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Disney, Marvel Threaten Boycott If GA Gov Signs Religious Freedom Bill

Disney, Marvel Threaten Boycott If GA Gov Signs Religious Freedom Bill

Religious liberty or Disney dollars?

Walt Disney and Marvel, a Disney subsidiary, are threatening to boycott Georgia if Governor Nathan Deal signs into law a religious freedom bill that recently passed the Georgia state legislature.

The bill, HB 575, had already undergone significant revisions in response to pressure from SJWs.  The bill was initially designed to protect businesses and non-profits whose owners had religious objections to providing services for and participating in gay “marriages”; however, the new version is less accommodating to religious freedom.

The Washington Times reports:

The bill initially would have allowed Georgians to decline service for same-sex weddings if doing so violated their religious beliefs. But, sensing the coming storm, Mr. Deal urged lawmakers to make substantial changes to the legislation before passing it.

The new version of the bill says the protections do not apply in cases of “invidious discrimination,” which could mean religious wedding vendors would not be protected from declining to service same-sex marriage ceremonies.

Conservatives in Georgia are not happy with what they see as a “gutting” of the bill’s original purpose.

The Washington Times continues:

Conservatives accused Georgia of gutting the bill’s primary purpose.

“It is unfortunate that the Georgia legislature caved to pressure from big business and special interests to water down their weakened bill even further,” wrote the Heritage Foundation’s Roger Severino and Ryan Anderson at the Daily Signal. “Other states must stand vigilant against such cultural cronyism.”

Watch the report:

Even this watered-down version of the bill, however, has caused Disney, and with it the Georgia-based Marvel studios, to threaten a boycott of the state should Governor Deal sign it.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

Opponents say the legislation promotes discrimination.

“Disney and Marvel are inclusive companies, and although we have had great experiences filming in Georgia, we will plan to take our business elsewhere should any legislation allowing discriminatory practices be signed into state law,” a spokesman for Burbank-based Disney said.
Why does this potential boycott matter to Georgia?  According to the LA Times,

Georgia has become a haven for film and television production because of attractive tax incentives offered to studios that film there. Unlike California’s film tax credit program, Georgia’s offering is especially enticing because it allows studios and film producers to offset actors’ salaries, which can be a major contributor to the cost of productions.

Recent Disney projects to shoot in Georgia have included the Marvel Studios-produced “Ant-Man” and “Captain America: Civil War” while “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” is currently in production there.

During Georgia’s fiscal 2015, 248 film and television productions shot in the Peach State, representing $1.7 billion in spending there, according to a statement issued by the Georgia Department of Economic Development last year. Those film and TV projects generated an economic impact of more than $6 billion during the fiscal year extending from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015.

So it would seem that Governor Deal has a decision to make:  religious liberty or Disney dollars.


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Religious freedom bills can be two-edged swords. They can be dangerous. We already have the First Amendment, so they should be unnecessary. If there has been a loss of religious freedom after a determination by the Supreme Court, e.g. the supposition that a right really is not impacted by a federal law, or that someone else’s conflicting “right” takes precedence because it is being impacted more, then it may be that the issues just weren’t framed properly. But in that case a state statute cannot supersede this problem.

On the other hand, what state religious right statutes CAN do is to grant additional rights and privileges to, and give fodder to “discrimination” claims of groups such as Muslims who demand the right to wear covering over their faces in private establishments, or demand that public schools also close for their holidays, or wiccan groups who claim that their religious rights are being trampled by someone’s leading a Christian prayer in the military or before a town council meeting.

Caution is advised.

    Great points all, janitor. The crux here, though, is not the demand for a right to do something but for the freedom not to be coerced by the government into doing something that directly conflicts with one’s religious principles (i.e. participating in a gay “marriage”).

    No one is coercing wiccans to say Christian prayers, and no one is coercing Muslims to attend school on their religious holidays (many school districts already allow this for Muslims and many also allow Chinese New Years, etc., though schools stay open for other students). No one coerces Muslims or Jewish businesses to produce and sell pork products, etc.

    What is happening here is that people who truly, deeply believe that something is not only wrong but a deadly sin are being coerced to participate by the government. That’s wrong. On every level.

      Precisely. Janitor is doing what lawyers and politicians always do, going through long lists of reasons to be for or against something, then either doing nothing, as he did with his “caution is advised” or doing something that makes the situation worse for everyone.

      And really, can you think of a worse corporate citizen than a Hollywood studio to host in your community? Their very action here, bullying a community’s legislature, is an excellent example of the reason they should e told to take a hike. Further, statistics about the economic benefits attendant to having studios in your state are notoriously exaggerated or just plain false. Tell them to pack up and get out.

Dear Disney: Don’t let the screen door hit you in the a** on the way out.

good enough morgan | March 23, 2016 at 9:31 pm

And: what’s calculated in the “economic impact”? Once we figure in the subsidies, is there really much of a loss to the state? It’s worth the experiment to see if Disney would take a worse deal somewhere else.

I’m glad to see that companies like Disney and Marvel make it clear, it’s not the Religious Freedom Bill that threatens financial havoc but, instead, bigoted, fascist organizations like Disney and Marvel, inflicting financial oppression because of their anti-Christ position.
The “threat” of financial oppression comes from the narrow-minded LGBT supports.

Disney was recently in the news when it laid off hundreds of its workers and forced them to train their foreign replacements or face loss of severance pay.

Tar. Feathers.

