LGBT advocates are still waiting to see if a bill to protect LGBT state employees from job discrimination will get a hearing in this year’s legislative session, but they don’t want supporters to wait to contact lawmakers about the issue.
“If we do get a hearing, it is likely that we will have less than 24 hours notice,” Jeff Graham, executive director for Georgia Equality, said Feb. 26.
State Rep. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates) reintroduced the Georgia Fair Employment Practices Act, HB 427, on Feb. 20. The bill, first introduced in 2011, would add “sexual orientation” to protected statuses for public employment in Georgia.
Georgia Equality, the state's largest LGBT advocacy organization, has set a fundraising goal of $15,000 before the end of the calendar year. The money, Executive Director Jeff Graham says, will go toward helping fund GE's upcoming participation in the Georgia General Assembly's 2013 legislative session.
“Some of it will used to pay for lobbyists,” Graham says. “Some will be used to pay for advocacy costs. Some will be used for staff time to coordinate interns, volunteers and to be able to monitor hearings and to participate in hearings.”
GE's annual budget is much higher than $15,000, but the money raised from this fundraising drive will go to a variety of causes and initiatives in the coming year. Through Friday, Dec. 21, a private donor has promised to match up to $1,000 in donations to GE. This donor has pledged $4,000 in matching donations, Graham says, and has already matched more than $3,000 so far.