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NFL: Atlanta may lose Super Bowl if Georgia governor signs anti-gay religious bill

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The Georgia state legislature has passed an anti-gay 'religious freedom' bill. If Gov. Nathan Deal signs the bill, Atlanta may lose its bid to host the 2019 or 2020 Super Bowls.

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When the Georgia State Senate passed House Bill 757 earlier this week, opening the door to discrimination in the state, they took one step closer to losing business in the state, including the Super Bowl.

The bill, passed under the guise of protecting religious freedom, is designed to target LGBT people and organizations for the purpose of discrimination. It now goes to Gov. Nathan Deal for signature or veto. Salesforce has said it will look to move it's 15,000-person convention out of the state if the governor signs the bill.

Now the NFL is weighing in with a statement to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

"NFL policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard. Whether the laws and regulations of a state and local community are consistent with these policies would be one of many factors NFL owners may use to evaluate potential Super Bowl host sites."

Atlanta is one of the four finalists to host the Super Bowl in 2019 and 2020. The Atlanta Falcons have been embroiled in a controversy of their own this month after reports of coaches asking prospective players if they are gay.

Meanwhile, Falcons owner Arthur Blank has publicly opposed the bill:

"One of my bedrock values is ‘Include Everyone' and it's a principle we embrace and strive to live each and every day with my family and our associates, a vast majority of which live and work in Georgia. I strongly believe a diverse, inclusive and welcoming Georgia is critical to our citizens and the millions of visitors coming to enjoy all that our great state has to offer. House Bill 757 undermines these principles and would have long-lasting negative impact on our state and the people of Georgia."

The NFL has weighed in previously on its distaste for similar anti-LGBT bills in Arizona, Indiana and Texas.