ATLANTA - Bundled up and with signs in hand, hundreds of people gathered outside the state capitol Tuesday to show their opposition to legislation they believe discriminates against the LGBT community.
Speakers at the "Rally to Stop LGBT Discrimination" took aim at several "religious exemption" bills, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment Defense Act.
"In reality, they're excuses to discriminate," said Peter Nunn, who married his male partner in June. "I have friends that drove from south Georgia to be here and from north Georgia to be here today to show that this is something that's important enough for us to take off work, to be here."
The bills' sponsors insist they are about preserving the rights of religious Georgians. Opponents, however, disagree.
"We have seen this over and over--bills that say they are about protecting one thing when the real goal is to target and discriminate against LGBT people," said Simone Bell, a former state representative.
A house committee approved the Pastor Protection Act Tuesday, which protects church leaders from performing ceremonies they object to on religious grounds.