It’s no secret that gay Atlanta is floating in a sea of conservative, red Georgia. And that makes us a frequent target for lawmakers at the Gold Dome, who often look to ignite a Culture Clash at the State Capitol rather than solve pressing problems. (Oral sex and queer theory, anyone?)
With that in mind, Georgia Equality heads to the Gold Dome on Wednesday for its annual “By the People Lobby Day.” The statewide non-profit is teaming up with the ACLU to provide training, instructions and talking points so you can then track down your state representative and senator to encourage them to support House Bill 111, which is a hate crimes measure. But that’s not the only mission behind the lobby day, according to a note the group sent to its supporters on Friday.
We will also be working to build additional awareness and support for proposed anti-bullying legislation as part of our safe-schools initiative. We want our lawmakers to know that the LGBT community is actively watching what is going on under the Gold Dome.
The group also expanded on its legislative agenda in a fundraising pitch on its web site.
With the legislative session upon us, we need the political involvement of the entire LGBT community and its allies to show our elected officials that equality is something all Georgians can support. Georgia Equality’s number one priority will be to pass the anti-bullying legislation that won wide bipartisan support in the 2008 session. We will also be building opportunities to advance hate crimes legislation as we continue to build a fair majority in the state legislature.
In response to the passage of a constitutional amendment banning gay adoption in Arkansas earlier this year, Georgia Equality will be vigilant about defending any efforts to restrict parental rights for LGBT Georgians.
We will also be actively monitoring the projected cuts in the state budget to minimize the impact on LGBT and allied Georgians, paying special attention to opposing a plan to reduce state support for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program by as much as 15% over the next two fiscal years.
The details for Wednesday: Meet in room 306 of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building at 9 a.m. for a briefing, then off to meet your lawmakers and hopefully, you’ll be finished by noon. Georgia Equality asks that you let me know by Tuesday if you’ll attend.