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Interview: How Atlanta changed the heart of gay marriage opponent Louis Marinelli

Louis Marinelli, former NOM strategist, recently came out in favor of same-sex marriage

When the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage brought its “Summer of Marriage” tour to the Georgia Capitol in August 2010, more than 300 counter-protesters gathered across the street to show support for same-sex marriage.

The vibrant counter-protest was a stark contrast to the NOM rally, which drew only about 35 attendees, including the event’s organizers. Among them was Louis Marinelli, a self-described conservative Republican who spearheaded the tour.

On his website, Louis recently came out of his own closet with the revelation that he now supports civil marriage for gay couples.

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Atlanta’s Queer Justice League plans protest against Chick-fil-A

Queer Justice LeagueThe Queer Justice League, a local LGBT action advocacy organization, announced plans to protest an upcoming leadership conference held by Chick-fil-A at the Georgia World Congress Center on Friday, May 6. The planned protest/demonstration is spurred by corporate donations to anti-gay groups from the fast food chain.

According to spokesperson Art Izzard, QJL will demonstrate outside of the GWCC and hand out literature to attendees.

“We feel if Chick-fil-A really wants to 'talk the talk' for leadership and change they should 'walk the walk' and adopt a corporate policy that protects all their employees from discrimination regardless of the legal requirements of a specific jurisdiction,” Izzard said in a press release.

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State Rep. Bobby Franklin refuses to apologize for anti-gay remarks

Atlanta's Queer Justice League

State Rep. Bobby Franklin (R-Marietta) said this week he “can not and will not” apologize for comparing gay people to criminals after LGBT activists hand delivered a letter demanding an apology to his office on March 8.

In February, Franklin told the Marietta Daily Journal he denounced the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

“The Bible says [homosexuality is] a capital offense,” Franklin said in a Feb. 7 article. “You want someone with unrepentant criminal behavior? And it’s not just that, neither should adulterers, neither should thieves, neither should a lot of things. The church is full of sinners, but we’re told in 1st Corinthians it rattled off the homosexual, the adulterer, the thief, the liar, and such were some of you, but you’ve been washed, you’ve been justified and so forth. It’s not what you were. You’re not punishing a thought. But do you want an unrepentant drug dealer in the military? Same thing.”

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Activists plan to confront state Rep. Bobby Franklin

Members of the Queer Justice League who attended a community forum and meeting at My Sisters Room said they are planning a direct action on March 8. A group plans to deliver a letter to state Rep. Bobby Franklin (R-Marietta) at the Capitol asking for his apology for remarks he has made publicly against gay people, as well as against women's reproductive rights and against other marginalized communities.

Franklin has compared gays and lesbians to unrepentant drug dealers. He also called for a bill that would investigate miscarriages as possible murders or abuse against "fetal citizens, and wants to reclassify those who say they have experienced rape or abuse as "accusers" rather than "victims."

QJL and GetEqual GA are working to collaborate with PFLAG Marietta, whose members are constituents of Franklin, to deliver a letter demanding an apology while the legislature is in session, said Art Izzard of QJL.

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Anti-gay Ga. Rep. Bobby Franklin bucks call for apology

Ga. Rep. Bobby Franklin (R-Marietta)After receiving national attention for his anti-gay comments made during an interview with the Marietta Daily Journal, Ga. Rep. Bobby Franklin (R-43) has declined to issue an apology, according to the MDJ.

Franklin, in the interview, compared gays and lesbians to unrepentant drug dealers while discussing his opposition to the repeal of the military's “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy.

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Atlanta activists scold Ga. Rep. Franklin over anti-gay comments

Ga. Rep. Bobby Franklin (R-Marietta)Atlanta's Queer Justice League, a local advocacy group, plans to hold State Rep. Bobby Franklin (R-Marietta) accountable for his statements regarding the repeal of the military's anti-gay "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

During an interview with the Marietta Daily Journal, Franklin compared gays to drug dealers while discussing his opposition to DADT’s repeal:

"The Bible says it's a capital offense," Franklin said. "You want someone with unrepentant criminal behavior? And it's not just that, neither should adulterers, neither should thieves, neither should a lot of things. The church is full of sinners, but we're told in 1st Corinthians it rattled off the homosexual, the adulterer, the thief, the liar, and such were some of you, but you've been washed, you've been justified and so forth. It's not what you were. You're not punishing a thought. But do you want an unrepentant drug dealer in the military? Same thing."

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Queer Justice League preps for Friday’s holiday LGBT rights rally

Atlanta’s Queer Justice League is meeting tonight at First Existentialist Congregation to make signs ahead of their planned rally this Friday.

The “All I Want For Christmas Is Equal Rights” rally is scheduled to take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 26, at the intersection of Peachtree Street and Lenox Road in Buckhead. The intersection is near Lenox Mall and Phipps Plaza.

QJL is asking for volunteers to help provide supplies and help to make the signs. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. and is scheduled to go until the final signs are made.