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13 March 2015

Georgia's Religious Freedom Act is Opposed by Elton John, But Supported by the Wiccans

Senate Bill 129 is the controversial Georgia Religious Freedom Restoration Act sponsored by Sen. Josh McKoon.

Senator McKoon says, "[Senate Bill 129] provides vital, common sense protections for Georgians of every faith from intrusive actions by state and local government."

But in an opinion piece published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 13 March 2015, pop superstar Sir Elton John writes, "Simply put, this bill is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It promises religious freedom, but let’s be clear: No one’s religious freedom is at risk! Both the Georgia Constitution and U.S. Constitution very explicitly protect this right" [John, Elton (13 March 2015). Is Georgia Turning its back on tolerance?. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved on 13 March 2015.].

"To be clear, I firmly believe in freedom of religion. Everyone has the right to worship as they choose," Sir Elton John continues. "But I also believe in justice, equality and the rule of law. We can’t just let people refuse to follow a law because they don’t like it. And we can’t just grant special exemptions that allow people to discriminate at will."

On that point, Sir Elton John, Senator Josh McKoon, and a third unlikely source --the Wiccans-- agree.

Everyone has the right to worship as they choose.

The Wiccans, however, say Senate Bill 129 protects their religious practices too, even though their religion involves witchcraft and magic.

The Aquarian Tabernacle Church of Wicca outlines what they believe will be protected by Georgia's Religious Freedom Restoration Act in a statement posted on their website:


Multi-Partner Wiccan relationships in Georgia (known communally as Polyamorous relationships) will now have legal right to marry

With the passing of Georgia Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Aquarian Tabernacle Church will be informing all Wiccans within the state of GA that there are no longer restrictions on which plants they may grow, own, harvest, ingest, distribute, or refine into compounds that the practitioner finds need to use within their religious practice, so long as no other laws besides substance abuse are broken.

All Wiccans are to be free to choose to be exempt, at the individual’s discretion regarding the sanctity of their essence, with no repercussions from Government bodies upon an employer adhering to these inalienable religious rights, from urinalysis, blood tests, hair follicle tests, breathalyzers, tattooing, rfid chipping, or anything else that adds to or removes parts of our essence

The Georgia Religious Freedom Restoration Act, supported by the Wiccans and opposed by Sir Elton John, passed the Georgia Senate with wide bipartisan margins.

Senate Bill 129 now sits in the Georgia House of Representatives.