LGBT nondis­crim­i­na­tion amend­ment fails in bill hear­ing

GA Voice - - News Briefs -

Anti-gay preacher Franklin Gra­ham de­cried mar­riage equal­ity and trans­gen­der rights at a prayer rally on Feb. 10 at the Ge­or­gia State Capi­tol. Thou­sands of peo­ple packed Lib­erty Plaza for the event, which is part of Gra­ham’s “De­ci­sion Amer­ica Tour.”

The son of evan­ge­list Billy Gra­ham listed the “sins of our na­tion,” which he said in­cluded racism, abor­tion and gay mar­riage. He also ref­er­enced city lead­ers in Char­lotte, who res­ur­rected a con­tro­ver­sial bath­room or­di­nance that in­volved en­sur­ing trans­gen­der peo­ple the right to use the pub­lic bath­rooms that match their gen­der iden­tity.

“If this per­son wakes up in the morn­ing and they feel like they’re a woman, and it’s a man, and he wants to go into a ladies re­stroom then they can do that. That’s [Char- lotte Mayor Jen­nifer Roberts’] goal,” Gra­ham told the crowd. “And I’m go­ing to tell you right now, that’s wicked and that’s evil. Men be­long in men’s bath­rooms and women be­long in women’s bath­rooms, and we don’t need men and preda­tors go­ing into women’s bath­rooms. I’m just telling you. Now, that’s what hap­pens when Chris­tians don’t vote, this is the kind of garbage we get.”

Hun­dreds rally against religious ex­emp­tions bills at GA Capi­tol

Roughly 150 op­po­nents of the nu­mer­ous so-called “religious ex­emp­tions” bills un­der con­sid­er­a­tion in the Ge­or­gia leg­is­la­ture braved the cold and de­scended on the State Capi­tol on Feb. 9 to voice their op­po­si­tion.

The rally, or­ga­nized by LGBT rights coali­tion Ge­or­gia Unites Against Dis­crim­i­na­tion, took place in Lib­erty Plaza roughly a year af­ter a sim­i­lar rally. While that event fea­tured mostly faith lead­ers on the speaker list, this year’s rally in­cluded speak­ers from a broader coali­tion.

Ge­or­gia Equal­ity ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Jeff Gra­ham hit back against the bills’ sup­port­ers who say that they will do no harm, cit­ing a law­suit filed by con­ser­va­tive groups in In­di­ana (where sim­i­lar leg­is­la­tion passed last year) to strike down mu­nic­i­pal or­di­nances pro­tect­ing LGBT peo­ple from dis­crim­i­na­tion.

An ef­fort to in­clude sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion, gen­der iden­tity and sev­eral other classes in a bill aimed to pre­vent busi­nesses from dis­crim­i­nat­ing against cus­tomers failed on Feb. 9 in a House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee hear­ing.

House Bill 849, the Ge­or­gia Civil Rights in Pub­lic Ac­com­mo­da­tions Act, would have pre­vented busi­nesses, in­clud­ing ho­tels, restau­rants, gas sta­tions, movie the­aters, con­cert halls and sports venues, from deny­ing ser­vice to peo­ple on the grounds of their race, color, re­li­gion, vet­eran sta­tus or na­tional ori­gin. It was in­tro­duced in Jan­uary by Rep. Rich Golick (R-Smyrna) and has a bi­par­ti­san list of co-spon­sors in­clud­ing House Mi­nor­ity Leader Stacey Abrams, Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones and les­bian Rep. Karla Dren­ner (D-Avon­dale Es­tates).

Dur­ing the hear­ing, state Rep. Tay­lor Ben­nett (D-Brookhaven) in­tro­duced an amend­ment that would add sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion, gen­der iden­tity, dis­abil­ity and sex to the list of those pro­tected. Ben­nett, whose mother and sis­ter are les­bians, made op­po­si­tion to state Sen. Josh McKoon’s (R-Colum­bus) so-called “religious free­dom” bill the cen­ter­piece of his first political run last Au­gust.

The amend­ment failed and HB 849 will now go to the House floor for a vote.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.