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Petition asks Ga. governor to honor day against ‘homophobia’

nathan deal

He's done it again. For the second time in as many years, Ga. Gov. Nathan Deal has issued a proclamation requested by organizers of the International Day Against Homophobia — but only after sanitizing it into "Mistreatment Awareness Day" and removing any reference to LGBT rights.

"For the second year in a row, Governor Nathan Deal's office has issued a proclamation per … request to recognize the annual Atlanta and Georgia-wide events. Herein lies the problem — the Governor's office refuses to officially address a day against homophobia, instead issuing the vague recognition of 'Mistreatment Awareness Day,' as they did last year," organizers of Georgia's events complained in a Change.org petition today.

The renamed event is sadly ironic, Georgia organizer Betty Couvertier observed last year.

"They couldn't even use the word homophobia," Couvertier, who asked for the proclamation, said then. ""This [proclamation] is a documentation of homophobia."

International Day Against Homophobia (Georgia's committee adds transphobia to the title) is May 17.

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International Day Against Homophobia returns to Atlanta

Betty Couvertier

2012 marks the third year Atlanta has hosted events meant to draw attention to homophobia and how it continues to impact the lives of LGBT people throughout the world.

From bullying, to violence, to employment discrimination and marriage rights, LGBT people still face an uphill battle seeking the most basic protections. The International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO), marked by rallies, vigils and gatherings across the world, celebrates its 10th year May 17.

Local organizers are planning three days of events in Atlanta, Toccoa and Hapeville, Ga.