Efforts to build a bigger, boozier, better and even longer Sunday Funday brunch in gay Atlanta have been crushed. Because religious conservatives.
The Bible-thumping Baptists that run amok at the State Capitol have been working overtime this legislative session to pass all sorts of anti-gay legislation. Fortunately, that's stalling thanks to a growing national backlash, over-reaching and self-inflicted wounds. (Spoiler: Hitler never helps your cause.)
So instead, they took their frustrations out on your brunch. More specifically, House Bill 535 from Rep. Brett Harrell, who despite being a Republican from Snellville still enjoys knocking back a cocktail or three during Sunday brunch. The legislation would allow municipalities across Georgia to start serving alcohol on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. – two hours earlier than the current 12:30 p.m.
The legislation passed the state House in 2015 but then bogged down in the Senate Rules Committee. And this year, the Senate is again killing the legislation thanks to Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert. Via the AJC:
What’s officially known as House Bill 535 passed the state House last year, but Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert, R-Athens, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution this week that passage of the bill would upset what he called a “fragile compromise” between legislative leaders and the faith community over banning alcohol sales on Sunday morning.
“That is part of the reason for my opposition to it,” Cowsert said. “Because there was a bargain that was struck and now both sides are no longer willing to live with the bargain.”
Harrell has noted that government-owned buildings, including sports arenas and the Georgia World Congress Center, are already allowed to serve alcohol before 12:30 p.m.
Cowsert's advice? Pre-party at home. Via the AJC:
“We have some obligation to respect that majority of the population,” Cowsert said. “That’s a very small sacrifice for the millennial: On one of the seven days of the week, to not be able to start drinking until 12:30 p.m. — at least not in a restaurant. They’re certainly free to make a Mimosa at home if they’d like to.”
Cowsert is the Republican leader who in 2015 tried to defang an anti-gay “religious freedom” bill only to get rebuked by conservatives. Ahead of the legislative session this year, Cowsert said he wanted LGBT protections in that same “religious freedom” bill and then, on Feb. 19, voted in favor of a sweeping anti-gay measure from another lawmaker.