Disney and Marvel Studios threatened that if a so-called "anti-gay" bill is signed into law in Georgia, it would prompt their departure from the state.
State lawmakers passed a religious liberty bill last week, which protects religious officials from having to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies, and would allow faith-based organizations to deny services or employment to those who violate their "sincerely held religious belief," according to Variety
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has until May 3 to sign the bill into law but has getting increasing pressure from entertainment groups for him to veto the measure, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
. The state's tax incentives, which offers up to 30 percent tax credits to big-budget entertainment projects, has made Georgia a television and movie haven in recent years.
"Disney and Marvel are inclusive companies, and although we have had great experiences filming in Georgia, we will plan to take our business elsewhere should any legislation allowing discriminatory practices be signed into state law," a Disney spokesman stated Wednesday, according to Variety.
Marvel Studios, a division of Marvel Entertainment and a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Co., has used its Pinewood Studios, near Atlanta, to shoot the upcoming "Captain America: Civil War" and is currently shooting "Guardians of the Galaxy 2," noted Variety.
Despite cries from Disney and even the NFL, which said the bid could threaten Atlanta's bid for a future Super Bowl, conservative groups like the Faith and Freedom Coalition and the Georgia Baptist Mission Board are urging its supporters to ask Deal to sign the bill, noted the Journal-Constitution.
"I don't care how a person chooses to live his or her life," Joel Williams, an Atlanta photographer told the newspaper. "I do think it's un-American for the government to attempt to force people to violate their religious convictions for any reason. … None of us should be threatened or bullied into violating our convictions of faith."
AMC, which shoots the popular "The Walking Dead" in the state, also issued a statement against the law but was not as definitive as Disney about pulling out of the state if the religious liberty bill passed, according to Vanity Fair
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