IT'S ABOUT DISCRIMINATION, NOT RELIGION: Georgia Republican Josh McKoon admits it. YouTube screen shot

Remember Bro. Jason Rapert’s declaration, when some Young Republicans wanted to soften the Arkansas GOP stance against same-sex marriage, that there was no room in the Republican Party for anyone soft on the gays?

Bro. Rapert has some evangelizing to do in Georgia, apparently, where a fight has broken out on one of those supposed religious liberty bills that (as was the case in Arkansas) are nothing but blatant anti-gay legislation. From Slate:


I am a big fan of Sen. Josh McKoon, the rabidly anti-gay Georgia Republican legislator who sponsored a failed “religious liberty” bill last spring. Like most conservatives, McKoon initially peddled the laughable line that his bill wasn’t intended to undercut LGBT rights. But when a moderate Republican called his bluff, proposing a simple amendment to clarify that the bill did not legalize discrimination, McKoon let the façade drop. “That amendment,” he fumed, “would completely undercut the purpose of the bill.” With those words, McKoon finally admitted what so many would not: The whole point of “religious liberty” bills is to nullify LGBT nondiscrimination measures.

Since then, the Georgia GOP has split wide open over McKoon’s bill. Religious conservatives in the party vehemently support it; business-minded moderates, who fear an Indiana-style backlash, vigorously oppose it. (The latter camp was, until recently, led by Jewish Rep. Mike Jacobs and supported by the Anti-Defamation League, which has led to some disturbing dog whistles.*) Now McKoon is lining up his soldiers for the next charge—and, in doing so, dropping all pretexts about the true intentions of his bill. In a remarkable speech, McKoon pilloried companies like Delta, Coca-Cola, and Home Depot, which are headquartered in Georgia and spoke out against the bill. These companies, McKoon claimed, are the main roadblock to the bill’s passage:

There you have it. Religious protection means gay discrimination. And the true believers — who also tend to profess their love for Israel — also have no use for Jews who go soft on the gays. Or big corporations. Remember this the next time somebody wants to give Gov. Asa Hutchinson a trophy for not approving an even more hateful pro-discrimination bill. He signed off on a pro-discrimination bill of the likes that most major corporations oppose and he claims to be pro-business. He went in the tank on the bill to prevent home rule on non-discrimination. BTW: These aren’t a bunch of Silicon Valley liberals that Georgia Republicans — and Rapert, by implication — are flogging for being nice to the queers. The leader of Home Depot is about as anti-Obama as they come.