The Georgia chapter of the Log Cabin Republican has decided to endorse Brian Kemp (R.) for Georgia’s governor race and with the full knowledge that he supports anti-LGBT “religious freedom” legislation. Kemp won the gubernatorial nomination in a runoff last Tuesday, then proceeded to reiterated his support for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
“My position on RFRA is not going to change. I’m not going to change,” Kemp, who is also endorsed by Donald Trump, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last week. “It’s the same thing that Gov. [Nathan] Deal voted for in Congress. It’s the commonsense thing to do, and I will do that as governor. And I’ll be glad to sit down with any business entity in the state and talk them through that.”
As a congressman Deal supported the federal RFRA in 1993, at the time the legislation was not being used against LGBT people. It was a mandated that the government show a compelling interest if it takes any actions limiting religious liberty, and use the least restrictive means of doing so. Originally it was to ensure that the government didn’t interfere with religious practices, for example, Native Americans use of hallucinogenic drugs in religious ceremonies.
Currently, laws have been proposed that allow business owners or public employees to refuse service to individuals that conflict with their religious beliefs. Deal (R.) in 2016 vetoed a “religious freedom” bill that would prohibit the government from taking any punitive action against an individual or faith-based organization that refuses services based on “religious or moral conviction.”
There are opponents that fear such legislation would create a negative impact on Georgia’s business climate, especially as Georgia is a finalist for Amazon’s second headquarters.
The Log Cabin Republicans didn’t waste any time in endorsing Kemp after he won the GOP nomination and in the organization’s 23-year history they have never endorsed a candidate for governor. “We offer him our full endorsement and look forward to working hard to help him win in November against radical liberal Stacey Abrams,” said a press release.
Stacey Abrams is a Democrat and a former state legislator is the first black woman to win a gubernatorial nomination from a major party. She is also opposed to the RFRA and a strong supporter of LGBT rights.
When the Georgia Log Cabin was asked about Kemp’s position on the RFRA is refused to comment, but instead released a statement from Cameron Mason, the group’s spokesman:
When Project Q Atlanta asked the Georgia Log Cabin group about Kemp’s stance on the RFRA, it did not address the issue but released the following statement from spokesman Cameron Mason: "Georgia Log Cabin Republicans endorsed Brian Kemp because our organization is based on Republican principles, and Brian Kemp represents many of those principles. He is a small business owner who wants to put Georgians first and not pit them against each other. Kemp will continue the amazing legacy of Gov. Deal by creating jobs and making Georgia a great place to start businesses.
"Meanwhile, Stacey Abrams is supported by out-of-state liberals and socialists. The Democratic Party seeks only to exploit the LGBT community by putting identity politics over the real needs of Georgians. Republicans across the state are ready to stand firm and united to help Brian Kemp win in November."