“Some of those in the religious community who support this bill have resorted to insults that question my moral convictions and my character,” he said. “Some within the business community who oppose this bill have resorted to threats of withdrawing jobs from our state. I do not respond well to insults or threats.”
Previously, Deal, a Republican, had said positive things about the purpose of bill, which would have allowed people and businesses to deny services to gay people if it was based on religious belief.
The prospect was so alarming the NFL hinted a threat to sack Atlanta for a future Super Bowl, and a host of Hollywood studios, stars and filmmakers rushed last week to threaten to evacuate their $1 billion business from “Hollywood South.”
Deal said the bill allowed outsiders to cast doubt on the character of Georgia and Georgians.
“Georgia is a welcoming state filled with warm, friendly and loving people,” he said. “Our people work side by side without regard to the color of our skin, or the religion we adhere to…That is the character of Georgia. I intend to do my part to keep it that way.”
Read More: Georgia governor vetoes bill denounced as legalizing anti-gay discrimination