Gay At­lanta School Board can­di­date switches races

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Ge­or­gia Con­gress­man Buddy Carter showed his sup­port for a ban on trans­gen­der troops in the US mil­i­tary dur­ing an Aug. 9 town hall meet­ing in Brunswick.

The Wash­ing­ton Post’s Dave Wiegel re­ports that Carter, a Repub­li­can in his sec­ond term rep­re­sent­ing Ge­or­gia’s 1st Con­gres­sional Dis­trict, talked over boos from the crowd as he told them, “I don’t want ‘em serv­ing in the mil­i­tary. I’m sorry.”

The com­ments came two days af­ter the re­lease of a Palm Cen­ter re­port show­ing that dis­charg­ing trans­gen­der troops would cost the US nearly $1 bil­lion, more than 100 times the cot of pro­vid­ing health­care for trans troops (es­ti­mated at $8.4 mil­lion).

Colton Grif­fin, chair of the Demo­cratic Party of Ge­or­gia’s LGBTQ Cau­cus, is­sued a state­ment in re­sponse to Carter’s com­ments.

“Buddy Carter’s re­marks are rep­re­hen­si­ble,” he said. “Carter’s com­ments are par­tic­u­larly ap­palling as they come out of the mouth of some­one who has never worn the uni­form. If Buddy Carter and Don­ald Trump get their way, thou­sands of mil­i­tary per­son­nel will be shoved back in the closet, plac­ing our na­tional se­cu­rity at risk. At this mo­ment, these ser­vice mem­bers are de­ployed around the globe pro­tect­ing Amer­i­cans — in­clud­ing Buddy Carter. The DPG stands with those fight­ing for our right to live freely, and cham­pion their right to serve freely.”

At­lanta School Board can­di­date Char­lie Stadt­lander, an openly gay for­mer teacher, is chang­ing races.

Stadt­lander told Ge­or­gia Voice on Aug. 11 that he has dropped out of the Dis­trict 3 race to run for the At-Large Seat 8 po­si­tion now held by Cyn­thia Briscoe Brown. Un­til that day, Brown ran un­op­posed. Stadt­lander said the de­ci­sion came af­ter meet­ing with stake­hold­ers in Dis­tricts 3 and 4, which are rep­re­sented on the board by this at-large po­si­tion, which is elected city-wide. He said those he spoke with were not pleased with Brown’s per­for­mance.

“You’re there to sup­port the board mem­bers from Dis­tricts 3 and 4,” he said. “I don’t think that’s been hap­pen­ing with Cyn­thia Briscoe Brown. She’s been ne­glect­ing Dis­trict 3, which is heav­ily LGBT, and has been pay­ing some at­ten­tion to Dis­trict 4.” Brown said those com­ments con­cerned her. “This is a city­wide po­si­tion,” she told Ge­or­gia Voice. “While I am re­quired to be phys­i­cally res­i­dent in Dis­trict 3 or 4 to run for this seat, I am a true city­wide rep­re­sen­ta­tive and I take that very se­ri­ously. I try to visit every school every sin­gle year. … I cer­tainly don’t think I ne­glect the schools in Dis­trict 3 or Dis­trict 4.”

Stadt­lander said though the can­di­dates who re­main on the Dis­trict 3 bal­lot sup­port his main cam­paign points, he does not feel Brown does, which played into his de­ci­sion to chal­lenge her. Brown said she wel­comes the op­por­tu­nity to sit down with those who feel she hasn’t done what she set out to do when she was elected four years ago.

The At­lanta Board of Ed­u­ca­tion elec­tion will take place in Novem­ber.

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