Same-sex marriage is the law of the land, but the fight to protect LGBT people continues, prompting Georgia Equality to debut a new video series telling the stories of people who faced discrimination.
“All Things Being Equal” launched on Thursday to call attention to the fact that although Georgia has gay marriage, it remains one of 28 states without any laws protecting people from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Many people across our country and across our state assume that it’s already illegal to fire someone or deny them housing or other services simply because they’re LGBT, but that’s not true. There’s no federal law protecting LGBT people from discrimination, and there are no state laws on the books here in Georgia,” Jeff Graham, Georgia Equality’s executive director, says in a press release.
“Discrimination remains a very real problem for gay and transgender Georgians. The consequences of discrimination on hardworking Georgians and their families are heartbreaking. We’re talking about people losing the ability to put food on their table and clothes on their children’s backs,” he added.
Connie Galloway (photo), a resident of Blue Ridge, is featured in the first video. For more than 30 years, Galloway worked for a mental health and disability support services organization. Over the years, she rose through the ranks, earning promotions and accolades for her diligent success. In spite of her outstanding work ethic, Galloway was fired once an interim director disapproved of her being a lesbian, according to the video.
“Losing my job was devastating. I spent more than 30 years of my life in that office, not because anyone was making me, but because I loved what I did for a living and I was good at my job,” Galloway states. “But it’s also impacted my financial stability and my retirement. No one should ever have to live in fear for their livelihood just because they’re LGBT. That’s just not right.”
Earlier this year, Georgia Equality helped spearhead opposition to an anti-gay “religious freedom” bill by rallying with supporters, engaging faith leaders and testifying against it. The group also supported a bill to ban discrimination against LGBT employees.
Georgia Equality will continue the video series in the coming weeks. The effort also includes an online resource guide for LGBT Georgians who face discrimination over their sexual orientation or gender identity.