Politicians parade for LGBT support during Pride

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Mayor Kasim Reed and several candidates hoping to replace him at City Hall next year took part in the Atlanta Pride parade on Sunday, along with several city council members and top Georgia Democrats.

For the second consecutive year, Reed was on a float leading a contingent of City of Atlanta employees, including LGBT police officers and firefighters. Reed can't run for a third term and Sunday's parade hosted a crowded field of mayoral hopefuls.

That included Cathy Woolard, a lesbian and former City Council president who was the first major candidate to declare her run. Other mayoral candidates stumping during the parade were City Council President Ceasar Mitchell, City Council member Mary Norwood and former state Rep. Margaret Kaiser.

State Sen. Vincent Fort walked the route waving a rainbow flag and several Atlanta City Council members also took part, including Alex Wan, who is gay, Andre Dickens, Carla Smith, Kwanza Hall, Keisha Lance Bottoms and Michael Julian Bond.

Fort, Hall and Bottoms are also possible candidates for mayor.

Also on hand was DuBose Porter, the chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia, who made his second appearance in the parade. He accompanied Jim Barksdale, a Democrat running for U.S. Senate who proudly tweeted about his participation.

Except he wasn't. Libertarian Amanda Swafford participated in the parade during her U.S. Senate campaign in 2014 when her Democratic opponent, Michelle Nunn, skipped the event. In 2010, Libertarian John Monds took part in the parade during his run for governor and Democrat Roy Barnes did not.

On Friday, Georgia Democrats thanked “allies and friends who continue to stand with us in advancing our journey towards full equality,” according to LGBTQ Caucus Chair Jim Taflinger and First Vice Chair Colton Griffin.

“This month, it’s important to remember that Georgia remains a state that provides zero basic protections for LGBTQ individuals. We can be fired from work, discriminated in housing, and denied basic benefits based solely on whom we love. However, with the support of our allies and the leadership of Georgia Democrats in the state legislature, our march towards full equality and fairness and justice is just over the horizon.

“A key value of the Democratic Party of Georgia is the belief that we are not identified by labels or our differences. We support each other as one family. We fight for each other’s rights. And we lift each other up because we are stronger together.”

The parade also included a contingent of Cobb Democrats and George Chidi, who is running for a seat on the DeKalb County Commission.

UPDATE | Peter Aman, the former chief operating officer for the city under Reed, also took part in the parade. Aman entered the mayor's race earlier this year.


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