On the heels of the threat by Disney and Marvel Studios to boycott Georgia, AMC Networks has urged Gov. Nathan Deal to veto the state’s anti-gay bill.
AMC’s hit drama “The Walking Dead” is filmed primarily in Georgia.
“As a company, AMC Networks believes that discrimination of any kind is reprehensible,” the company, which owns AMC, IFC and SundanceTV, said in a statement. “We applaud Governor Deal’s leadership in resisting a previous version of this divisive legislation and urge him to reject the current version as well.”
Passed by the Georgia legislature on March 17, the “Free Exercise Protection Act” would allow faith-based organizations to deny service or employment to anyone who violates their “sincerely held religious belief.” It would also require the government to demonstrate a “compelling governmental interest” before it interferes with a person’s exercise of religion.
Local corporations and business groups opposed the legislation, which would permit opponents of same-sex marriage to cite religious beliefs in denying services to gay couples. Earlier this month, Deal himself called upon the legislature to change the language of the bill, saying, he would reject any proposal that “allows discrimination in our state in order to protect people of faith.”
The governor has until May 3 to act on the legislation.