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LGBT job bill languishes in Ga. House Judiciary subcommittee

Wendell Willard

In a move some legislators say they’ve never seen before, the media was banned from taking photos and video during a public hearing Monday, Feb. 27, at the Georgia General Assembly that included testimony on HB 630, the State Fair Employment Practices Act. The bill, which would ban job discrimination against state employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity, was discussed for a second time by a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee.

No vote was taken on the bill Feb. 27. It was tabled at a hearing on Feb. 21, but Rep. Mike Jacobs (R-Atlanta), who presided over the Feb. 27 subcommittee hearing and is a co-sponsor of the bill, said the legislation remains “alive” in his subcommittee.

“Well, I don’t know what happens next at this point. We’re just at a point where there’s a lot of legislation pending and inability to get it all done prior to crossover day,” Jacobs said.

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Midterm election review

Nathan Deal leads GOP charge in midterm elections while gay-friendly candidates face strong challenges

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State Rep. Mike Jacobs appears to win easy victory

State Sen. Mike Jacobs (R-Atlanta) appeared to sail to an easy victory over challenger first-time political candidate Sandy Murray in District 80 in Tuesday's election.

With 99 percent of the precincts reporting on Wednesday, Jacobs carried an easy lead over Murray with 66.1 percent of the votes to 33.9 percent, according to unofficial state Secretary of State results.

Jacobs has received much credit from many LGBT voters for pushing through the nation's first anti-bullying bill that encompasses K-12th grade.

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Election: Gay-friendly GOP legislators opposed for Ga. House

Candidates running for Georgia Assembly

Hope springs eternal for the Democratic Party of Georgia as it tries to dislodge two long-time Republicans from seats they’ve held on the northwestern side of DeKalb County.

Democrats have invested in campaigns against Reps. Mike Jacobs (R-Atlanta) and Jill Chambers (R-Atlanta) in hopes of chipping away at the Republican majority in the Georgia House of Representatives.

Chambers seeks to retain District 81 against newcomer Elena Parent. Chambers has faced Democratic challengers in the past several elections and has beaten them all handily. District 81 has been trending Democratic for a number of years, however, said Don Weigel of the House Democratic Caucus, which has thrown its support behind Parent.

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Celebrating a Republican ally

LGBT reception tonight honors state Rep. Mike Jacobs (R-Atlanta), the most gay-friendly lawmaker in the General Assembly

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Results in other primary races of LGBT interest

• State Senate District 39: Incumbent Sen. Vincent Fort, one of the most outspoken LGBT rights advocates in the General Assembly, faced a challenge in the Democratic primary from Graham Balch, who also sought gay votes. According to unofficial results from the Secretary of State website, Fort garnered 6,881 votes, or 67.7 percent of the vote, compared to 3,284 votes, or 32.3 percent for Balch.

Fort’s campaign included an LGBT Initiative chaired by state Rep. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates), who was Georgia’s first openly gay state lawmaker and is running unopposed for her sixth term, and longtime community activist Craig Washington.

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Election: Democrats challenge most gay-friendly Republican in Georgia General Assembly

Two Democrats are fighting for the chance to challenge incumbent Rep. Mike Jacobs (R-Atlanta) for House District 80, located in the northeast Atlanta suburbs.

Jacobs was first elected in 2004 as a Democrat and then switched parties after the 2006 election. This will be the first year he has faced a Democrat since becoming a Republican.

Business owners Sandy Murray and Keith Gross, who is gay, are vying for the Democratic nomination in the July 20 primary for the DeKalb district that runs from Interstate 285 near Ashford Dunwoody Road to the intersection of Lavista and Clairmont Road.