A rally in downtown Macon on Thursday drew people voicing displeasure with a controversial state bill they say discriminates against people based on their sexual orientation.
The protest, held outside the Macon-Bibb County Government Center, was held in opposition to a Georgia bill that would allow tax-funded faith-based organizations to deny services to same-sex couples. The legislation also says religious leaders do not have to perform same-sex marriages.
The bill states that "no religious organization shall be required to rent, lease or otherwise grant permission for property to be used by another person for an event which is objectionable to such religious organization."
Wesleyan College freshman Morgan Lami said she is upset that the bill is this close to becoming law.
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Earlier this month, House Bill 757 was approved by state representatives in a 161-0. An amended version was passed 38-14 by the state Senate on Feb. 19. That amended version would prevent the government from taking "adverse" action against someone who believes marriage should only be between a man and a woman. The amended bill now goes back to the House of Representatives.
"I feel as a person that is in my situation that I'm being discriminated against for the way I was born," said Lami, president of a diversity group on campus.
Macon resident Anna Hagemeyer said she attended Thursday's rally because of her "passionate belief in equality."
"I believe you can have whatever religion you want, you can believe whatever you want. However you are not entitled to your beliefs dictating public policy," she said.
To contact writer Stanley Dunlap, call 744-4623 or find him on Twitter@stan_telegraph.