Corporate America (And The Walking Dead) Wins Stunning Pro-LGBT Victory In Georgia

Today we found out who’s REALLY in control of the Republican Party: The Religious Right or Corporate America? In Georgia, at least, Big Business reigns supreme. In a move that is sure to exacerbate the tensions within the Republican Party, Georgia’s Republican governor Nathan Deal has vetoed a controversial “religious freedom” bill that was aimed at legalizing anti-LGBT discrimination:

Deal’s decision comes two weeks after the state legislature passed a bill aimed at shoring up the rights of religious organizations to refuse services that clash with their faith, particularly with regard to same-sex marriage.

Immediately after passing that bill, Georgia came under fire from numerous large corporations like Disney, the NFL and others who threatened to boycott the state or move their business elsewhere. The top show on television, The Walking Dead, also threatened to leave the state if the bill was signed into law.

Liberals are celebrating, but took the entirely wrong message from the veto:

“Today, Governor Deal heard the voices of Georgians, civil rights organizations, as well as the many leaders in the entertainment industry and private sector who condemned this attack on the fundamental rights of LGBT people, and he has set an example for other elected officials to follow,” Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement.

While conservatives turned around and blamed liberals and politically correct something or another. I’m assuming the death threats have already started flowing in to Deal’s office.

But Governor Deal is not a sudden proponent of LGBT rights. He’s a Republican. That should give a hint that the only reason this happened is because Corporate America told him what to do. Since marriage equality and LGBT rights won the culture war, being seen as anti-LGBT hurts profits.

That is, literally, the bottom line.

While pounding their chest about “religious freedom” still helps Republican politicians in their benighted conservative states, being associated with the anti-LGBT movement hurts corporations. Even Chick-fil-A had to back down after acting on their anti-gay sentiments in the form of donations to anti-LGBT groups. Yes, there was a surge in business as bigoted conservatives rushed out to support the fast food company but once that died down, the boycott and bad PR remained.

Being publicly anti-LGBT is bad business. Doing business in an anti-LGBT state is bad business, too. That’s why corporations keep threatening to leave states that pass what are laws essentially legalizing discrimination and hate. In a state like Georgia, one of the few red states with a functioning economy, they can’t risk the loss of business for a pointless ideological fight that’s going to eventually be struck down by the soon-to-be liberal controlled Supreme Court.

This is not a new victory for the LGBT community so much as a predictable and direct consequence of their already winning the war. Still tastes pretty sweet though, doesn’t it?

Featured image via JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)