The Friendly Grizzly | March 23, 2016 at 9:58 pm

I note the quotes around the word marriage when referring to gay marriage, implying they are a sham.

With heterosexual marriages so easily dissolved, with about 50% of them ending in divorce, and what amounts to serial bigamy being so common, those same sham quotes are fitting no matter the circumstances.

    I can assure you that same sex marriages are just as easy and expensive and acrimonious to dissolve as straight marriages. The same lies, the same custody battles. The divorce lawyers couldn’t be happier.
    One of my daughters is currently going through the process.

Just a reminder – Disney is the company that fired Americans in their IT department, hired all H1-B visa holders and made the Americans train the H1-Bs to do their jobs.

Screw Disney. Hard.

    casualobserver in reply to valegorge. | March 24, 2016 at 1:05 am

    But will those who dislike either the hiring or this boycott really do anything? I suspect Disney is gambling they won’t.

Screw Disney. If they don’t want to engage in crony capitalism, ripping off the taxpayers of Georgia, that’s a double bonus.

Disney is full blown SJW now. I wouldn’t want the makers of “Zootopia” anywhere near my state.

Even ESPN is nearly unwatchable these days. Why do you want to watch footballs shows featuring people who hate football?

It’s long past time that the USA reevaluated copyright law. How old is Steamboat Willie? The USA constitution is very short but it was important for the founders to state that copyrights are only supposed to last for a limited time, not forever.

casualobserver | March 24, 2016 at 12:18 am

A public battle with LGBT groups and their allies is a LOT more costly than one with Christians. Otherwise they wouldn’t be taking this risk.

    forksdad in reply to casualobserver. | March 24, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    The homogamy is just a club for their ‘allies’ to beat the rest of society over the head with. They could not care less about the real suffering of homosexuals. Dropped from buildings by ISIS, forced into reassignment surgery in Iran, death in other parts, forced sex slavery of boys in another.

    But they want to throw their weight around over a conscious objection clause to participating in what many deem is a sin? Disney is full SJW.

This law would seem to have no effect whatever on Disney’s business operations. So I expect that whatever form this law eventually takes, Disney may make noise, but will not actually do anything.

    tom swift in reply to tom swift. | March 24, 2016 at 7:25 am

    Unless, of course, there’s some danger that Disney will actually do something simply as a matter of principle … albeit misguided principle.

    Disney and matters of principle? Ha ha haaaaaaaa …

    No, no danger at all.

“which could mean religious wedding vendors would not be protected from declining to service same-sex marriage ceremonies.”

Or we could adopt the “Muslim religious freedom guarantee”, as demonstrated by Greg Gutfield taking hidden cameras around to a dozen bakeries in Oregon, Indiana, etc., asking to have a cake baked for his gay wedding…. and being turned down by every one of them, with no signs of either prosecution or protesters yet.

Amazing how free you are to discriminate when the SJWs realize that they are risking having their heads cut off and/or their gay weddings bombed. Incentives matter.

Since when does Mickey Mouse’s money trump the Bill of Rights? Sign the damthing, Governor!

Religious liberty or Disney dollars?

Religious liberty, no question.

Disney/Marvel is taking the ridiculous position that discrimination is OK, as long as it’s done in the name of anti-discrimination. WTF!?

And they’re missing two key aspects to the law: First, it applies to religious-based organizations only — thus, the Christian bakers, because bakeries aren’t inherently religious, are getting no additional protections. Second, by not naming specific religions, it applies equally to all — the pagan/Wiccan priestesses can’t be forced to officiate a Catholic wedding any more than the Catholic priest can be forced to officiate a pagan one.

Only a perpetually-outraged SJW would perceive discrimination in that.

As stated above, boycotts work both ways. Disney/Marvel likes Georgia because of its tax climate, currently friendly to entertainment productions.

“Currently” is the key word there. Just sayin’.

buckeyeminuteman | March 24, 2016 at 3:22 pm

Disney never lets their morals get in the way of their money

Disney and Marvel support selective exclusion under the “=” ruling. Congruence, really. Social justice extends to politically favorable classes, and a global humanitarian disaster led by Mr. Pro-choice in Chief, Obama.

    buckeyeminuteman in reply to n.n. | March 25, 2016 at 11:21 am

    It’s pretty hard to keep your money out of Disney’s pocket with them owning Marvel, Star Wars, TMNT, all those cartoons, etc. They own my entire childhood now and I never was even into Mickey, Disney World, or any of that traditionally Disney stuff. I guess one good way to fight them is go see Batman V Superman! Give your money to DC.

I’m so glad that my daughter is now old enough to understand why we spend no money on anything Disney.

Stop giving them money! Disney and Marvel have become fascists. They deserve to go bankrupt. And they can stay out of my State.

its a bluff, call it … and then find a way to strip them of any tax breaks they where given to locate there … threats have consequences too …

ultraskeptic | April 1, 2016 at 7:41 am

There is a simple solution to this conflict which should mollify all parties. Religious institutions should be barred from having the authority to conduct civilly binding marriage, retaining the right to do only ecclesiastical matrimony. And everyone who wants civilly licensed matrimony would have to go to a town clerk. This would certainly provide far better separation of church and state, and should free religious institutions to devise and enforce the rules under which they will provide religious marriage under a tolerant view of that separation.
I have personal experience with this, having been married religiously after doing matrimonial vows civilly for reasons too silly to bother explaining. It was a great excuse for two parties, and every year, it takes us an entire weekend to celebrate the dual anniversaries.