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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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More LGBT businesses, organizations sign on to be ‘safe zones’ to protest Georgia immigration law

Radial Cafe in Atlanta

Radial Cafe, owned by gay businessman Frank Bragg, and the annual alternative queer arts fest Mondo Homo have signed on to be Buy Spots and provide Sanctuary Zones to protest Gov. Nathan Deal's signing of the state's controversial immigration bill.

Lesbian-owned Charis Books & More was the first business to sign on in early May. Deal signed HB 87 into law on May 13.

A complete list of businesses and organizations that have signed on to be Buy Spots and Sanctuary Zones can be found here.

As Buy Spots and Sanctuary Zones, Charis Books & More in Little 5 Points, Radial Cafe and Mondo Homo will offer a safe haven to people who need a place to go and will offer their space for organizers who are working to overturn the law. They will also urge their customers to not shop at stores that are not Buy Spot and Sanctuary Zones.

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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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LGBT activists speak out against passage of controversial Georgia immigration bill

Conflicting reports on whether or not Gov. Nathan Deal will sign into law the controversial immigration bill passed the General Assembly late into the last day of the session on Thursday are now being reported.

Maria Saporta in a story posted this morning stated Deal was undecided and quoted the governor saying  “that the bill was so jumbled at the end as to what was added and what was taken out. We are going to look at it very carefully.”

The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, however, is reporting that Deal said he is ready to sign HB 87 into law.

He also told the AJC he wanted to review the bill, adding, "but at least the broad parameters of what we know are there appear to be consistent with what we would be agreeable to."

"I have no reason to think I would find something there that would cause me to change my mind," he said. "It is the kind of legislation I promised on the campaign, and the General Assembly has delivered it and I intend to sign it," Deal told the AJC.

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General Assembly adjourns with LGBT job bill pending

Georgia state rep. Karla Drenner

Fiscal matters dominated another legislative session for the Georgia General Assembly as lawmakers struggled to address a number of large issues, leaving most on the table for next year.

The legislature did pass an $18.2 billion budget but didn’t pass a number of measures, including a bill that would provide anti-discrimination protection to gay and transgender state workers.

Rep. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates) collected 70 co-signers for House Bill 630, but introduced it after “Crossover Day” where bills must pass from one chamber to the other. Drenner, the first openly gay state legislator, said they are working on a long-term plan.