Ralston dampens Kemp pledge to sign 'Religious Freedom' bill

By The Associated Press
Posted 6:52PM on Thursday 10th January 2019 ( 2 months ago )

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia's Republican House Speaker David Ralston says he doesn't favor another attempt to pass so-called "religious freedom" legislation that protects people acting on religious beliefs.

That could put him at odds with fellow Republican Gov.-elect Brian Kemp.

Kemp, who will be inaugurated Monday, has vowed to sign a narrowly drawn mirror of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act and insists it doesn't discriminate.

But many Democrats and LGBT activists fear it would allow discrimination against gay and lesbian individuals on religious grounds and cause backlash.

Ralston said Thursday during a state Capitol news conference that he's concerned such legislation could "tear the fabric of the state."

Conservative lawmakers have sought another chance to pass "religious freedom" legislation after now-outgoing Republican Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed a similar proposal in 2016.

Georgia House Speaker David Ralston at his annual pre-legislative news conference Thursday. (AP photo)

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