Mike Bowers, the former Georgia Attorney General who defended the state’s sodomy ban, has spoken to Buzzfeed about how his opinions on gay rights have evolved over the last 30 years
Bowers, who in 1986 successfully petitioned the Supreme Court to allow state bans on “homosexual sodomy,” earlier this week announced his opposition to “deeply troubling” pending religious liberty legislation in the state.
According to Bowers, the timing of the proposed legislation is suspect as it comes in the wake of the many recent marriage equality decisions. Moreover, the state proposals provide for broader exemptions than federal protections, so that “any time a person wished to refuse to act in response to a government requirement, he or she could assert the protection of the proposed [Religious Freedom Restoration Act on which the proposals are based].”
Bowers was asked by LGBT group Georgia Equality to assess the bill. Once he’d read it, he decided it needed to be killed because it would allow people “to use religion as an excuse for his or her interpretation of the law and to get out from under this, that, or the other law.”
On the issue of same-sex marriage, he said:
“I want people to be left alone.
“I genuinely believe that everybody, all people, need someone to love and be loved by. I truly believe that.”
Watch a 2012 interview with Bowers reflecting on his time in Georgia politics, AFTER THE JUMP..