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[Photos] Gay state reps, Decatur mayor honor International Day Against Homophobia

International Day Against Homophobia 2013

While it may have only been “Mistreatment Awareness Day” to Gov. Nathan Deal, a crowd turned out May 17 for Georgia’s observance of the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia.

The Friday evening gathering on the lawn at First Christian Church of Decatur featured keynote speaker Rev. Ray Waters, entertainers, and a candlelight vigil.

State Rep. Keisha Waites (D-Atlanta) presented a resolution honoring the International Day Against Homophobia signed by Georgia’s three openly lesbian state lawmakers — Waites and Reps. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates) and Simone Bell (D-Atlanta). The event also received official recognition from the City of Decatur, signed by Mayor Jim Baskett, which was presented by Drenner, according to IDAHO organizer Betty Couvertier. For the second year in a row, event organizers requested an official proclamation from the governor’s offi ce. And for the second year in a row, Deal’s offi ce sanitized the name to “Mistreatment Awareness Day” and removed all specific references to sexual orientation and gender identity.

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Petition asks Ga. governor to honor day against ‘homophobia’

nathan deal

He's done it again. For the second time in as many years, Ga. Gov. Nathan Deal has issued a proclamation requested by organizers of the International Day Against Homophobia — but only after sanitizing it into "Mistreatment Awareness Day" and removing any reference to LGBT rights.

"For the second year in a row, Governor Nathan Deal's office has issued a proclamation per … request to recognize the annual Atlanta and Georgia-wide events. Herein lies the problem — the Governor's office refuses to officially address a day against homophobia, instead issuing the vague recognition of 'Mistreatment Awareness Day,' as they did last year," organizers of Georgia's events complained in a Change.org petition today.

The renamed event is sadly ironic, Georgia organizer Betty Couvertier observed last year.

"They couldn't even use the word homophobia," Couvertier, who asked for the proclamation, said then. ""This [proclamation] is a documentation of homophobia."

International Day Against Homophobia (Georgia's committee adds transphobia to the title) is May 17.

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International Day Against Homophobia returns to Atlanta

Betty Couvertier

2012 marks the third year Atlanta has hosted events meant to draw attention to homophobia and how it continues to impact the lives of LGBT people throughout the world.

From bullying, to violence, to employment discrimination and marriage rights, LGBT people still face an uphill battle seeking the most basic protections. The International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO), marked by rallies, vigils and gatherings across the world, celebrates its 10th year May 17.

Local organizers are planning three days of events in Atlanta, Toccoa and Hapeville, Ga.

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May 7 fundraiser benefits International Day Against Homophobia

Betty Couvertier

As Atlanta prepares for its third annual observance of the International Day Against Homophobia, it has grown to encompass three days of events scheduled in cities across Georgia.

Atlanta's IDAHO events are being organized by Betty Couvertier, host of the alt-radio program Alternative Perspectives, which airs on WRFG.

This year's event features the theme “sexual diversity in the workplace,” but Couvertier told GA Voice this week that many issues affect the state's LGBT communities and will be highlighted during IDAHO, from housing and employment to healthcare and safe schools.