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|Georgia Equality pushes 'No Deal' pledge in governor's race|
|by Laura Douglas-Brown|
|September 16, 2010 15:30|
A Facebook page created by Georgia Equality, the state's largest LGBT political group, asks Georgians to pledge to vote against Republican candidate Nathan Deal in the governor's race.
Deal, a former congressman, faces Democrat and former governor Roy Barnes and Libertarian John Monds on the Nov. 2 ballot.
"If elected Governor, Nathan Deal would be a danger to the well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Georgians. He has already run the most anti-LGBT campaign in Georgia history and hopes our community and our allies will be so discouraged we will not vote in November," the pledge states.
"Don't let his brand of politics keep you from voting on election day, too much is at stake."
The pledge is online here.
The GOP gubernatorial primary was one of the most anti-gay races in recent Georgia history, including as Nathan Deal and Karen Handel battled it out in the runoff. In one of the most egregious examples, Deal released a campaign ad claiming Handel supported YouthPride, an Atlanta LGBT youth agency, which Deal claimed "promotes homosexuality" to children as young as 13.
As a member of the U.S. House, Deal consistently received scores of zero on HRC’s congressional report card for LGBT issues and has voted for a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
In 2000, Barnes became the first sitting Georgia governor to address a gay rights group when he spoke to the Atlanta Executive Network. He also signed the state’s first hate crime law, but it did not include specific categories and was eventually struck down as too vague.
Asked last month about Barnes’ position on gay issues and whether he thinks they will be a factor in the general election, the Barnes campaign sent the Georgia Voice a written statement from campaign manager Chris Carpenter:
“Unlike the other team who has used out-of-state endorsements and sideline issues to divide voters, Roy is an experienced leader who is focused on making Georgia work again by addressing the serious issues facing all Georgians including jobs, education and transportation."
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