Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson said Thursday that laws addressing conflicts between same-sex marriage and religious freedom should be left to Congress and the federal government.
Last year, Isakson and Georgia's other senator, Republican David Perdue, co-sponsored a bill called the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), which was designed to protect people who act on their religious opposition to same-sex marriage.
That bill is pending in Congress. Meanwhile, Georgia Republican state Sen. Greg Kirk says he will propose a similar bill in the Georgia legislature.
However, Isakson says that is not the best way to address the issue.
“Because it's a First Amendment issue and it's a federal issue I think it ought to be dealt with at the federal level,” Isakson said. “If you had 50 different standards it would make it difficult for anybody to do anything because you'd have conflicting standards.”
When asked whether he favors Kirk’s FADA proposal specifically, Isakson said does not want to get involved in the state legislature and he “doesn’t want to pick a fight with anybody.”
Kirk's bill is likely to draw criticism from the Georgia business community, a long-time supporter of Isakson.
Atlanta-based companies including Delta and Coca-Cola have spoken out against separate religious freedom legislation, which some say could give the appearance Georgia that is not welcoming to LGBT people.