By: CBS 46 Atlanta
February 26, 2018
Two Hollywood figures are urging colleagues to stop filming movie scenes and TV shows in Georgia if a controversial adoption bill becomes law.
Writer and producer Ben Wexler, known for his work on several television shows, including "The Grinder" with Rob Lowe and "Arrested Development," voiced his frustration late Sunday night after the Georgia Senate's passage of Senate Bill 375, also known as the "religious liberty bill."
The bill seeks to allow state-funded adoption agencies in the state to use their religion as a justification for denying married, gay couples the chance to adopt children from foster care.
The bill is now in the House, where it awaits committee assignment.
Supporters of the bill say it would encourage more adoption agencies to open in the state. They believe faith-based agencies need protections from discrimination and the freedom to express their religious beliefs.
Opponents say it would amount to state-sponsored discrimination of gay couples.
Wexler posted a tweet Sunday night that reads, "To my fellow showrunners: if this dumb bill becomes law, let's be done filming television shows in Georgia."
A couple of hours later, Emmy-winning actor Dan Bucatinsky, known for his guest-starring role in the TV series "Scandal," took a public stance. Bucatinsky is married to screenwriter and director Don Roos. The men are raising two children together.
Bucatinsky tweeted, “Threatens my family & so many other American families. Let’s please boycott so much production in Georgia – fattening their economy to help fertilize poison like this. Sickens me to think of the time I shot there. And they hate us.”
Threatens my family & so many other American families. Let’s please boycott so much production in Georgia — fattening their economy to help fertilize poison like this. Sickens me to think of the time I shot there. And they hate us. #BoycottGeorgia https://t.co/sZKp3HaS3A— Dan Bucatinsky (@danbucatinsky) February 26, 2018
Two years ago, Gov. Nathan Deal, a two-term Republican, vetoed a similar religious liberty bill, saying it didn't reflect Georgia's welcoming image. Deal is ineligible for re-election. However, lawmakers in Georgia's Republican-controlled House and Senate are up for re-election in November.
On Friday, a spokesman for Georgia House Speaker David Ralston issued the following statement:
“Some have called SB 375 a ‘license to discriminate’ against people wishing to adopt in Georgia. That is not a charge to take lightly. That said, the Lt. Governor’s and Senate’s support of this measure requires that the House give it due consideration. As the Senate did with HB 159, House members will need to take appropriate time to study this measure and consult with experts in the field before proceeding.”
Opponents of Senate Bill 375 are planning a rally on Thursday, March 1 at Central Presbyterian Church across the street from the state Capitol in Atlanta.