House Resolution 404 is a bipartisan bill that would create a committee to study the need for an updated civil rights law. House Bill 488 goes one step further and seeks to write comprehensive, LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination protections into state law.

Now, for the first time in Georgia history, LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination legislation is moving on two tracks in the House and the Senate (where SB 119—legislation that would protect LGBT people and others from discrimination in housing, employment, and public places—was introduced several weeks ago).

Click here to contact your Representatives and urge them to support HR 404 and HB 488.

A group of Georgia lawmakers, faith leaders and other supporters of equality gathered at the capitol today to make the case for legislation that would update our state’s outdated civil rights measures and extend non-discrimination protections to all Georgians—including people of faith and LGBT people.

The afternoon’s press conference was partially a response to Senate Bill 233—RFRA legislation introduced on Tuesday that claims to protect “religious freedom” when in reality it is no more than a thinly veiled attempt to give people a license to discriminate by simply citing their “religious beliefs.”

Not only is the legislation unnecessary—religious freedom is already firmly protected by the Georgia and United States Constitutions—it is already stirring up controversy under the Gold Dome. And today, Republican Governor Nathan Deal made it clear that he will veto the harmful legislation if its reaches his desk.

While anti-LGBT RFRA bills continue to divide, today speakers highlighted the fact that non-discrimination protections enjoy broad appeal in Georgia. One focal point of today’s event was a new poll from the Project Right Side Foundation (PDF) that shows nearly 75 percent of Georgians support passing a comprehensive non-discrimination law that protects LGBT people.

Our own @JeffGrahamAtl cites Republican study: “3 out of 4 people support #LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination protections.” #GAPol pic.twitter.com/ZgeAj393gH

— Georgia Unites (@GeorgiaUnites) February 23, 2017

Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, said the poll represented a “tipping point,” and that Georgians are more ready than ever to pass these protections.

“It’s clear that public support is behind efforts to update our laws so that everyone—regardless of their faith, sexual orientation, or gender identity—is protected from discrimination. This week alone, we saw that more than 600 businesses in Georgia have joined a coalition aimed at advancing nondiscrimination. Seventy-four percent of Georgians and even 63 percent of Republicans support a state nondiscrimination law. We have support from across the state, and we’re eager to translate that into real momentum that can advance this conversation.”

The survey also found that there is supermajority support for such a measure across the board, regardless of political affiliation.

This broad support is exactly why, earlier in the day, Rep. Stacey Evans introduced a bipartisan House bill that would establish a study committee to further explore the need for a statewide civil rights law in Georgia. And lawmakers are continuing to highlight Senate Bill 119—a first-of-its-kind piece of legislation that, if passed, would ensure no Georgian can be fired, evicted or denied service in public places like parks, malls and restaurants because of their race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Rep. Sam Park announces introduction of a bipartisan resolution for a joint study cmte to consider #LGBT-inclusive civil rights legislation. pic.twitter.com/jZiBySvvc0

— Georgia Unites (@GeorgiaUnites) February 23, 2017

“Jesus calls us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Do unto others as you would like to be treated.” -Rev. Kimberly Jackson pic.twitter.com/jxvsq8Knng

— Georgia Unites (@GeorgiaUnites) February 23, 2017

For years, Georgia has been embroiled in a divisive debate over so-called “religious liberty” bills. This year, the state has the opportunity to chart a new path forward—and focus at the State House on legislation to advance civil rights protections is a positive step forward

Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed HB 757—a dangerously broad RFRA bill that gave sweeping license to discriminate—last year after hundreds of business and community leaders and thousands of grassroots advocates made him aware of the legislation’s burdensome economic and human cost. SB 233 echoes the early stages of HB 757 and poses the same risks,  leaving LGBT Georgians more vulnerable to discrimination than they already are, and the state of Georgia more vulnerable to national scorn and corrosive economic boycotts.

Today’s news makes it clear that Georgians will push back on this discriminatory bill. Click here to get a head start: Send a message to your Senators and let them know you strongly oppose SB 233—and urge them to oppose this dangerous License to Discriminate bill, too.

