“We will once again work with [State Rep.] Karla Drenner on the Fair Employment Practices Act with a number of new legislators to get them on-board,” Graham said of GE’s priorities for the upcoming session. “We’ll continue to work with the 53 or so supporters we have coming back and hopefully have hearings on that.”
GE will also continue to advocate for stringent anti-bullying legislation and Medicaid expansion, which Graham says would help more Georgians living with HIV/AIDS receive care.
So far, Graham says GE has raised more than $9,000 toward its $15,000 goal. Any additional money raised could help GE have a voice in the upcoming special elections to be held next month.
“We’re well on our way to that and we’re very appreciative of our donors,” Graham says. “If we could raise that amount, and maybe even a little more, we can help get out the vote for special elections happening Jan. 8.”
And while the holy grail continues to be marriage equality for Georgia’s gay and lesbian couples, Graham says he believes marriage rights are still a few years away but having employment protections is an important step in that direction.
“While it’s specific to ensure that LGBT employees are protected on the job, it’s an important first step we need to eventually repeal our marriage effort,” he says. “That effort is many years away.”
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Top photo: Members of Georgia Equality at the 2012 Atlanta Pride parade (by Bo Shell)