Gay activists fight ‘religious freedom’ bills

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LGBT activists in Atlanta continue to go on offense against “religious freedom” proposals, launching a coalition to fight them and a petition to lobby lawmakers.

The latest salvo came Tuesday from Georgia Equality, which launched Georgia Unites Against Discrimination and an online petition to combat the measures.

Georgia Equality is launching a historic grassroots campaign with Georgia Unites Against Discrimination to oppose legislation in the Georgia General Assembly that essentially allows individuals to use their religious beliefs to harm the LGBT community and others.

“Freedom of religion is one of our most fundamental rights as Americans. That's why it's protected in the Constitution. But religious freedom doesn't give any of us a right to harm others,” said Jeff Graham (photo), Executive Director of Georgia Equality.

Georgia Equality works to advance fairness, safety and opportunity for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities throughout the state. Georgia Unites Against discrimination (GAUnites.org) is a bipartisan grassroots campaign dedicated to protecting gay and transgender Georgians from discrimination and ensuring that individuals and businesses aren't able to use their religious beliefs to harm others.

“These coalition efforts will educate, organize and activate the citizens of Georgia to stop this dangerous legislation. We will highlight the stories of real Georgians as we work to make the case that in our state, discrimination against anyone is wrong, and that includes people who are gay or transgender,” said Graham.

Two “religious freedom” measures surfaced – and later failed – during the 2014 legislative session. State Rep. Sam Teasley introduced a similar measure already this session, a proposal that's earned rebukes from dozens of faith leaders and a wink of approval from Gov. Nathan Deal.

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