Report comes as Georgia lawmakers consider expanding state law to protect LGBT people from discrimination
ATLANTA – A new study from RTI shows that LGBT Americans continue to face heightened levels of violence and discrimination. The survey, conducted after HB 2 became law in North Carolina and the mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, found that a perceived increase in public support broadly for equality hasn’t translated into safer or more consistently equitable conditions for LGBT people. The survey is available online here.
“This is a sobering report, and a strong reminder that the need for comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for the LGBT community is stronger now than ever before,” said Jeff Graham, Georgia Equality’s executive director. “Many people often assume that discrimination just doesn’t happen anymore, or at least not with great frequency. But every single day, LGBT people experience discrimination and can face violence – whether they’re in a rural part of our state, or even in a buzzing metropolis like Atlanta.”
The RTI report found that rates of assault and harassment against those in the LGBT community have not decreased since the 1990s – despite recent high-profile victories for marriage equality. In fact, the study found that conditions for LGBT youth actually are deteriorating.
Bills in both the Senate and the House would update the state’s civil rights laws – among some of the most archaic in the nation – to extend nondiscrimination protections to more Georgians, including LGBT people and people of faith. There’s also bipartisan support in the House for a measure that would refer the concept of nondiscrimination protections to a study committee for additional consideration.
“We’ve come a long way in Georgia in just the last year, but we’re by no means at the finish line yet,” added Graham. “This report is a reminder that policy impacts lives. No one would ever want to face violence or discrimination, and that’s why we are strongly urging lawmakers to enact these commonsense policies that protect Georgians from all walks of life and fundamentally strengthen all of our communities.”SHARE THIS STORY