LGBT Progress and the Road Ahead

October 9, 2013

Georgia Democrats:

Atlanta LGBT Pride is here.  As in past years, this week will be marked with a festival in the park, a parade, a film festival, religious services, memorials to AIDS victims, and celebratory socializing between friends. The Democratic Party of Georgia salutes the LGBT Community for the advances towards equality and fairness in all aspects of life. At the same time, we realize that we have much work still to do.

Georgia remains one of the states providing no basic protections for LGBT individuals. We can be fired from work, discriminated in housing, and denied basic benefits based solely on whom we love. We still do not have equality in recognition of our relationships of love, be it marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships. While Georgia has one of the largest LGBT populations in the US, our basic rights lag behind most other states.

While we could dwell on the lack of basic rights for the Georgia LGBT Community, we must also look at the positive LGBT journey with the Democratic Party of Georgia and National Democratic Party since our last Pride.

We have accomplished:

  • The Georgia delegation to the Democratic National Convention voted unanimously for inclusion of the Freedom To Marry plank in the Party platform.
  • With overwhelming support from the LGBT Community, President Obama was decisively re-elected, serving as an advocate for Equality of Marriage throughout his campaign.
  • The Atlanta City Council, by a vote of 11-2, passed a resolution in support of Marriage Equality. The resolution was introduced by openly gay councilperson Alex Wan and co-sponsored by supportive City Council members.
  • Legislation introduced/sponsored by LGBT Democratic State Representatives Karla Drenner, Simone Bell, and Keisha Waites addressing fair employment and school bullying were given Committee hearings. This is the first time two pro-LGBT bills were granted hearings during the same session.
  • The Democratic Party of Georgia State Committee elected Representative DuBose Porter as the new Chairperson of the Georgia Democrats. DuBose serves as an uncompromising supporter of full Equality, advocating throughout the state – urban and rural – and in the press – mainstream and LGBT – the need for Georgia to move forward on our issues.

While we look at the work within our community, a special thanks go to our allies and friends. Your recognition that LGBT issues touch your families, neighbors, co-workers, and friends, and your unconditional fight for our rights, make this journey a winning one for all of Georgia. We, as Democrats, work as family making our state equal for all.

We invite all Democrats and friends to join us in this week of Pride on Sunday and walk with the Georgia Democrats LGBT Caucus and Young Democrats of Georgia in the Pride Parade. Step off is at 1 PM starting at the Marta Civic Center station. Volunteers are needed for the Democratic Party of Georgia booth at Pride for both Saturday and Sunday. You can sign-up here: Georgia Democrats Pride Booth Volunteers.

The LGBT community thanks you for your support, not just during this week of celebration, but 365 days a year.

Jim Taflinger

Chairperson, Democratic Party of Georgia LGBT Caucus


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