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Georgia Equality makes early endorsements of gay candidates in state House races

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Georgia Equality has issued early endorsements for state Representatives Karla Drenner, Simone Bell and Keisha Waites as well as candidate Ken Britt. All are openly gay.

The state LGBT advocacy group has endorsed Bell and Drenner in their past elections. Britt, who is running in his first race, is a former board member of Georgia Equality. Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, said today no endorsement of gay State Rep. Rashad Taylor has been made. He is facing strong LGBT ally and incumbent Pat Gardner for re-election.

The announcement of the early endorsements was made at an LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party on Saturday held at the Democratic Party Headquarters. House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams attended the meeting to urge members and supporters to work hard this election season, especially before the July 31 primary, to ensure progressive candidates are elected.

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Keisha Waites sworn in as fourth openly gay Ga. state legislator

Keisha Waites took the oath of office Feb. 13 to become the state representative for District 60. The ceremony took place at the Georgia State Capitol with Fulton County Superior Court Judge Doris Downs swearing her in.

Standing with Waites as she took the oath of office were her mother, Christine Harden, and her nephew, Elias Muhammad, 8, who held the Bible.

Waites, a Democrat, became emotional while being sworn in and after taking her oath thanked a host of friends, family and supporters who have backed her for more than a decade.

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UPDATED: Democrat newcomer Elena Parent defeats gay-friendly GOP Jill Chambers in state House

Gay-friendly Democrat and political newcomer Elena Parent knocked off incumbent Jill Chambers in a close battle for District 81 in the Georgia State House. The margin of difference was less than 300 votes.

With 99 percent of the precincts reporting this morning in District 81, Parent held on to victory with 3,315 votes, or 52 percent,  to Chambers' 3,039 votes, or 48 percent, according to unofficial results from the Georgia Secretary of State.

Parent gave a victory speech at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference center at about 11 p.m. Tuesday, although some news outlets at the time were calling the race too close to call. The results this morning show Parent held on for the victory.

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Ga. election preview

The GA Voice takes an in-depth look at the midterm elections, from local to state and national-level races

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Georgia Democrats reach out to LGBT voters

The Democratic Party of Georgia will host two events geared toward the LGBT community this month in an effort to energize gay and lesbian voters ahead of the November 2nd midterm elections.

On Oct. 20, DPG will host a candidate mixer and meet-and-greet at Amsterdam Atlanta. The event is being held in combination with the Atlanta Stonewall Democrats from 6-8 p.m. and will allow attendees to engage candidates endorsed by Stonewall as well as pro-equality incumbents.

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By the numbers: Gay marriage in America

48 Percent of Americans who say they oppose gay marriage; the first time in 15 years of polling that fewer than half are opposed. 54 Percent of Americans who said in 2009 they are opposed to gay marriage. 53 Pe...
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Early voting starts today

Voters can cast their ballots starting today leading up to the Nov. 2 general election in each Georgia county.

More than half a million Georgia voters cast early ballots in 2008.

“We want to put as much information in the hands of the voter as we can, in an easy-to-use format,” Secretary of State Brian Kemp said in a press release regarding early voting. "The goal is for every voter in the State of Georgia to have the information he or she needs to be able to make the voting process work for them."

Voters will have the opportunity to elect a new governor as well as one of two U.S. Senate positions in state-wide races.

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Primary day

Before you vote in today's primary, take a look at our profiles of the candidates and their stands on LGBT issues

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GA Voice Primary Election Guide

This year, Georgia elects a new governor, every state constitutional office, and every seat in the state legislature, plus many other offices ranging from U.S. Senate to county commissions.

The upcoming July 20 primaries will determine which Republicans and Democrats will battle it out in the Nov. 2 general election. A few November races also include a Libertarian or independent candidate as well.

The primary ballot includes three openly gay candidates: Joan Garner and Keisha Waites for Fulton County Commission District 6, and Keith Gross for State House District 80.

And while few candidates for the state’s top offices have openly campaigned for LGBT votes, many have long records — some positive, more negative — on issues that impact our community.