Kasim Reed spares 55 words for the gays in his inaugural

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Mayor Kasim Reed, who can't stop talking about gay marriage, seemed to find a way Monday as he took the oath of office to start his second term. In fact, he said less in his inaugural address about LGBT issues than he did four years ago.

That didn't stop him from a little bragging, though, according to prepared remarks from Monday's speech:

“We’ve also worked to make our City more tolerant, welcoming and inclusive. We have come from a city four years ago whose LGBT community was hurt and scarred by the City’s handling of the Eagle raid to a city that just scored a perfect 100 in the Municipal Equality Index of the Human Rights Campaign.”

Reed should brag about the HRC score. And appointing lesbian attorney Robin Shahar as his LGBT liaison. And dispatching his gay spokesperson to the airport. And attending LGBT events.

But the Eagle raid is much more nuanced. As Reed often noted during his first term, he inherited the mess that was the 2009 raid, which happened before he took office. Reed did make sure the raid prompted real change — he hired a police chief that's improved the department's approach to LGBT issues, made good on his promise to name two officers as LGBT liaisons, and fired cops involved in it. But the mayor and his legal department stubbornly refused to settle the federal lawsuit over the raid for nearly a year and in the process, city attorneys were criticized for questionable legal tactics, missing evidence and stalling.

But it's tough to get all that context in his 55-word shout out on Monday. Which is exactly 12 fewer words than Reed offered in his inaugural in 2010 (photo) when he said this:

“We must recognize that we have a responsibility to one another; to transcend that which divides us and to respect that which makes each of us unique. The diversity of our gender, race, age, sexual orientation, religion, cultural background and personal heritage is what must bring us together, because the tapestry of Atlanta is a beautiful one and must be a source of strength, never of weakness.”

[Creative Loafing | GA Voice]


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