Should anti-gay discrimination remain legal in Georgia?

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More than a half-century after passage of the federal Civil Rights Act, the state of Georgia has finally begun the process of passing its own guarantee against racial, religious or ethnic discrimination. If enacted, House Bill 849 would finally make it illegal under state law to discriminate in public accommodations against people “on the ground of race, color, religion or national origin.”

Even though federal law already outlaws such discrimination, there’s value in doing so at the state level. It is also timely. Just in the past few months, our governor has attempted to discriminate on the basis of national origin by barring people of Syrian origin from settling here, backing down only when it became clear that he had no legal authority to do so. Local governments have also come under pressure from religious bigots to prevent the construction or expansion of mosques.

In such an environment, a state law signed by that same governor would put Georgia on record that we are a better place than such incidents suggest. But even now, we stubbornly refuse to get it right. We still refuse to do the right thing, even when the right thing is glaringly apparent.

The history here is important. Back in 1964, the leadership of Georgia was steadfastly, adamantly and almost unanimously against passage of the Civil Rights Act. Both Georgia senators and all but one of its congressmen fought the legislation. In the Senate, U.S. Sen. Richard B. Russell, for whom the federal building in downtown Atlanta is named, led a long and bitter filibuster, arguing that white Southerners had a “natural right to discriminate” that superseded the right of others to be treated equally. The Civil Rights Act, as Russell put it, was “an unconstitutional infringement upon one’s right to choose his associates….”

Today, the sponsors of HB 849 see it as a chance to set that awkward history right. But something is missing from the bill; something that obviously ought to be there is not there. This is 2016. If you’re going to finally pass a state anti-discrimination statute in 2016, 52 years after the fact, shouldn’t it also include a guarantee against discrimination against gay and transgender Georgians?

In a House subcommittee meeting on Monday, subcommittee members were ready to add such language to HB 849 when House leaders intervened. Employing a loophole in House rules, House members not serving on that subcommittee were allowed to vote on and kill the proposal, ensuring that gay Georgians would not get the protection of their state government.

That power move was a statement, a clear and obvious statement in defense of continued anti-gay discrimination. House leaders intervened to protect the “right” to discriminate legally against gay people, just as Russell and his colleagues fought in 1964 to preserve their “natural right” to discriminate on the basis of race. They voted to allow gay Georgians to be fired because they are gay; they voted to allow them to be barred from service at restaurants or hotels because they are gay.

In an effort to demonstrate that the lessons of 50 years ago have been learned, Georgia legislators are instead proving the opposite.

 

 

 

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1207 comments
Winston Davidson
Winston Davidson

I know a few Atlantans who may be in this crowd waving rainbow flags...

foo2u
foo2u

Boomy melt down... Too phun-knee...

What did someone call him out for focusing on single data points on a graph? Or did someone point out his sampling range included data from something else as he was trying to do some schoolin ?

Like playing chess with a pigeon...

Too got dang phun-knee...

Derp...

Gmare
Gmare

Just a heads up: she prefers to be called Mary Elizabeth.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Gmare 

Actually, Gmare, to be called "Mary" is fine with me.

I understand that "Mary" is quicker and easier to type than "Mary Elizabeth."  I simply prefer an actual name to an abbreviation such as "ME," which has connotations of my spirit which are not true, imho.

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

Quit holding out on us, Hedley. Prove to us where Reagan had a slush fund. Still waiting on your proof. All I got on my end is the FACT that the special prosecutor cleared Reagan. Facts are such pesky things to the progs. 

Gmare
Gmare

Oh, lighten up, Dooms. :)

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

@Gmare


I was just toying with him. He didn't have to stick with his completely BS position, though. 


All he had to do was admit that he misspoke or exaggerated or was just plain wrong. Instead he just dug his heels in and continued with a completely indefensible assertion. 


When you try claiming something is true when its plainly proven to be not true you should immediately stop digging. 


Hopefully, he learned a lesson tonight. You don't spit into the wind, you don't tug on superman's cape, and you dang sure don't take on the Doom with no ammo. 

