Atlanta groups pledge to intersect LGBTQ equality, racial justice

In moving anti-racism treatises issued on Monday, two high-profile Atlanta groups highlighted the racial divide in the LGBTQ movement, listed specific ways they would put intersectionality into action, and posted a pledge that business owners could sign.

“We must recognize that racial justice is an LGBTQ issue, that racial disparities in the criminal legal system are LGBTQ rights issues, and that the killing of black people by police is an LGBTQ rights issue,” wrote Georgia Equality Deputy Director and Q columnist Eric Paulk in a call for racial justice in efforts toward LGBTQ equality.

As protests and civil unrest continued for the fourth day in Atlanta, Paulk (photo) listed six commitments that his organization would make.

We commit to doing the following:

Partnering with black-led organizations and working in coalition and collaboration to address racism in the criminal legal system.

Addressing not only racial justice but anti-blackness in the LGBTQ movement.

Working toward ensuring more equitable distribution of resources in supporting movement work, particularly around racial equity.

Amplify the national conversation on anti-transgender violence disproportionately impacting black trans women and provide resources to support their safety.

Ensuring more black people are represented in leadership of our organizations.

Advance Hate Crime legislation.

Amid similar concerns, LGBTQ business association OUT Georgia Business Alliance issued a statement that it “stands in solidarity with black people against racism, racial violence, police brutality, and the senseless murders of Black people in this country.” The statement is signed by Michael D. Daniels, OUT Georgia’s first black male board president.

“We pledge to continue combatting discrimination by listening, working, and speaking out against hate, violence, and systemic racism.

OUT Georgia is committed to advancing and representing LGBTQ businesses, professionals, and nonprofit leaders of color to foster economic prosperity, camaraderie, and allyship amongst our minority communities. …

We support immediate action on civil rights and hate crimes legislation in Georgia, and we encourage businesses to sign this pledge to support nondiscrimination laws and ordinances across our state.

OUT Georgia and Georgia Equality are both members of Georgia Unites Against Discrimination, which hosts the business pledge that others can sign on its website. Last month, they entered into a strategic partnership to amplify each other’s missions.

“With more than 420,000 Georgians identifying as LGBTQ+, it’s more important than ever for Georgia Equality and OUT Georgia Business Alliance to leverage each other’s networks and expertise to make our state a better and more welcoming place for all,” Chris Lugo, OUT Georgia's executive director, said in a press release.