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|Editor’s note: About our Person of the Year|
|Written by Laura Douglas-Brown|
|Friday, 24 December 2010 00:00|
Editor's note: The title of this honor has been changed from when it was originally awarded. To find out why, please click here.
In this our last issue of 2010, the GA Voice names our inaugural Person of the Year — an annual honor that will go to the LGBT person, or ally, we think has had the most significant effect on LGBT rights in Georgia in the last 12 months.
This year’s honoree, attorney Dan Grossman, was an easy choice. In a sea of amazing local activists, Grossman stands out for his dedication and diligence in fighting for the civil rights of the Atlanta Eagle patrons who were victims of the illegal 2009 police raid on the gay leather bar.
Grossman deserves praise for his leading role in the federal lawsuit that concluded this month with a $1.025 million settlement from the city of Atlanta, an apology from Mayor Kasim Reed, and sweeping changes in the Atlanta Police Department ranging from when citizens can be searched to how police officers must identify themselves — changes that will benefit not only LGBT people, but all of the hundreds of thousands who pass through the city each year.
As importantly, Grossman took the case at a time when some gay Atlantans urged that our community not make the Eagle raid “our cause,” assuming that those who work or hang out at the gay leather bar must be guilty of some impropriety that could embarrass our movement (despite the fact that no one was arrested on drug or sex charges during the raid).
Luckily, Grossman harbored no such assumptions, stereotypes, prejudices or reluctance. For that, he deserves our thanks.
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