Testimony: Ga. LGBT employment bill about 'liberty and justice for all'
A bill to prohibit state tax dollars from going to private schools that discriminate against students, including LGBT students, has been introduced in the Georgia House by lesbian state Reps. Simone Bell (D-Atlanta) and Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur).
House Bill 456 was introduced Feb. 22. State Rep. Spencer Frye (D-Athens) was an original co-sponsor of the bill with Rep. Bell. He said while he is no longer a co-sponsor he still supports the bill "100 percent."
"I was assigned another bill by House leadership but that doesn't mean in any way I don't fully support the bill," Frye said.
Democrats in the Georgia General Assembly rolled out their legislative agenda for 2013 today which includes a bill “to prevent student scholarship organizations from funding private schools that discriminate against Georgia’s children.”
Dubbed the Anti-Discrimination Act, the bill is sponsored by Rep. Simone Bell (D-Atlanta) and Rep. Spencer Frye (D-Athens), according to Emily Oh, spokesperson for the House Democratic Caucus.
Bell is the first openly lesbian African-American state lawmaker in the country.
State Rep. Rashad Taylor (D-Atlanta), the only openly gay man in the Georgia legislature, is alleging homophobic tactics are being used by his opponents, including distributing what he calls an anti-gay flyer in black neighborhoods in southwest Atlanta.
The flyer, provided to GA Voice via email, states: "The Real Rashad" with a photo of Taylor. Below the photo the flyer states: "The only openly gay male in the Georgia General Assembly [AJC 5/27/11]; Accused of using his position in the Legislature to solicit sexual relationships [AJC, 5/27/11]; Former roommates with Khaatim El [APN, 1/20/11]; Possibly lived with a male lover on Moreland Ave [APN, 6/11/12]."
Taylor is set to hold a press conference on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at the Washington Street side of the State Capitol to discuss the issue. He denied living with a male lover on Moreland and said he lived with El when he was 22 and a Morehouse College student.
The nation's largest LGBT organization the Human Rights Campaign is jumping into the Georgia political scene by endorsing Ken Britt for House Seat District 56.
“HRC enthusiastically endorses Ken Britt for Georgia House District 56,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese in a prepared statement.
“Ken has a lengthy record of community service and political activism, as well as the experience gained during more than 30 years in executive-level law firm administration. Serving in the Georgia House of Representatives will allow him to continue his work on important issues like equality, economic development and access to quality affordable health care.”