The NFL Calls a ‘Reverse Sweep’ on Religious Liberty

With religious liberty in the crosshairs in Georgia, the National Football League has seemingly indicated that it may hold Atlanta’s bid to host the Super Bowl hostage pending Georgia Governor Nathan Deal’s decision on legislation designed to protect pastors and faith-based organizations.

The bill in question is Georgia’s House Bill 757, which, as passed, would affirm and protect the rights of religious officials and institutions to refrain from participating in same-sex marriage ceremonies in a manner consistent with guarantees of the 1st Amendment. H.B. 757 also contains language consistent with RFRA legislation enacted at the federal level and by many states, however, it has faced considerable opposition from LGBT advocates like HRC and their allies in the business community, namely Georgia Prospers.

CBS/AP reported that Atlanta is a finalist to host the Super Bowl in 2019 and 2020, “along with New Orleans, Miami and Tampa”. Interestingly, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed legislation into law that protects pastors and religious organizations in the same manner just two weeks ago.

2nd Vote’s research team was unable to find public record of the NFL’s objection to 1st Amendment protections for pastors and religious organizations in Florida at the time of this posting, which begs the following question:

Does the NFL believe that such protections should exist in Florida, but not in Georgia?

Given the NFL’s record of advocacy against traditional marriage, and support for liberal LGBT organizations like GLAAD and GLESN, this effort to bully and punish defenders of religious liberty in Georgia smacks of opportunism.