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Local gay activists plan protest of Chick-fil-A

The Chick-fil-A cows

Atlanta LGBT activists plan to cook up an old-fashioned protest at Chick-fil-A’s Leadercast Conference coming to the Georgia World Congress Center on May 6. Protesters plan to urge the Christian-based company to implement a workplace equality policy for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees.

Chick-fil-A has come under attack for its stance against gay marriage and donations to anti-gay institutions like Focus on the Family.

GetEQUAL GA and Atlanta’s Queer Justice League are joining forces to organize the protest at the World Congress Center. It will include protesters dressed in chicken costumes and sandwich boards — mocking the iconic chicken restaurant’s mascots — as well as passing out flyers to attendees noting that workplace equality is important for all major corporations.

Coca-Cola CEO and board chair Muhtar Kent is slated to be one of the Leadercast’s “Voices of Service” speakers. Paul Schappaugh of GetEQUAL GA said he plans to write Kent a letter informing him that Coca-Cola’s stance on equality for all employees clashes with Chick-fil-A’s philosophy.

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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.”