|Petition asks Ga. governor to honor day against 'homophobia'|
|Written by Laura Douglas-Brown|
|Monday, 29 April 2013 18:40|
He's done it again. For the second time in as many years, Ga. Gov. Nathan Deal has issued a proclamation requested by organizers of the International Day Against Homophobia — but only after sanitizing it into "Mistreatment Awareness Day" and removing any reference to LGBT rights.
"For the second year in a row, Governor Nathan Deal's office has issued a proclamation per … request to recognize the annual Atlanta and Georgia-wide events. Herein lies the problem — the Governor's office refuses to officially address a day against homophobia, instead issuing the vague recognition of 'Mistreatment Awareness Day,' as they did last year," organizers of Georgia's events complained in a Change.org petition today.
The renamed event is sadly ironic, Georgia organizer Betty Couvertier observed last year.
"They couldn't even use the word homophobia," Couvertier, who asked for the proclamation, said then. ""This [proclamation] is a documentation of homophobia."
International Day Against Homophobia (Georgia's committee adds transphobia to the title) is May 17.
The new petition criticizes Deal and asks him to reissue a more accurate proclamation.
"By issuing the proclamation as 'Mistreatment Awareness Day' instead of the requested, 'International Day Against Homophobia,' the Governor's Office has done a great disservice to the very purpose of IDAHO events and the worldwide organizers who seek to advocate against homophobia," the petition says.
"Furthermore, by sanitizing the word 'homophobia,' Governor Deal's office has quite literally engaged in it, by refusing to address the specific concerns of Georgia's LGBTQ citizens," it continues.
In addition to not changing the name of the event to avoid actually saying something supportive of fairness for LGBT people, the petition asks Deal's office to "mail the official proclamation in an appropriate certificate envelope, to ensure it does not arrive a second time folded and tattered, signifying diminished value by the Governor's office," and to list the proclamation on the governor's website.
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