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Anti-Gay History Footnote Thinks All Y'all Bigots A Bit Over The Line

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Have some delightful news: former Georgia Attorney General Michael Bowers is working with a gay rights group to try to defeat two "religious freedom" bills currently under consideration by the Georgia state legislature. Right now you are thinking "Bowers...Bowers...why do I know that name?" Perhaps you are remembering Bowers v. Hardwick, a completely odious decision in which the Supreme Court in 1986 held that the right to privacy did not extend to gay sexytime in a case where two consenting dudes in Georgia were arrested for the crime of sodomy. They sued Georgia AG Bowers, who ultimately prevailed in the case. This repellent decision was, hooray, overturned by the Court in 2003 in Lawrence v. Texas.


Way back in the 1980s, Bowers was a pretty anti-gay type of guy, and he kept being anti-gay for a while! In 1992, he cited that same Georgia anti-sodomy law when he rescinded a job offer to a lawyer named Robin Shahar after learning she was planning to gay-marry her partner in a commitment ceremony, because how could she enforce Georgia's anti-gay-sexytime law if she was doing gay sexytime? When Shahar sued him, he won that case too. And then, oops, during the course of his campaign for Georgia Governor in 1997, Bowers was forced to admit that he'd been having a long-term affair with his secretary, which was in violation of Georgia's anti-adultery law. Yes! You are enjoying the irony that arises from the question of how Bowers was able to enforce the anti-extramarital sexytime law if he was doing extramarital sexytime! His political prospects were ruined, and that is called Karma, except that then he went to work in a law firm and made a zillion dollars being a lawyer.

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At this point you are probably thinking that Michael Bowers does not sound like the exact right guy to provide legal analysis for Georgia Equality, Georgia's largest gay rights group, in their attempt to defeat Georgia's terrible religious freedom bills. You would be wrong about that! Bowers released a statement yesterday saying that the religious freedom bills are Bad News:

First, I believe, if enacted into law, this legislation will be an excuse to practice invidious discrimination. Second, if enacted, the proposed RFRA will permit everyone to become a law unto themselves in terms of deciding what laws they will or will not obey, based on whichever religious tenets they may profess or create at any given time.

We could practically weep with joy upon hearing a former state AG and former (?) bigot say those words. In a press conference Tuesday, he clarified:

The bills, in my judgement, are nothing but an excuse to discriminate. The opportunity to use this as a religious excuse [to discriminate] is so broad, it’s almost impossible to limit. I think that has the potential to be a disaster."

A Disaster! Well, yes it would be! Michael Bowers, it is just possible that you can work yourself off of the list of Bigoted Former State Officials of America if you keep saying things like this for the next 20 or so years.

[ThinkProgress/image via LGBTQnation.com]

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