Company plans to shoot several Marvel movies in capital city of Atlanta
Disney is joining the list of major companies threatening to boycott the state of Georgia if a controversial anti-gay bill is signed into law.
“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 spokesperson for the company said in a statement to TheWrap.
Disney has shot several Marvel films in Atlanta due to the state’s lucrative film production tax credits, including the upcoming “Captain America: Civil War” and “Guardians of the Galaxy 2.”
Last week, the Georgia Assembly overwhelmingly passed the Free Exercise Protection Act, which would allow for faith-based organizations to refuse to provide services “that violate such faith-based organizations sincerely held religious belief.”
The legislation now requires only the signature of Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, to become law.
The bill would strengthen legal protections for opponents of same-sex marriages and allow faith-based organizations in Georgia to refuse services to anyone they find “objectionable.”
The proposed law would also allow faith-based groups to deny “social, educational or charitable services that violate such faith-based organization’s sincerely held religious belief.” It would also protect groups that decide not to hire individuals whose religious beliefs conflict with the organization’s.
Disney is the latest major company to come out against the bill, adding pressure on Deal over the potential economic impact for the state. The NFL stated on Monday that they would not host a Super Bowl in Georgia should the bill be passed.
The bill is one of several such bills that have been circulating in state legislatures recently. Indiana came under fire after signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law, which many feared would allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT customers based on religious objections.
After a national outcry, Indiana legislators overhauled the legislation. The changes prohibit businesses from using it as a legal defense for refusing “to offer or provide services” to customers based on “race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or United States military service.”
Disney has long had a history of supporting gay rights. The company has extended health benefits to same-sex partners of employees since 1995. Disney theme parks have also held annual Gay Days since 1991.