Earlier today, LGBTQ legislators held a press conference at the State Capitol to call out Gov. Brian Kemp and Georgia Republicans’ threat to marriage equality. State Rep. Karla Drenner, State Sen. Kim Jackson, and State Rep. Sam Park spoke about Kemp’s extreme support for dismantling marriage equality and how Kemp and Republicans have taken actions to roll back and attack Georgians’ rights.
The press conference came after Kemp said last week that he believes “marriage is between a man and a woman” and echoed comments from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas that the issue of marriage equality “will be something that the [US Supreme] court will have to take up.” After Roe v. Wade was overturned, Thomas wrote that the Supreme Court should reconsider “all of this court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence and Obergefell.” Last week, Stacey Abrams said as governor, she would “champion protecting these basic rights and codify marriage equality into our state’s laws.”
“Kemp and Republicans have demonstrated in word and deed that they are a clear and present danger to the life, liberty, and rights of women, people of color, and minorities, including members of our LGBTQ family. The governor said that he believes ‘marriage is between a man and a woman,’ while also echoing comments from Justice Clarence Thomas, saying the issue of marriage equality is something the Supreme Court must decide,” asserted State Rep. Sam Park. “In the State Senate, Kemp voted for a constitutional amendment that would treat myself and hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ Georgians as second-class citizens and ban same sex marriage. When Roe v. Wade fell, Kemp wasted no time, moving on that same day to impose his extreme abortion ban — he’ll do the same if the Supreme Court takes action to overturn marriage equality.”
“I have participated and witnessed every anti-gay measure over two decades. None of them compare to the fight in 2004 over same sex marriage. It’s important for the members of the LGBTQ+ community that’s listening, that we must continue to believe that equality is our right, that justice is for us, as well as those who were denied that, and that freedom is more important than giving up and being temporarily relieved of the burden of the struggle. The Supreme Court did not settle the issue of same sex marriage — the Supreme Court cannot settle the issue of acceptance in our society today,” shared State Rep. Karla Drenner. “What settles the issue of acceptance in my mind is that every gay person in Georgia needs to come out and vote — vote for the one person that we know would not roll back marriage equality, that does not make us feel like we’re not part of Georgia.”
“When was I ordained some ten years ago, the very first same sex marriage that I officiated was officiated behind closed, locked doors under the veil of secrecy. At the time, the state of Georgia and the Episcopal Church did not believe that same sex couples should have access to marriage. I am happy to say that some five years later, the Episcopal Church made a different decision having received new information, having developed relationships with members of the LGBTQ community, after prayer and continuous study of sacred scriptures. The Episcopal Church – Brian Kemp’s church — changed their mind and allow me to go forward as an Episcopal priest in order for me to be able to marry my own wife and then to also to be able to officiate same sex weddings out in the open with the church and God’s affirmation,” said State Sen. Kim Jackson, an Episcopal priest. “Brian Kemp has chosen not to take that same information — he has chosen to ignore the ways in which both the church has evolved, and the very people of Georgia have evolved. Now, Brian Kemp has been clear that it is his personal belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman. What we know is that when Brian Kemp has personal beliefs, he imposes those into law. It is his personal belief that abortion should not be accessible to those who can become pregnant, therefore, we have a ban here in Georgia.”