Gmare
Gmare

Ah, Dooms, you are hopeless. Good thing you like dogs & make me laugh sometimes. :)

foo2u
foo2u

Cleared from prosecution does not mean cleared from wrongdoing ...

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

@Hedley_Lammar @Doom Classical liberal


How can you embarrass me if you have no proof of your assertion that Reagan had his own slush fund? Not my problem you have zero proof while I provided factual evidence that Reagan was cleared by the special prosecutor. Why did you make me have to make you look like such a fool? Why?

JeepDrv
JeepDrv

Hey Folks, I'm out!  Have a great evening and I'll read, like and comment when I can!  I appreciate you all and the entertaining debate.  :) 

Gmare
Gmare

Welcome Sgt. Ma'am. We needed more women on this blog!

gotalife
gotalife

Politics and business as usual are facing a very angry electorate especially the younger generation.


Killing the American dream was the tipping point.


As it should be. I love it.

jezel
jezel

@gotalife " Killing the American dream was the tipping point "......probably the most accurate description of what is happening in our country today. It is worth repeating over and over.

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

Come on, boy. I read the whole article and the name Reagan wasn't even mentioned one time. I'll have to reread to make sure but I didn't even see his name mentioned. Come on, boy. Prove to me where Reagan himself knew and had his own slush fund and bank account. Prove it!


"The documents reflect transactions involving bank accounts linked to 20 companies and individuals, including Colonel North, the former White House aide; Richard V. Secord, a retired Air Force major general; Albert Hakim, an Iranian-American businessman, and Manucher Ghorbanifar, an Iranian middleman in the arms sale."


Where's Reagan's name? Oh. It's not in there. LOL! 

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

@Hedley_Lammar @Doom Classical liberal



Aaaaah. The time honored prog tactic of desperately claiming victory or meltdown when you can't prove your point. Too funny! 


Still waiting for you to prove that Reagan himself had a slush fund per your assertion. Still waiting...

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

@Hedley_Lammar @Doom Classical liberal


I understand perfectly well that Reagan was never implicated. That is what is called a FACT. Do you have a FACT proving that he knew what was going on? Well, of course you don't. Of course not. Cause we all know you're full of it. 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

http://www.nytimes.com/1987/11/04/world/swiss-bank-records-in-iran-contra-case-are-released-to-us.html


The documents reflect transactions involving bank accounts linked to 20 companies and individuals, including Colonel North, the former White House aide; Richard V. Secord, a retired Air Force major general; Albert Hakim, an Iranian-American businessman, and Manucher Ghorbanifar, an Iranian middleman in the arms sale.


All one big coincidence I guess ?


LOL


I warned you about the horns boy

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

@Hedley_Lammar


You haven't proven Reagan was involved.  We know about Ollie North and the others. 


Go ahead Hedley. Prove where Reagan knew of this and was involved. Prove that he knew, Hedley. Come on. Prove it. 

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

@Hedley_Lammar @Doom Classical liberal


The only thing I learned is that you're full of it and can't back up your complete BS. Come on, boy. Show me where Reagan had his own slush fund/bank account. Prove it, boy. His name isn't even mentioned in your article. LOL!

rimsky
rimsky

@Doom Classical liberal @Hedley_Lammar Can you prove Reagan was not involved?  Either way no one can.  But the under hand dealings makes Hedley/s statement believable.

I also remember hearing Reagan's people asked the Iranians not to release the hostages before the 80 election.  That was very under handed.

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

@Hedley_Lammar @Doom Classical liberal @rimsky


Why feel sorry for me. I'm not the one who made up a completely BS assertion and then couldn't back it up. 


By the way you do know that Special prosecutor Walsh cleared both Reagan and Bush of any criminal wrongdoing. You do know this as FACT, yes?


You can throw out all the BS you want, boy. But it's an historical fact that special prosecutor Walsh cleared Reagan of criminal wrongdoing. FACT. 


Where's you proof? LOLOL!