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New "religious liberty" bill in Georgia may impact Atlanta Super Bowl

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It's a sensitive issue for many, but the business and sports communities are united against it thus fa.r

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Wherever you fall on Georgia House Bill 757, this is fact: Passing it might cost Atlanta a Super Bowl.

Per Jeff Schultz:

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said, "NFL policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard. Whether the laws and regulations of a state and local community are consistent with these policies would be one of many factors NFL owners may use to evaluate potential Super Bowl host sites."

The Falcons, and in particular Arthur Blank, have already stated their opposition to the bill, as have the Braves, Hawks, and Liberty, and you can anticipate that those teams will lobby Governor Nathan Deal pretty hard with big events at stake. The heart of the issue here is that the bill  allows churches and faith-based organizations to not rent out their spaces, hire, or provide any services to those they find objectionable, which most have taken to mean the LGBT community. The NFL is, as expected, frowning on that.

Frankly, enabling any organization to actively discriminate against someone based on their sexuality is a bad thing, and an attempt to make fear and hatred into a law. We don't support that, either.

We'll know by early May whether the bill will be signed into law or not, but don't expect Arthur Blank to be all that quiet on the matter, considering he's got a brand new, very over budget stadium built in part to host Super Bowls opening up in 2017. Whether his motives are purely financial or more altruistic hardly matters, so long as it's effective.