Com­mu­nity ral­lies to cel­e­brate veto of anti-gay Ge­or­gia ‘re­li­gious free­dom’ bill

GA Voice - - News Briefs -

Over 300 peo­ple gath­ered in Lib­erty Plaza next door to the Ge­or­gia Capi­tol on April 5 to cel­e­brate Gov. Nathan Deal’s veto of the anti-LGBT House Bill 757 and call for LGBT-in­clu­sive non-dis­crim­i­na­tion pro­tec­tions.

“To­day is a good day in our state and to­day is es­pe­cially a good day for those of us who iden­tify as les­bian, gay, bi­sex­ual and trans­gen­der,” said Jeff Gra­ham, leader of Ge­or­gia Equal­ity and LGBT rights coali­tion Ge­or­gia Unites Against Dis­crim­i­na­tion, who hosted the rally. “It is a good day be­cause thank­fully Gov. Deal showed the lead­er­ship and the con­vic­tion to say no to harm­ful leg­is­la­tion that would have opened the doors and could have been used as a li­cense to dis­crim­i­nate against many Ge­or­gians, but very specif­i­cally those of us in the LGBT com­mu­nity.”

Speak­ers not only cel­e­brated the gov­er­nor’s veto of HB 757 but warned of sim­i­lar leg­is­la­tion re­turn­ing next year and called on the state to en­act com­pre­hen­sive anti-dis­crim­i­na­tion laws.

For­mer state Rep. Si­mone Bell, who is now south­ern re­gional di­rec­tor for Lambda Le­gal, noted the preva­lence of sim­i­lar leg­is­la­tion across the South and the unique cir­cum­stances at play in the re­gion. Her com­ments were all the more no­table since, al­most at the same time Bell was speak­ing, Mis­sis­sippi Gov. Phil Bryant was tweet­ing that he had signed that state’s anti-LGBT “re­li­gious free­dom” leg­is­la­tion into law.

Sev­eral state leg­is­la­tors came out for the rally, in­clud­ing Rep. Karla Dren­ner (D-Avon­dale Estates), Rep. Keisha Waites (D-At­lanta), Rep. Park Can­non (D-At­lanta)—the only three openly LGBT state leg­is­la­tors—and ally Sen. Vin­cent Fort (D-At­lanta). And Josh Noblitt, Rafer John­son and Bob Gi­bel­ing—three of the openly gay can­di­dates run­ning for the leg­is­la­ture this year—were also spot­ted in the au­di­ence.

Over 300 peo­ple gath­ered to cel­e­brate Gov. Deal’s veto of HB 757 on April 5 at Lib­erty Plaza. (Photo by Pa­trick Saun­ders)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.