Activists in gay Atlanta, elated over twice snatching victory from the jaws of defeat at the hands of conservative religious activists, want to take a victory lap but asked for your help on Monday to do so.
Twice during the just-wrapped session of the Georgia legislative, LGBT activists helped fight back efforts to pass “religious freedom” bills that would make discrimination by businesses against gay customers legal. In February, the efforts included flooding a House hearing with supporters to help derail a measure from Rep. Sam Teasley (photo). Last week, it included rallying support against an 11th hour push by Sen. Josh McKoon to have his measure amended to other bills. McKoon's effort flopped, too.
The efforts of LGBT activists were bolstered by opposition to the bills from corporate giants based in Atlanta. On Monday, Georgia Equality – the statewide LGBT group that helped orchestrate opposition to the “religious freedom” bills – took a partial victory lap. But they want your help to really savor the win.
Members of the Georgia Equality team were at the Capitol until midnight Thursday night making sure that Sen. McKoon's Freedom to Discriminate Act did not come back to life. Because of your hard work and willingness to take action, we were successful in fighting the religious discrimination bills five times.
We can claim victory today because of you!
In addition to all of the work you did, we have to also recognize the efforts of The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Airlines, The InterContinental Hotels Group, UPS and others who opposed these bills. I hope you'll join me today in thanking many of the businesses in our state who publicly opposed these efforts. Georgia Equality will be sending them a Thank You card and we'd love to add your name.
And this is the message Georgia Equality wants to send, with your name added, to corporations that opposed the “religious freedom” measures.
On behalf of the 300,000 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Georgians, our families, our colleagues and our friends, Georgia Equality and our members would like to thank your company, as well as the many Republican and Democratic legislators who worked to preserve an inclusive and thriving business environment in Georgia. Leaving discrimination in the past is the path to brighter future for our state. Thank you for affirming that Georgia is a place where everybody is welcome to start a family, contribute to our economy and participate fully in our communities!
Enjoy the win. Embittered proponents of the “religious freedom” proposals promise they will return next year.