Post submitted by Malik Brown, HRC Co-Chair, Atlanta Membership Outreach & Community Events
Earlier this year in Georgia, the LGBTQ and allied community celebrated when Governor Nathan Deal vetoed the so-called “First Amendment Defense Act” (HB757). HB757, a deeply discriminatory bill that the state legislature passed, would have weakened local non-discrimination protections, allowed businesses to discriminate and deny service to LGBT people, and explicitly empowered discrimination by taxpayer-funded religious organizations.
After the Georgia legislature shamefully passed HB757, the Georgia Unites Against Discrimination coalition immediately sprang into action and received more than 70,000 signatures to petition Governor Nathan Deal to veto the bill. HRC President Chad Griffin joined Georgia Equality Executive Director Jeff Graham and hundreds of others to personally deliver the petitions to Governor Deal’s office. The massive backlash echoed across the country as sparked a broad array of civil rights groups, leaders in Hollywood and corporate America spoke out against the bill.
Days later, Governor Deal vetoed HB 757 because he believed the bill “doesn’t reflect Georgia” — and I wholeheartedly agree.
As a volunteer member of the HRC Atlanta Steering Committee, I am excited to continue celebrating this historic victory on Saturday, July 23, at HRC Atlanta’s inaugural tennis social - Serving for Equality! Players of all skill levels are welcome to participate in this fun doubles event. Spectators are also welcome to come watch their friends serve aces for equality. All guests will enjoy a DJ, food, specialty cocktails, a silent auction, and a photo booth. Each ticket purchased supports HRC’s mission of full LGBTQ equality. More information can be found at hrc.org/sfeatlanta.