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Delta Air Lines criticizes 'religious freedom' bills in conservative states

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The Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines released a statement today sharply criticizing efforts by some states to pass legislation allowing businesses to refuse service to gays and lesbians.

"As a global values-based company, Delta Air Lines is proud of the diversity of its customers and employees, and is deeply concerned about proposed measures in several states, including Georgia and Arizona, that would allow businesses to refuse service to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals," said Delta's press release. "If passed into law, these proposals would cause significant harm to many people and will result in job losses. They would also violate Delta's core values of mutual respect and dignity shared by our 80,000 employees worldwide and the 165 million customers we serve every year. Delta strongly opposes these measures and we join the business community in urging state officials to reject these proposals."

Delta is a major job creator in the Atlanta area, where the company has its headquarters and hub at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Georgia's religious freedom bill, the Preservation of Religious Freedom Act (H.B. 1023), has bipartisan co-sponsorship but at this point is unlikely to pass.

Similar bills across the country surfaced as a result of controversy when some businesses ended up in courts after refusing to cater or photograph gay weddings because of owners' religious convictions.

The legislation would protect businesses that refuse service to some customers for religious reasons.

Click here to read H.B. 1023.

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