Democratic nominee Roy Barnes is not a steadfast supporter of LGBT rights. GA Voice Editor Laura Douglas-Brown talked to Barnes at a recent fundraiser organized by the LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Georgia where he said that if given a second chance to be the state’s governor, he would back an inclusive hate-crimes law and oppose discrimination based on sexual orientation.

That’s it.

But the kicker is that Barnes actually said that if he were in a position to do so, he would have supported the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage when it was ratified in 2004. “I voted when I was in the General Assembly that a marriage was between a man and a wife. I was not in the legislature in 2004 and neither was I governor, but I probably would have supported it in all candor,” Barnes said at the fundraiser.

Not only will Barnes not fight to overturn the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, he actually supports it.

That’s the problem with many southern Democrats. They try too hard to be socially conservative.

Nathan Deal is the worst of the bunch, hands down. His attacks on Karen Handel during the primaries for her alleged support for gay issues were rough to watch. And those commercials were everywhere in the days leading up to the primary.

The GOP primary turned into a battle for who could hate the gays the most and Deal came out on top.

Check out the video below for a refresher:

In all fairness, both candidates probably hate gay people equally.

If Deal wins the election, what else can he do to the LGBT community that the legislature hasn’t already done? Could he press for another, even stronger, ban on same-sex marriage? Would he fight to oppose employment non-discrimination? Probably, but the courts are where we’ve secured victories recently, anyway — not through the legislature or the governor’s mansion.

Libertarian candidate John Monds was the only gubernatorial candidate that participated in the Atlanta Pride festival. He is also the only candidate who comes anywhere close to supporting same-sex marriage.

He’s not perfect. Libertarians generally don’t support hate-crimes laws or employment non-discrimination laws and Monds is no different. But as one of our Facebook fans recently pointed out, hate crimes are already a federal offense and employment non-discrimination would never get passed in Georgia’s conservative legislature.

I’m realistic. I know that Monds has no chance of winning the election. But it’s not about 2010 anymore. If LGBT voters (and their supporters) turn away from Barnes now, it will send a message to future candidates that we won’t support them simply because of their political affiliation.

Why should we continue to vote for Democrats who openly deny any support for equality?

 


GA Voice staff members, like many in the LGBT community, are divided over which candidate to support in Tuesday’s gubernatorial election — although we agree it won’t be Republican Nathan Deal. You can read why Editor Laura Douglas-Brown thinks you should vote for Democrat Roy Barnes here.

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