Georgia's two most gay-friendly members of the U.S. House won reelection Tuesday, despite the Republican Party taking control of the House in a switch likely to doom repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and other gay rights priorities this year.
UPDATED: Gay-friendly Dems win in Ga. Congressional Districts 4, 5
In Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District, civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis cruised to easy reelection over Republican Fenn Little, a self-described “civil rights” attorney who is aligned with the Alliance Defense Fund, a legal group that has filed lawsuits against LGBT issues including gay marriage and adoption.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting on Wednesday, Lewis has 73.7 percent of the vote and Little has 26.3 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results from the Georgia Secretary of State office.
A veteran of the African-American Civil Rights Movement, Lewis is a staunch and outspoken advocate for the rights of others, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people.
Little’s campaign tagline is “Faith. Freedoms. Fiscal Responsibility,” and he cites his religious beliefs among the issues underlying his campaign.
“Slowly, little by little, over 250 years of Judeo/Christian tradition is being taken out of our country in the misinterpretation of the separation of church and state,” Little warns in a discussion of “Why I Am Running.”
Lesbian and gay voters in particular may be concerned about what Little is doing to try to stop that, and exactly whose “civil rights” he attempts to defend as an attorney.
“Fenn Little is an Allied Attorney of the Alliance Defense Fund having completed one of ADF’s National Litigation Academies. As an Allied Attorney, he has access to a broad network of like-minded Christian attorneys all seeking to restore the religious freedoms guaranteed to every American by the First Amendment. Fenn is also a member of the Christian Legal Society,” his website states.
The ADF’s recent cases include representing Jennifer Keeton, a counseling student who is suing Augusta State University claiming it violated her religious freedom by requiring her to learn more about gay people to balance the anti-gay views she expressed in class.
The ADF has also been involved in high-profile cases like attempts to defend the Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage in California, and an Arkansas referendum that effectively bans gay couples from adopting or providing foster care to children.
In the neighboring Fourth Congressional District, Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson won against Republican Liz Carter, who was endorsed by the gay Georgia Log Cabin Republicans.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Johnson has 74.6 percent of the vote to Carter’s 25.4 percent.
Johnson has scored a 95 on the Human Rights Campaign scorecard of LGBT issues. Carter said that she doesn’t believe in discrimination, opposes “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” supports civil unions, but thinks the Employment Non-Discrimination Act goes a bit too far.