Conservative groups eye reviving religious freedom bills - CBS46 News

Conservative groups eye reviving religious freedom bills

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

Julianne Thompson is ready for battle.

"We will fight for our rights," said Thompson, the co-chair of the Atlanta Tea Party and co-founder of the Capitol Coalition of Conservative Leaders.

"We're not afraid of big hitters," Thompson said.

The big hitters are companies like Delta and Home Depot, among the corporations and advocacy groups that oppose two bills at the statehouse called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Neither the Georgia House nor the Senate passed bills before crossover day, the deadline when proposals must clear at least one chamber of the State Assembly to stay alive.

Critics, including the corporations along with gay-rights and women's groups said the measures would allow businesses and healthcare providers to discriminate based on religious reasons.

Conservative groups argue that the measures would guard against federal intrusion on religious groups.

"It is not about discrimination. It is about protecting people of faith and anyone who values constitutional liberties from discrimination," Thompson said.

Georgia conservative groups are trying to revive the proposals by taking action against the companies that opposed the bills.

"We are considering state, if not national boycott," Thompson said.

Jeff Graham, who heads the gay rights advocacy group Georgia Equality, said he is keeping an eye on attempts to resurrect the bills.

"We have to remain vigilant ‘until the end of this session,'" Graham said. "The language included in those bills can arise again as an amendment to another bill of there's enough support to do that."

Thompson said the coalition will try to persuade lawmakers to attach the religious freedom proposal to another piece of legislation that is still alive with the hope of passing the measure this year.

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