Now here’s something we can get in front of — packing heat in gay Atlanta’s bars. Sadly, not that kind. The type that means guns in bars. With drunks. You can thank Georgia lawmakers, though not the gay ones.
State lawmakers couldn’t be bothered with workplace protections for the state’s LGBT employees or a hate crimes measure on Thursday. But as the deadline hit for bills to pass one of the Gold Dome’s two chambers for any chance to become law this session, they overwhelmingly OK’d House Bill 512. The bill would allow you to carry weapons in bars, churches, parts of college campuses and into unsecured government buildings.
That puts guns in gay bars a step closer to reality. And you thought all you had to worry about during a night of cocktailing was which bars are snuffing out smoking.
On the upside, the House’s three openly gay members were having none of it. State Rep. Karla Drenner spoke out against the bill, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Rep. Karla Drenner, D-Avondale Estates, spoke against the bill. A college professor, Drenner said she recently had a male student scream at her in class when she got his name wrong.
“We all think about the student who is angry at the faculty member over a failing grade or is distraught over a breakup,” Drenner said. “But this is a student who was angry because I mispronounced his name. What if he had a gun?”
On the downside, there’s only three of them. Drenner and Reps. Simone Bell and Keisha Waites voted against H.B. 512. As did 53 other lawmakers. But 117 voted in favor of it.
The measure faces an uncertain future in the state Senate. But it’s conservative Georgia. So start getting used to the idea that the cute guy next to you might be more than just happy to see you. He might be packing. Let’s not even think about the possibility of those higher drink taxes.