Robin Shahar's name is easily recognized by many in Atlanta's LGBT communities — and likely by many activists across the country. Recently appointed Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed's adviser on LGBT issues, she has a history of fighting for equality.
Shahar graduated at the top of her class from Emory Law School in 1990, and in 1991 she was offered a job by Georgia Attorney General Michael Bowers.
However, after Bowers learned Shahar was planning a Jewish commitment ceremony with her lesbian partner, he rescinded the job offer saying, essentially, that because she was gay she would not be able to enforce the state's sodomy law that he successfully defended to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1986.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed now has an official “advisor on LGBT issues” after appointing gay attorney Robin Shahar to the position Monday. In 2010, Reed told GA Voice he would not have a designated LGBT liaison for his mayoral office, preferring instead a policy of full inclusion that puts gay people in prominent positions based on merit.
The appointment was made public in a press release sent to media late Wednesday evening.
Shahar is also the Chief Counsel in the city of Atlanta's Department of Law and has worked in the city's law department since 1993.
“I am pleased that Robin Shahar will assume this vital role in my administration,” said Reed in a prepared statement.
“In addition to her keen legal mind, she is well-respected in the community and will be an effective ambassador. My administration and I are dedicated to eliminating barriers to equality, fighting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and engaging the LGBT community across the city," he added.