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Pt 2: Women’s Rugby Coach Brings Lessons of Sportsmanship Off the Field into Real Life Dr. Rosalind Chou ~ Marietta, GA
Lawmaker Introduces Two New Civil Rights Measures After Faith Leaders, Advocates Call for LGBT-Inclusive Protections February 23, 2017

UPDATE: Hours after faith leaders, advocates, and lawmakers convened at the State House to make the case for an LGBT-inclusive civil rights law, Rep. Stacey Evans introduced two measures aimed at addressing discrimination in Georgia. House Resolution 404 is a bipartisan bill that would create a committee to study the need for an updated civil rights law. House Bill 488 goes one step further and seeks to write comprehensive, LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination protections into state law.

Now, for the first time in Georgia history, LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination legislation is moving on two tracks in the House and the Senate (where SB 119—legislation that would protect LGBT people and others from discrimination in housing, employment, and public places—was introduced several weeks ago).

Click here to contact your Representatives and urge them to support HR 404 and HB 488.

A group of Georgia lawmakers, faith leaders and other supporters of equality gathered at the capitol today to make the case for legislation that would update our state’s outdated civil rights measures and extend non-discrimination protections to all Georgians—including people of faith and LGBT people.

The afternoon’s press conference was partially a response to Senate Bill 233—RFRA legislation introduced on Tuesday that claims to protect “religious freedom” when in reality it is no more than a thinly veiled attempt to give people a license to discriminate by simply citing their “religious beliefs.”

Not only is the legislation unnecessary—religious freedom is already firmly protected by the Georgia and United States Constitutions—it is already stirring up controversy under the Gold Dome. And today, Republican Governor Nathan Deal made it clear that he will veto the harmful legislation if its reaches his desk.

While anti-LGBT RFRA bills continue to divide, today speakers highlighted the fact that non-discrimination protections enjoy broad appeal in Georgia. One focal point of today’s event was a new poll from the Project Right Side Foundation (PDF) that shows nearly 75 percent of Georgians support passing a comprehensive non-discrimination law that protects LGBT people.

Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, said the poll represented a “tipping point,” and that Georgians are more ready than ever to pass these protections.

“It’s clear that public support is behind efforts to update our laws so that everyone—regardless of their faith, sexual orientation, or gender identity—is protected from discrimination. This week alone, we saw that more than 600 businesses in Georgia have joined a coalition aimed at advancing nondiscrimination. Seventy-four percent of Georgians and even 63 percent of Republicans support a state nondiscrimination law. We have support from across the state, and we’re eager to translate that into real momentum that can advance this conversation.”

The survey also found that there is supermajority support for such a measure across the board, regardless of political affiliation.

This broad support is exactly why, earlier in the day, Rep. Stacey Evans introduced a bipartisan House bill that would establish a study committee to further explore the need for a statewide civil rights law in Georgia. And lawmakers are continuing to highlight Senate Bill 119—a first-of-its-kind piece of legislation that, if passed, would ensure no Georgian can be fired, evicted or denied service in public places like parks, malls and restaurants because of their race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

For years, Georgia has been embroiled in a divisive debate over so-called “religious liberty” bills. This year, the state has the opportunity to chart a new path forward—and focus at the State House on legislation to advance civil rights protections is a positive step forward

Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed HB 757—a dangerously broad RFRA bill that gave sweeping license to discriminate—last year after hundreds of business and community leaders and thousands of grassroots advocates made him aware of the legislation’s burdensome economic and human cost. SB 233 echoes the early stages of HB 757 and poses the same risks,  leaving LGBT Georgians more vulnerable to discrimination than they already are, and the state of Georgia more vulnerable to national scorn and corrosive economic boycotts.

Today’s news makes it clear that Georgians will push back on this discriminatory bill. Click here to get a head start: Send a message to your Senators and let them know you strongly oppose SB 233—and urge them to oppose this dangerous License to Discriminate bill, too.

Twitter Icon@GeorgiaUnites

We were so grateful to be able to profile Rachel last year. Her story is inspiring and it's sad to see her treated unfairly. Thank you Rachel for standing up for yourself! bit.ly/2VTK7j3

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