Gay-friendly Republican is newest DeKalb judge

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Georgia state Rep. Mike Jacobs stands poised to take a State Court judgeship in DeKalb County, bringing a decade of experience as a consistently reliable LGBT ally in the GOP and in the state House.

Gov. Nathan Deal, himself sometimes on the sharp end of the Brookhaven Republican's pro-gay stick, appointed Jacobs (photo) to the bench on Tuesday. Over six terms, the Democrat turned Republican carved out a history of supporting LGBT equality efforts, often going against the GOP grain at the State Capitol.

“I hope I have demonstrated an ability to be fair with everyone during my time in the General Assembly,” Jacobs told Project Q Atlanta. “I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve the citizens of DeKalb County in this new role.”

Most recently, Jacobs was able to defang then effectively kill Georgia’s anti-gay “religious freedom” bill by adding LGBT protections. In February, he co-sponsored lesbian state Rep. Karla Drenner’s bill to ban discrimination against LGBT employees. It was the same stance he took in 2012 when a similar bill from Drenner stalled in a dramatic and contentious committee hearing.

Notice of Jacobs’ pro-gay support goes back even further. In 2012, gay groups Georgia Equality and Log Cabin Republicans each endorsed his re-election campaign. In 2010, Jacobs helped pass reforms to the state's anti-bullying laws and was an honorary Atlanta Pride grand marshal.

That was the same year he enjoyed widespread LGBT support and the long arm of gay Atlanta voter rallies and fundraisers , including an award from Georgia Equality and speaking at an AID Atlanta event.

Jacobs replaces Judge Eleanor Ross, who leaves for a federal judgeship. Fellow Republicans and one Democrat are already jockeying for his District 80 seat in the legislature, and a special election for it and five other state House posts will most likely take place in September.

[Daily Report | Atlanta Journal Constitution]

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