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Karen Handel: ‘I would consider’ banning gay adoption

As the July 20 primary grows closer, the race to see which Republican will compete to be Georgia’s next governor just gets uglier. And of course, more anti-gay.

Former Secretary of State Karen Handel continues to run from her previous moderate stands on LGBT issues like domestic partner benefits.

Her GOP primary opponents, including former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal and Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, released ads this week attacking Handel, and by extension, gay Georgians.

Today Handel fires back — not at her opponents, but at us.

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Republican commercials get nasty

Not to be outdone by his competitors, Nathan Deal, a republican candidate for Georgia governor, decided to put out his own campaign commercial degrading Karen Handel for her past stated support of domestic partner benefits and adoption rights for gay couples.

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Handel, Deal, Palin and gay bashing

As if we needed another reason to oppose Karen Handel and Nathan Deal.

Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin endorsed former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel in her bid to become the state’s next governor.

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Election: Five vie for State School Superintendent

The Democratic race for State School Superintendent is the only primary race where all candidates responded to the Georgia Voice survey.

The state school superintendent’s office could gain increased attention from LGBT Georgians as the state works to implement a new anti-bullying law passed by the General Assembly this year.

Beth Farokhi, Joe Martin and Brian Westlake all said they support gay-straight alliance student clubs, the right for same-sex couples to attend high-school proms and anti-bullying programs that specifically address anti-gay slurs.

Farokhi and Westlake said they support comprehensive sex education. “Sex education should emphasize abstinence, but should also include factual information about ways to prevent pregnancies and socially transmitted diseases. However, schools should not be used to distribute condoms or birth-control devices,” Martin said.

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Election: Attorney General preview

The race to replace Attorney General Thurbert Baker, who is running for governor, is the only statewide race where both Georgia Equality and the Atlanta Stonewall Democrats issued endorsements.

Both LGBT political groups backed Rep. Rob Teilhet, a Democrat. As a member of the Georgia House, he voted against the 2004 state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

“He is with us the majority of the time,” said GE Executive Director Jeff Graham, noting that Teilhet supports “basic fairness issues in terms of employment protection, supporting basic rights and existing law as it relates to our families and relationships.”

None of the candidates returned the Georgia Voice survey.

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Election: Democrats challenge most gay-friendly Republican in Georgia General Assembly

Two Democrats are fighting for the chance to challenge incumbent Rep. Mike Jacobs (R-Atlanta) for House District 80, located in the northeast Atlanta suburbs.

Jacobs was first elected in 2004 as a Democrat and then switched parties after the 2006 election. This will be the first year he has faced a Democrat since becoming a Republican.

Business owners Sandy Murray and Keith Gross, who is gay, are vying for the Democratic nomination in the July 20 primary for the DeKalb district that runs from Interstate 285 near Ashford Dunwoody Road to the intersection of Lavista and Clairmont Road.

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Election: Battle for LGBT votes in State Senate District 39

Graham Balch and Vincent Fort face-off in primary

In the race for State Senate District 39, Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta) won endorsement from LGBT political groups Georgia Equality and Atlanta Stonewall Democrats.

But high school teacher Graham Balch continues to campaign for gay votes as the two men head for a showdown in the July 20 Democratic primary which, since no Republican is running, will decide who holds the seat.

Fort’s campaign includes an LGBT Initiative chaired by state Rep. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates), who was Georgia’s first openly gay state lawmaker and is running unopposed for her sixth term, and longtime community activist Craig Washington.

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Election: Secretary of State rundown

Georgia Equality chose to sit out the race for Secretary of State, as the job does not deal directly with LGBT-specific issues. Atlanta Stonewall Democrats endorsed Michael Mills, although Gail Buckner and Gary Horlacher also applied.

Mills was the only candidate to return the Georgia Voice survey. He said he would publicly support a broad range of LGBT issues, but stopped short of full marriage rights, backing civil unions for gay couples instead.

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Election: Governor’s race offers little positive for gay voters

None of the candidates to be Georgia’s next governor have campaigned for LGBT votes, although several have long — mostly negative — records on LGBT issues.

Most candidates declined to respond to surveys from the Georgia Voice and LGBT political groups, while several Republican candidates have tried to use their opposition to gay rights as campaign strategies.

Among the major Democratic candidates, former Gov. Roy Barnes has the clearest, generally positive record of not shutting out gay constituents, largely due to his former term in office.

Among the Republicans, Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine has continued his outspoken opposition to fairness for LGBT couples in his bid for higher office, while former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal has attempted to use former Secretary of State Karen Handel’s past support for issues like domestic partner benefits against her.

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Fulton Chair John Eaves comes out in support of gay marriage

Fulton County Commission Chair John Eaves said today he supports full marriage equality for same-sex couples after initially only supporting civil unions.

“I did previously support civil unions but I have since learned more … and my previous stance was not sufficient,” Eaves said today. “I’m supportive of marriage equality, not just civil unions.”

Eaves said after talking with members of the gay community and studying the issue on his own, he now believes in gay marriage.