Ge­or­gia law­mak­ers strik­ing back against same-sex mar­riage rul­ing

GA Voice - - News Briefs -

State Se­na­tor Greg Kirk (R-Amer­i­cus) has of­fi­cially be­come the face of Ge­or­gia’s op­po­si­tion to same-sex mar­riage, as the At­lanta Jour­nal-Con­sti­tu­tion (AJC) re­ports that the for­mer Southern Bap­tist pas­tor plans to in­tro­duce leg­is­la­tion that would pro­tect busi­nesses and pub­lic employees who ob­ject to mar­riage equal­ity on re­li­gious grounds.

“The leg­is­la­tion has yet to be filed with the clerk of the Se­nate,” wrote the AJC on Dec. 31. “Reached by phone in Amer­i­cus, Se­na­tor Kirk said his mea­sure was still be­ing tweaked, but he con­firmed that one aim would be to pro­tect lo­cal and state employees with re­li­gious ob­jec­tions to gay mar­riage.”

The bill is ba­si­cally a state version of the First Amend­ment De­fense Act, a pro­posed fed­eral mea­sure that was in­tro­duced in June by Repub­li­can U.S. sen­a­tors Mike Lee of Utah and Paul Labrador of Idaho. Lo­cal LGBT lead­ers are ob­vi­ously not amused.

“That sounds like it would be leg­is­la­tion specif­i­cally de­signed to tar­get the LGBT com­mu­nity,” Jeff Gra­ham, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Ge­or­gia Equal­ity told the AJC. “That would be of great con­cern to me.”

And Lt. Gov. Casey Ca­gle, who’s been throw­ing red meat to evan­gel­i­cals by tout­ing his op­po­si­tion to same-sex mar­riage in re­cent fundrais­ing ef­forts in the run-up to his bid for gov­er­nor in 2018, ap­pears to be on board with it.

“We have re­ceived a copy of this leg­is­la­tion and are cur­rently re­view­ing it in prepa­ra­tion for the up­com­ing ses­sion,” Lt. Gov. Ca­gle’s pol­icy aide Irene Munn told the AJC. “Any leg­is­la­tion seek­ing to pro­tect First Amend­ment free­doms de­serves care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion and thought­ful de­bate. The lieu­tenant gov­er­nor will work, in his role as pre­sid­ing of­fi­cer, to en­sure that oc­curs.”

This all comes as the March 1 Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial pri­mary ap­proaches, smack dab in the mid­dle of the next leg­isla­tive ses­sion. In other words, ex­pect com­ments from Don­ald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Ru­bio and the other Repub­li­can can­di­dates on this and other so­called “re­li­gious free­dom” leg­is­la­tion as they stump across the state in the com­ing months.

At­lanta gay couple place sec­ond in Gen­er­a­tion Tux wed­ding con­test

ex­plore the is­sue in his up­com­ing doc­u­men­tary, “No Fats, No Femmes.”

“What mo­ti­vated me most was the op­por­tu­nity to am­plify the voices and nar­ra­tives of black and brown fat, femme, gen­der non­con­form­ing, trans, and dis­abled folk, the op­por­tu­nity to bring light to a sub­ject that has been de­lib­er­ately si­lenced for years,” Lewis tells Ge­or­gia Voice of the film, which he plans on re­leas­ing by sum­mer 2017.

Lewis has started an Indiegogo cam­paign and has raised over $15,000 of a $20,000 goal at press time.

Florida LGBT pub­li­ca­tion un­der­goes own­er­ship change

Sen. Greg Kirk (R-Amer­i­cus) is the lat­est politi­cian to pro­pose harm­ful anti-gay leg­is­la­tion. (Of­fi­cial photo)

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