A conservative Christian group in Texas is lashing out at Disney for opposing discriminatory legislation in Georgia.
The group Texas Values released an angry statement after Georgia's governor, Nathan Deal, announced Monday that he would veto so-called "religious liberty" legislation. Disney and other companies had threatened to boycott the state if the governor signed the bill into law.
"Will Disney now ban you from wearing a cross outside your shirt at their parks?" Texas Values president Jonathan Saenz fumed. "Will a Catholic priest be forced to remove his white collar when he takes a picture with Mickey Mouse? This is how extreme the attacks now are on religious freedom, it’s a zero tolerance policy for religious freedom."
Critics of the religious liberty bill in Georgia said it would legalize discrimination against gay couples. Disney warned they would "take our business elsewhere should any legislation allowing discriminatory practices be signed into state law."
But Saenz insisted that Disney was waging war on Christians.
"It’s striking that the day after Easter, churches in Georgia are told their freedoms are not that important to protect," he said in the statement. "It’s clear that corporate giants like Apple, Disney, NCAA, Intel have finally come out of the closet and declared public war on the religious freedom of clergy and religious schools, as was the protection in Georgia’s very modest HB 757 that they worked to bring down."
Dan Quinn of the Texas Freedom Network said that Texas Values -- which is pushing for its own version of a "religious liberty" law in the state -- was attempting to redefine terms:
"What’s really going on here is an effort by extremists to radically redefine religious freedom to mean something it never has and never should: the right to use religion as a weapon to discriminate against and harm others, to ignore laws one simply doesn’t like, and to impose one’s religious beliefs on those who don’t share them. Georgia’s Gov. Deal, a Republican, firmly refused to support that cynical effort."