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Fathers Say They Can’t Shy Away from Discussing Discrimination with Their Children Rob and Clay Calhoun
Georgia Civil Rights & Faith Leaders Call for Comprehensive Nondiscrimination Protections February 23, 2017

New polling shows strong, bipartisan support for LGBT nondiscrimination protections in Georgia

ATLANTA –  Civil rights and religious leaders in Georgia are continuing their push to update the state’s outdated civil rights measures and extend nondiscrimination protections to all Georgians – including people of faith and LGBT people. Georgia Equality Executive Director Jeff Graham joined Andrea Young from the ACLU of Georgia, State Rep. Sam Park, and faith leaders from multiple backgrounds at the state capitol today. The event came the same day that Rep. Stacey Evans introduced a bipartisan measure in the House that would establish a study committee to further explore the need for nondiscrimination protections in Georgia.

New polling unveiled at today’s press event shows that any measures advancing nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people enjoys strong popular support in Georgia. According to a new poll from the Project Right Side Foundation, nearly 75 percent of Georgians support a comprehensive nondiscrimination law that protects LGBT people. The survey also found that there is supermajority support for such a measure across the board, regardless of political party:

  • 88 percent of Democrats support a statewide nondiscrimination law
  • 73 percent of independents support a statewide nondiscrimination law
  • 63 percent of Republicans support a statewide nondiscrimination law

“We’re at a tipping point in Georgia, and 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,” said Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality. “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.”

Today’s press event comes days after State Sen. Marty Harbin introduced an unnecessary religious exemptions bill – immediately bringing back memories of the public fight over HB 757 last year, which ended with Governor Nathan Deal vetoing the discriminatory legislation. The event also comes less than 24 hours after the Trump administration rescinded non-binding Title IX guidance, which urged schools to ensure transgender students could access the bathrooms aligned with their gender identity.

“It’s a challenging time for LGBT people, particularly transgender youth,” added Graham. “At times like this, we have a responsibility to remind those in our community – especially young people – that they are supported and valued, and that they deserve fairness and equality under the law, just like everyone else. Advancing a bipartisan conversation in Georgia about nondiscrimination protections would send an important message to LGBT people in our state, at an urgent moment.”

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