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|Ga. Equality campaigns against Deal in governor race|
|by Laura Douglas-Brown|
|October 01, 2010 00:00|
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 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.
Monds includes support for “protecting an individual's right to marry” on his campaign website.
“As a Libertarian, I believe that government should only be involved in the legal — not the religious — aspect of marriage: a private contract struck between consenting adults,” he said on the website.
“However, since the government is currently involved in the marriage business, they must afford all citizens the same rights, equal protection under the law, right to contract and the fundamental right to form unions based on an individual’s faith.
“As governor, I will not let my religious conviction (or that of others), get in the way of advocating civil rights for all Georgians, homosexual and heterosexual alike,” Monds stated.
Georgia Equality also recently announced some of its endorsements in the Nov. 2 election, saying it would make more endorsements in the near future.
Two of the highest-profile candidates backed by Georgia Equality in this round are Democrat Joan Garner for Fulton County Commission and Rep. Mike Jacobs for State House District 80.
Garner defeated Keisha Waites in a runoff for this seat in the Democratic primary and faces no Republican opposition on Nov. 2. She will become the first openly gay Fulton County Commissioner.
Jacobs, the most gay-friendly Republican in the General Assembly, received Georgia Equality’s Allen Thornell Political Advancement Award this year. During the 2010 legislative session, Jacobs passed an anti-bullying statute and was instrumental in passing legislation that will allow gay and lesbian couples to make medical decisions for their partners. He faces Democrat Sandra Murray on the Ballot.
Georgia Equality’s endorsements also include Maryline Blackburn for State House District 34, Stacey Evans for State House District 40, Stephanie Stuckey Benfield for State House District 85, Darshun Kendrick for State House District 94, Curt Thompson for State Senate District 5, Steve Henson for State Senate District 41, Steffini Bethea for State Senate District 106, and John Eaves for Fulton County Commission chair.
Top photo: Georgia Equality is urging LGBT and allies to vote against Republican gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal in the November election. (courtesy Deal campaign)
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