I want to update you on a piece of legislation making its way through the Georgia legislature and what PulteGroup is doing about it. On Wednesday of last week, both the Georgia House and Senate passed HB 757, commonly known as the “religious freedom” bill. While this bill sounds promising in title (we all want religious freedom), the bill would actually allow legalized discrimination. Simply put, the content of the bill would allow any company doing business in Georgia that was “faith based” (anyone could add the words “faith based” to their mission statement to qualify) to discriminate and choose not to serve customers if so compelled by their religion.
I am currently the co-chair of the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s Public Policy Advisory Board. In this capacity I am charged with representing to the Metro Atlanta Chamber views of the broader business community on matters of public policy, such as this legislation. As you can imagine, the broad business community is strongly opposed to this legislation. I wanted you to know that our company stands for inclusion for everyone, and is strongly opposed to any legislation that would allow for discrimination of any kind. With that in mind, I’ve given interviews to the Atlanta Business Chronicle and may do some other media spots in the coming days to help express our disagreement over this bill. I am hopeful that this bill will not become law and will be doing all I can personally to convince the Governor to veto the legislation. The good news is that the Governor has been very vocal in his opposition to any bill that would allow discrimination, so I remain optimistic that this legislation will not become law.
Approximately 500 Georgia companies, including PulteGroup, have already signed a pledge called “Georgia Prospers” which is a simple statement of inclusion and welcome. I wanted you to know that PulteGroup and hundreds of other companies, large and small across Georgia, oppose this legislation and will be fighting on behalf of the people in our state to help ensure the harmful effects of this bill are never felt.