It will be a long road to LGBT equality here in Georgia— literally for two Georgia Equality staffers, who plan to bike 300 miles across the state to raise awareness of the need for workplace fairness legislation and other issues.
Melinda Sheldon and Em Elliott plan to set out Oct. 15 from the state line in Columbus, Ga., and bike through Macon, Swainsboro, Statesboro, Savannah, and smaller towns on the route, ending a week later at Tybee Island and the Atlantic Ocean.
Along the way, they will hold events and house parties to educate attendees about the lack of workplace protections and other legislation to prevent discrimination against LGBT Georgians. Other cyclists are invited to join them for the last leg of their trip, from Savannah to Tybee Island.
Supporters are asked to help the riders by donating for each mile covered, and by helping collect signatures to help pass House Bill 630, legislation introduced this year in the General Assembly by State Rep. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates) that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity for state government employees.
“The vast majority of Georgians believe in the core principal of self-reliance and they understand the value and importance of fairness in the workplace,” Sheldon said in a press release about the ride. “As we talk to folks across the state about this issue, gay and straight, they are genuinely shocked to learn that someone can be fired in Georgia simply for being gay or transgender.
“We strongly believe in the importance of Georgia Equality’s work and House Bill 630 – we know the damage workplace discrimination can do to individuals and families, and we know that Georgia can do better – that’s why we’re doing this,” she said.