While it may have only been “Mistreatment Awareness Day” to Gov. Nathan Deal, a crowd turned out May 17 for Georgia’s observance of the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia.
The Friday evening gathering on the lawn at First Christian Church of Decatur featured keynote speaker Rev. Ray Waters, entertainers, and a candlelight vigil.
State Rep. Keisha Waites (D-Atlanta) presented a resolution honoring the International Day Against Homophobia signed by Georgia’s three openly lesbian state lawmakers — Waites and Reps. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates) and Simone Bell (D-Atlanta). The event also received official recognition from the City of Decatur, signed by Mayor Jim Baskett, which was presented by Drenner, according to IDAHO organizer Betty Couvertier. For the second year in a row, event organizers requested an official proclamation from the governor’s offi ce. And for the second year in a row, Deal’s offi ce sanitized the name to “Mistreatment Awareness Day” and removed all specific references to sexual orientation and gender identity.
Ga. Rep. Simone Bell (D-Atlanta) will be honored this week by the White House as one of 10 openly gay elected or appointed officials named as "Harvey Milk Champions of Change."
The event takes place Wednesday, May 22, at 3 p.m. ET. Watch it live at this link: www.whitehouse.gov/live.
The ceremony takes place on Harvey Milk's birthday and honors the LGBT officials for "their commitment to equality and public service."