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Atlanta LGBT activists speak out against HB 87 for Saturday’s ‘March for Justice’

A queer contingent participated in Saturday's March for Justice to protest Georgia's immigration law that went into effect July 1.

Before the march, several members of Atlanta's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities released statements saying why the oppose the law, HB 87 and titled the "Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011."

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Gay and Latino in Georgia

Georgia latinos work against new immigration law

Emir Palacios is 17, a senior at Lithia Springs High School and hopes to go to college to study criminal justice or fashion design or maybe become a Spanish teacher.

He is also gay and moved with his family to the U.S. in 1997 from Acapulco, Guerrero Mexico, when Palacios was three. The family first moved to California then to Atlanta to find work.

Palacios and his family are among those affected by HB 87, Georgia’s new law set to go into effect July 1 and titled the “Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011.”

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Religion blog: Our moral responsibility to reject HB 87

In the last few days, I've been asked why we should sign on with the Somos Georgia / We Are Georgia’s BuySpot & Sanctuary Zone Community a dozen times if I've been asked once.

The answer is pretty simple. As Christians, as persons of deep faith, we have an obligation to stand up and say no. The truth is that this law, HB 87 "Georgia Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act" is probably not Constitutional and most certainly not morally correct.

Rev. Richard Nathan, pastor of Columbus Vineyard Church, made the point a while back when he wrote:

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Charis to Gov. Deal: We will not comply with new immigration law

Lesbian-owned Charis Books & More is the first Atlanta business to sign on as a Buy Spot and Sanctuary Zone  to protest Gov. Nathan Deal's recent signing of the controversial immigration bill HB 87.

"We are agreeing to be noncompliant," programming director Elizabeth Anderson told CBS Atlanta on May 16. Deal signed the bill into law on Friday, May 13.

Buy Spots and Sanctuary Zones are being organized by a new group called We Are Georgia that is part of a movement including the Somos Georgia Campaign, the Georgia Latino Human Rights Alliance and the LGBT group Southerners On New Ground.

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Atlanta LGBT immigration advocates fight copycat Arizona bills

Approximately 30 activists gathered at the Phillip Rush Center March 3 to discuss ways the LGBT and queer communities can come together to fight Arizona copycat anti-immigration legislation in Georgia.

On March 3, the state House passed HB 87, also known as the Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011. The vote was 113-56 in a mostly party line vote in the Republican-controlled House. The bill now goes to the Senate.

“Like the groundbreaking law Arizona enacted last year, HB 87 would authorize state and local police to verify the immigration status of certain suspects. A federal judge halted a similar provision in Arizona last year after the Obama administration argued it is pre-empted by federal law. Arizona is appealing that judge’s decision,” reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.