Could controversial adoption bill dash Atlanta's Amazon HQ2 bid? - CBS46 News

Could controversial adoption bill dash Atlanta's Amazon HQ2 bid?

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(Source: MGN) (Source: MGN)
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

A new report cites an Amazon official who said Atlanta is out of the running for the company’s second headquarters, HQ2.

The report said it could be because of a policy that is not supportive of gay rights. This all came out in the Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon owner Jeff Bezos.

We’re learning Friday Atlanta could be on the chopping block as a contender for the new Amazon headquarters because of an adoption bill that many say would have made it harder for gay couples to adopt.

Atlanta was one of the major cities Amazon officials toured for its headquarters.

The Washington Post is citing insiders who’ve been touring possible cities, and one non-Amazon employee on the tour reportedly told the Post, “I just think Atlanta’s out.”

The article in the Washington Post said that some people on the tour said they think Atlanta is now out of the running after the controversial bill, called the “Keep Faith in Adoption and Foster Care Act” passed the State Senate, but ultimately failed and didn’t make it into law.

The bill would have allowed adoption and foster agencies to refuse adoption referrals from places that they believe violate “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

“It would allow agencies to turn away members of the LGBT community as prospective parents,” said Georgia Equality Executive Director Jeff Graham.

Graham said it’s not just Amazon following the possible negative impact of the bill that would have allowed adoption agencies to refuse referrals from places that violate strictly held religious beliefs. It only passed the State Senate this year.

“There were a number of business interests that began to express concerns about this, very specifically members of the film and television industry,” Graham said.

The bill’s sponsor, State Senator William Lignon from Brunswick, told the Washington Post “If you’re against it, then I think we need to think hard about whether you ought to come here. We need to seriously consider whether we want you to come here.”

Lignon changed his tone when CBS46 talked to him, saying he thinks people are misunderstanding the legislation.

“I don’t think that our bill has anything to do with it because the state of Texas passed a bill exactly like Senate Bill 375, which by the way results in more children being served by faith-based agencies, and they had two cities that made Amazon’s short list, and so it certainly did not hurt the state of Texas,” he said. “This did not hurt the state of Georgia. I don’t know how anyone could confuse helping children and making sure they get more services with something inverse.”

We reached out to Amazon on Friday, as well as the Georgia Dept. of Economic Development, which is handling the city’s bid. We have not heard back from either. 

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