SUPPORT THE "WHY MARRIAGE MATTERS" CAMPAIGN
Over the past several months, at events, town hall meetings, emails, social networking and community rallies, Georgia Equality has been talking with you about building the movement we all deserve in our home state of Georgia. As part of these efforts, we are partnering with our friends at Freedom to Marry to launch the Why Marriage Matters Georgia Campaign.
A recent poll conducted by the Atlanta Journal Constitution showed that support for same-sex marriage in Georgia is growing. The poll found that 48 percent of residents favor gay marriage and 43 percent oppose it (9 percent didn't know or didn't answer).
While this is encouraging, we have a lot of work to do to make marriage equality a reality. A vote of at least 60 percent of the state’s electorate would be needed to repeal the ban, which is why Georgia Equality is not yet committed to going back to the ballot to repeal the Amendment. Every successful marriage equality push began with shifting public opinion, and that’s the heart of the Why Marriage Matters Georgia Campaign. It will take you staying informed, volunteering your time, investing your money, voting in every election, and writing and calling your lawmakers.
We need to raise 50K to launch this campaign. This may sound like a lot, but every state that has won the freedom to marry at the ballot has had a campaign budget of 5 to 10 million dollars. Our national partners at Freedom to Marry can offer helpful resources and support, but no one currently has data on Georgia. The funds raised for the campaign will be used to conduct targeted polling to determine why the numbers have changed so rapidly, to develop strategic and effective messaging, to develop educational materials for the public and to conduct outreach to communities of faith.
The success of this campaign will depend on you being informed and engaged. As part of these efforts, we have launched the Why Marriage Matters Georgia facebook page. This is a great way for you to stay plugged in to the marriage equality conversation, learn about what others are doing to help build the movement and how you can help!
Join the conversation and like us at https://www.facebook.com/MarriageMattersGeorgia
Help build a vibrant and effective infrastructure - MAKE A DONATION TODAY
Georgia Fair Employment Practices Act
In the 2014 legislative session we will be working to pass the Fair Employment Practices Act (FEPA). This legislation, first introduced in 2011, would amend state labor laws to add safeguards from discrimination in public employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity. FEPA is cosponsored by a total of 67 members of the House of Representatives, including 55 Democrats, 11 Republicans and 1 Independent. All 174,000 employees working for the State of Georgia would be protected from discriminatory hiring and firing practices. If the legislation passes, Georgia would join twenty-four states and the District of Columbia that offer similar protections for public employees.
“Georgia state law currently provides no protections for LGBT people, resulting in unfair treatment and many costly lawsuits. The victorious case of transgender woman Vandy Beth Glenn who was wrongfully fired from her job at the Capitol is one example for the need for legislation to prevent these cases from coming up in the first place,” stated Georgia Equality executive director, Jeff Graham. Graham added, “While this legislation does not address private employment in Georgia, it would provide clear instructions to agencies, supervisors and employees to prevent discrimination in public employment and set the tone for the rest of the state’s business sector.”
Join The Campaign For Safe Schools
Including the words "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" in anti-bullying policies can mean the difference between a teacher intervening when anti-gay taunts are thrown around, or looking the other way to protect their job. It means the difference between a youth feeling safe enough to come out of the closet or waiting for years until "it gets better". It means the difference between a student reporting harassment or keeping it to themselves because they fear nothing will be done.
Because of the hard work and dedication of students, parents, school officials and advocacy, today 38% of public school students in Georgia are now covered with anti-bullying policies that include gender identity and 54% of students covered with policies that include sexual orientation. However, much more work needs to be done for us to ensure that 100% of students are fully protected.
Join the Campaign for Safe Schools in Georgia TODAY
Is Your Family Protected? Download These Important Documents
Same-sex couples can’t marry in Georgia….yet, but until then there are ways to protect your family. In 2007 Georgia Equality led the campaign which resulted in the passage of the Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare (click link to download form), a state law securing the right of same-sex partners to ride in ambulances and have hospital visitation, among other protections. These documents are simple, short and easy to understand. Protect your family by downloading and signing them today!
Here’s what the document does:
PART ONE—Health Care Agent. This part allows you to choose someone to make health care decisions for you when you cannot (or do not want to) make health care decisions for yourself.
PART TWO—Treatment Preferences. This part allows you to state your treatment preferences if you have a terminal condition or if you are in a state of permanent unconsciousness. You should talk to your family and others close to you about your treatment preferences.