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Georgia Equality makes early endorsements of gay candidates in state House races

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Georgia Equality has issued early endorsements for state Representatives Karla Drenner, Simone Bell and Keisha Waites as well as candidate Ken Britt. All are openly gay.

The state LGBT advocacy group has endorsed Bell and Drenner in their past elections. Britt, who is running in his first race, is a former board member of Georgia Equality. Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, said today no endorsement of gay State Rep. Rashad Taylor has been made. He is facing strong LGBT ally and incumbent Pat Gardner for re-election.

The announcement of the early endorsements was made at an LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party on Saturday held at the Democratic Party Headquarters. House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams attended the meeting to urge members and supporters to work hard this election season, especially before the July 31 primary, to ensure progressive candidates are elected.

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[Updated] Ga. state Rep. Rashad Taylor: ‘I am a gay man’

Georgia State Rep. Rashad Taylor (D-Atlanta) came out today as a gay man at a press conference after the ex-boyfriend of his current partner sent out emails to legislators alleging he is gay and also accusing him of misusing his office.

"I am a gay man," Taylor said at the press conference held today at Georgia Equality's office at the Phillip Rush Center.

Taylor becomes the first openly gay male serving in the Georgia legislature and the third openly gay state lawmaker. State Rep. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates) and State Rep. Simone Bell (D-Atlanta) are also openly gay and ran as openly gay when seeking office.

According to the national Victory Fund which works to elect openly gay officials, Taylor is only the sixth openly black LGBT person to serve in a state legislature. State Rep. Bell was the first black lesbian elected to a state legislature in 2009.

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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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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.