Georgia bottoms in rankings of state gayness

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You win some, you lose some, and try as you might, sometimes you’re just not as gay as the next guy. All of gay Georgia feels it as an LGBT equality study maps, ranks and puts the state soundly in the bottom.

You already knew the South sucks on marriage (even if Georgia is improving), and the region is no better in HIV infection rates. Now the long and familiarly-grouped swath of states from Texas all the way to Georgia comes together for another fail, this time in LGBT-supportive laws. In the latest study, the South has a little company from states further north.

The study conducted by the Movement Advancement Project, a gay think tank, looked at municipal and statewide laws across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Points were given for pro-LGBT laws and ordinances, and points were taken away for laws that are hostile to those residents. Polices were examined in areas of healthcare, schools, discrimination protections, adoption and parenting, as well as marriage and relationship recognition. Sorry, no points for a packed Pride parade (photo).

Georgia earned a negative score at -4.5 and ranked fifth from the bottom. Bringing up the rear as bottoms in equality are Tennessee (-5), Michigan (-5), Alabama (-5) and Louisiana (-6).  The usual suspects of our Southern sisters make up the other negative-scoring states, as well as a few Midwestern neighbors like Kansas, Missouri and the Dakotas. The 15 negative-scoring states represent 29 percent of the country’s LGBT population, the study purports.

For comparison, top-ranked California earned a 29.25 score. The other tops of equality in the U.S. include Oregon (28.5) Washington, D.C. (27.5), Vermont (24.5) Washington state (24.5), New Jersey (24.5), and Massachusetts (24.5). Researchers say that the 12 high-equality states (scores over 18) represent 39 percent of the population.

Specifics on Georgia paint an even clearer picture. Check out the graphics below for explicit details on just how friendly (and not-so-friendly) things are right here at home. Note the City of Atlanta adds the only points for sexual orientation and gender identity protections, covering just 4 percent of the entire state’s LGBTs. You may also notice that the only statewide points come for an anti-bullying law that covers LGBT students. That one just passed.

But before you get too dejected, it could be worse. The General Assembly could have passed that rabidly anti-gay bill and pushed Georgia deeper into the negative scores. Of course, it could be better too. They could have taken action on this pro-gay bill and didn’t. There’s always next year — for both. 

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