Mary Norwood bagged another high profile endorsement Wednesday as statewide LGBT advocacy group Georgia Equality announced it is backing the Buckhead resident in the Dec. 5 runoff for Atlanta mayor. The news comes on the heels of Cathy Woolard’s endorsement earlier in the day, wrapping up perhaps the two most important LGBT endorsements in the race.

Georgia Equality announced in an email blast to supporters that it had hoped to arrange a forum with both candidates and a number of LGBT organizations to talk about the vision Norwood and her opponent, Keisha Lance Bottoms, have for LGBT Atlantans and people living with HIV/AIDS, but that “given the limited time for such events and the logistical complications of this process, we were unable to make that happen.”

The group listed five factors in its decision to endorse Norwood over Bottoms, saying she “was able to clearly articulate support of the following policy areas we have prioritized”:

  • Increasing the importance of the LGBT liaison position to cabinet level
  • Understanding the importance of PrEP as a key HIV prevention tool
  • A desire to use the influence of the mayor to push for a comprehensive civil rights law in Georgia that includes sexual orientation and gender identity
  • A need to focus on the school to prison pipeline
  • A willingness to use the office to advocate for reforming Georgia’s HIV criminalization laws

The group also said the endorsements of Woolard, Shirley Franklin, Caesar Mitchell and John Eaves carried a good amount of weight in its decision as well, “All of whom are elected officials we have worked with closely in the past,” the announcement said.

As for other LGBT groups’ endorsements, Georgia Log Cabin Republicans backed Norwood while Georgia Stonewall Democrats gave Bottoms the nod. The candidates have been actively seeking the crucial backing of the city’s LGBT community, including in this pair of Georgia Voice interviews from last week.

The full text of Georgia Equality’s announcement:

Like so many of our members, as a board, we have carefully weighed how to move forward in the run off for Atlanta Mayor.

We had originally hoped to work with both candidates and a variety of LGBT organizations to sponsor a forum to delve deeply into the future vision each candidate had for LGBTQ Atlantans and people living with HIV/AIDS. Unfortunately, given the limited time for such events and the logistical complications of this process, we were unable to make that happen.

We therefore have been following closely the positions and statements both candidates have made publicly regarding those issues and were extremely interested in their comments at last night’s forum sponsored by Cathy Woolard.

The board of directors has voted to endorse Mary Norwood for Mayor. Mary was able to clearly articulate support of the following policy areas we have prioritized:

  • Increasing the importance of the LGBT liaison position to cabinet level
  • Understanding the importance of PrEP as a key HIV prevention tool
  • A desire to use the influence of the mayor to push for a comprehensive civil rights law in Georgia that includes sexual orientation and gender identity
  • A need to focus on the school to prison pipeline
  • A willingness to use the office to advocate for reforming Georgia’s HIV criminalization laws

Finally, she now has the support of not only Cathy but also Shirley Franklin, Ceasar Mitchell and John Eaves. All of whom are elected officials we have worked with closely in the past.

As we’ve stated before, in a period in which many people seeking elected office are supportive of the LGBT community, the Georgia Equality Board of Directors will issue an endorsement for a candidate who we feel is best placed to advance our policy agenda. The lack of an endorsement should not necessarily be viewed as a negative reflection of a particular candidate’s views on LGBT issues in general.

We enourage [sic] all of our members who live in the City of Atlanta to turn out and vote in this very important runoff election, and to support our newest endorsed candidate, Mary Norwood.

Who are you voting for in the Atlanta mayoral runoff?

2 Responses

  1. Rigs-in-Gear

    “Georgia Log Cabin Republicans backed Norwood while Georgia Stonewall Democrats gave Bottoms the nod,” is all I need to know. Thank you.

    Reply

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