This week is an annual celebration for the Atlanta LGBT community. Commonly called Pride week, the week is marked with a festival in the park, a parade, religious services, memorials to AIDS victims, and fellowship between friends.
Georgia remains one of the states providing no basic protections for the LGBT individual. We can be fired from work, discriminated in housing, and denied basic benefits due only to our sexual orientation. In 2004, the state passed a constitutional amendment prohibiting any recognition of same-sex couples, including civil unions and domestic partnerships. While Georgia has one of the largest LGBT populations in the US, our basic rights lag at the bottom with a few other states.
While we could dwell on the negative, we must also look at the LGBT journey of the Democratic Party of Georgia over the last six years.
- Formation of the LGBT Caucus. The Caucus has laid the footprint for other caucuses and remains the most active caucus with over six hundred members.
- We have doubled the number of LGBT State Committee members.
- We have had LGBT community members serve openly on the state Executive Committee and Executive Committees of urban and rural county parties.
- Georgia Democratic elected officials have passionately fought for our rights and the number of LGBT members in elected positions continues to grow.
- The Georgia delegation to the Democratic National Convention voted unanimously for approval of the marriage equality plank in the party platform.
While we look at the work within our community, our thanks during this time of celebration go to our allies and friends. Your recognition that LGBT issues touch your families, neighbors, co-workers, and friends, and your unconditional fight for our rights, make this journey a winning one for all of Georgia. We, as Democrats, work as family to make Georgia a home for all.
We invite all Democrats and friends to join us in this week of Pride on Sunday and walk with the LGBT Caucus and Obama For America in the Pride Parade. Step off is at 1 PM starting at the Marta Civic Center station. Your support sends the message clearly that prejudice and hate will not be tolerated.
On behalf of the LGBT Caucus officers and members, we thank you for your support- not just during this week of Pride celebration- but 365 days a year.
Chairperson LGBT Caucus Georgia Democrats