keeton refused to comply with the plan, which she said in court papers would require her to "tell clients wanting to hear it that homosexual sex is moral."

She filed a federal lawsuit claiming the school wanted to expel her because she "holds Christian ethical convictions" on human sexuality and gender identity. A judge rejected her challenge, leading to Tuesday's court arguments.

Counseling Student Appeals Ruling Expelling Her For Christian Ethical Views

Maureen Downey writes:

A grad student at Augusta State University who sued the school over a clash between her grad program requirements and her religious beliefs on gay people is now asking a federal appeals court to block the university from expelling her.

... In 2010, Jennifer Keeton, 24, sued after the college required her to complete a remediation program or face expulsion for her anti-gay beliefs. Her lawsuit states that her views on gays were known to faculty at the university because of her “disagreement in several class discussions and in written assignments with the gay and lesbian ‘lifestyle.’”'

... Keeton has already been rebuffed by the courts. Earlier this year, a U.S. district judge ruled in the university’s favor.

In supporting Augusta State in its actions, the judge wrote, “The record suggests, and the testimony at the hearing bolsters, the Plan was imposed because Plaintiff exhibited an inability to counsel in a professionally ethical manner – that is, an inability to resist imposing her moral viewpoint on counselees – in violation of the ACA Code of Ethics.”

A classmate testified that Keeton said she would be compelled by her beliefs to tell gay or lesbian counseling clients that their behaviors were morally wrong and must be changed.