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.
U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson’s campaign for a third term representing Georgia’s 4th Congressional District is facing challenges from the left and the right as six candidates try to represent the northeastern Atlanta district.
Republicans Victor Armendariz, Lisbeth “Liz” Carter, Larry Gause and Cory Ruth hope to win their party’s nomination in the July 20 Republican primary. On the Democratic side, Johnson faces DeKalb Commissioner Connie Stokes and former DeKalb CEO Vernon Jones in the primary. The winners of the party primaries will advance to the Nov. 2 general election ballot.
Efforts to repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy gained significant momentum May 27 when both the U.S. House and the Senate Armed Services Committee passed amendments to repeal the ban.
“Just like the military helped end segregation based on race, we should have put an end to ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ long ago. It is an affront to human dignity and to the dignity and the worth of every man and woman serving in our military,” U.S. Rep. John Lewis said during debate on the House floor.
“We cannot wait. We cannot be patient,” Lewis said. “We must end discrimination in the military, and we must end it now. Discrimination is wrong, and we must end it now.”
In what national gay rights activists called “a dramatic breakthrough,” the White House issued a statement May 24 that supports Congress repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy this year.
The repeal, which at press time May 25 was expected to see votes in the U.S. House and Senate as early as May 26-28, would be enacted after the Pentagon completes a study on how best to implement it.
North Carolina group visits Washington to press for repeal of military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy