The fight for equality for LGBT Georgians is far from over. Georgia Equality is highlighting the next battle for LGBT civil rights in a new video series titled "All Things Being Equal." "All Things Being Equal" will feature stories from hard-working LGBT Georgians who have been fired or denied employment, or were refused housing or access to public services for no other reason than their sexual orientation or gender identity. Georgia is one of 28 states that have no laws protecting people from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Many people across our country and across our state assume that it’s already illegal to fire someone or deny them housing or other services simply because they’re LGBT, but that’s not true," says Jeff Graham, Executive Director of Georgia Equality, in a statement.
"There’s no federal law protecting LGBT people from discrimination, and there are no state laws on the books here in Georgia. Discrimination remains a very real problem for gay and transgender Georgians. The consequences of discrimination on hardworking Georgians and their families are heartbreaking. We’re talking about people losing the ability to put food on their table and clothes on their children’s backs.”
The first video in the series tells the story of Connie Galloway from Blue Ridge, Georgia. Galloway worked for more than 30 years for an organization focused on mental health and disability support services. After many years of successful employment, promotions, and numerous accolades from supervisors as well as the board of directors, Galloway was fired. Just before Christmas, Galloway was let go by an interim director who made it known openly that she did not approve of Connie because she was a lesbian.
“Losing my job was devastating, says Galloway. I spent more than 30 years of my life in that office, not because anyone was making me, but because I loved what I did for a living and I was good at my job,” said Connie Galloway. “But it’s also impacted my financial stability and my retirement. No one should ever have to live in fear for their livelihood just because they’re LGBT. That’s just not right.”
You can watch Galloway's story here.
Georgia Equality has also launched an online resources guide that will assist LGBT individuals who have faced discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.