Hollywood heavyweights have vowed to call for a boycott on filming in Georgia if a bill that would make it legal for child welfare organizations to stop same-sex parents from adopting on grounds of religious liberty becomes law.
Georgia’s Senate voted 35-19 in favor of Senate Bill 375, or the Keep Faith in Adoption and Foster Care Act, Feb. 23. Introduced by Sen. William Ligon (R), the legislation would permit taxpayer-funded adoption agencies and foster care providers to refuse referrals if they are deemed to violate “sincerely held religious beliefs.”
SB 375 now heads to Georgia’s House of Representatives for consideration.
Ligon and his supporters believe the legislation will encourage more faith-based adoption agencies to open in Georgia. “We’re failing these children by not doing everything that we can do to ensure every door of opportunity is open and available to them for placement,” the senator told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “There are agencies that are willing to do this if they’re given legal certainty.”
Opponents, however, see SB 375 as little more than government-sanctioned discrimination targeting the LGBTQ community.
Among them is Ben Wexler, who worked as an executive producer on “The Grinder” and a consulting producer on “Arrested Development.” Wexler spoke out against the Keep Faith in Adoption and Foster Care Act on Twitter late Friday.
By Monday, “West Wing” and “Transparent” actor Bradley Whitford had tweeted similar sentiments ...
... as did the creator of Lifetime’s “Army Wives,” Katherine Fugate, who is currently in talks to shoot an upcoming movie in Georgia.
If a boycott did materialize, the impact on Georgia’s economy would be considerable. In 2016, the Peach State reportedly outpaced California as the top U.S. location for movie production, with 17 feature films produced within its borders.
A number of Marvel blockbusters ― including “Black Panther,” which raked in a reported $89 million for the state ― were shot at Pinewood Atlanta Studios. Georgia also stands in for rural Indiana on the Netflix smash “Stranger Things.”