Gay veteran fights for foster kids in Georgia House race

When an anti-LGBTQ adoption bill passed in the state Senate this year, it became personal for Adam Bridges, a gay business owner running for a state House seat in Rincon.

“I am married to my husband and we have four beautiful foster children,” Bridges said. “These children don’t care who you are. They just want to show that the parent can give unconditional love and consistency and structure to a home.”

“These kids just need love. And my children are a prime example when they came into my husband and I’s home – they have done a 180. Why? Because we show them unconditional love and give them the structure that they need to succeed and to grow up and be good stewards to society,” he added.

That bill failed to pass before the legislative session ended, but it was one of several anti-LGBTQ “religious freedom” bills under consideration over the last five years at the legislature.

Bridges (top photo), 42, said the arguments made by proponents of such bills don’t hold water.

“This is just another form of discriminating against a minority,” he said. “And we all must stand up against any form of discrimination, whether it’s from your religion, your race, your sexual orientation. We all must stand up against it, and that is one of the reasons why I’m running.”

Bridges, a veteran who served in the Marines, initially launched a campaign for the 1st Congressional District seat but dropped out shortly after to tackle a lower profile race.

“I realized I need to learn to walk before I can run,” he said. “I realized that I’m not ready for that position, so I wanted to step down to a more local race to be able to understand things that I feel comfortable with.”

Bridges faces incumbent Rep. Bill Hitchens in the Nov. 6 election for the House District 161 seat. It will be the first time the three-term Republican has general election opposition since he was elected in 2011.

In 2016, Hitchens voted in favor of an anti-LGBTQ “religious freedom” bill that sparked a national controversy and provoked threats of a boycott of Georgia from the entertainment industry, tourism officials and scores of leading businesses. Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed the bill after it passed both chambers of the legislature.

“I think my opponent’s out of touch,” Bridges said. “I think it’s time to get someone in office that understands the struggle of the everyday Georgian and the everyday voter in District 161.”

Georgia Equality and Georgia Stonewall Democrats endorsed Bridges.

As of Sept. 30, Bridges raised $20,000 (including a $10,000 personal loan to his campaign) and has $7,000 left on hand. Hitchens has raised $65,000 and has $55,000 left on hand.

Photo courtesy Adam Bridges campaign