‘Religious liberties’ bill renews a recurring Georgia debate

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ATLANTA (AP) | A ‘religious liberties’ bill that aims to add greater protections for personal beliefs has renewed a recurring debate in Georgia about discrimination and religious freedom.

Republican state Sen. Marty Harbin of Tyrone said Feb. 28 his proposal was drafted to mirror the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed by Congress in 1993 and signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

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The Tender Activist: Your gay dollars

By : Scottie Campbell
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I’m a fan of Killer Mike.

I can neither confirm nor deny if I have ever heard Run The Jewels, the Grammy-nominated hip hop duo of which he is one half, though considering the number of things I’ve watched by and about him, I probably have.

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Steven Robert Mayer and Luis Oviedo Valverde

By : Aaron Drake
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Steven Robert Mayer and Luis Oviedo Valverde met through Facebook in December of 2017. The two met in person on New Year’s Day of this year in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

“After one month chatting by Facebook and video call,[Steven] drove 5 hours on New Year’s Eve into Hilton Head Island and arrived at 9 a.m.,” Oviedo shares. “It was a big surprise for me.”

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Rivals for Georgia governor clash on ‘religious freedom’ law

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) | The rivals campaigning to become Georgia’s next governor clashed September 21 over whether the state needs a law offering protection for citizens acting on religious belief — an issue the outgoing Republican governor shot down amid an outcry from business leaders who joined gay rights groups in arguing it would legalize discrimination.

Democrat Stacey Abrams told an economic developers conference she opposes any form of so-called “religious freedom” law, saying the threat of employers boycotting Georgia is so real that “even the mere conversation is now toxic.”

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Hate crime bill filed prior to Georgia legislative session

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ATLANTA (AP) — A Georgia state lawmaker has proposed hate crime legislation, saying it’s time for the state to impose harsher penalties on people convicted of crimes motivated by hate.

Rep. Meagan Hanson, an Atlanta-area Republican, pre-filed the legislation ahead of the upcoming session of the Georgia General Assembly, which begins Monday.

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Violence against transgender people rising in Georgia and US

By : Wire Report
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(Image from Candace Towns’ Facebook.)

ATLANTA (AP) – Candace Towns was found dead in Macon between two neglected houses on Halloween. Towns, 30, was last seen on surveillance video of a gas station near the Roadway Inn where she was living. She had been shot and abandoned. A human rights group says Towns was the fourth reported transgender person killed in Georgia this year, and 25th nationwide.

Violence against transgender people is at an all-time high, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

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Eight arrests at Georgia demonstration over player’s gay rights armband

By : Wire Report
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Guram Kashia

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) – Eight people were arrested in Georgia during a far-right protest to demand a soccer player be kicked off the national team because he supported gay rights.

The nationalist Georgian March group wanted defender Guram Kashia punished for wearing a rainbow armband while captaining Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem earlier this month, as part of a broader initiative in the Netherlands for the country’s “Coming Out Day.”

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Georgia Rep. Price says HIV comments taken out of context

By : Wire Report
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ATLANTA (AP) – Georgia Rep. Betty Price says her comments on people with HIV that ignited a national firestorm were “taken completely out of context.”

Price, the wife of former U.S. Health Secretary Tom Price, was in a legislative committee meeting Tuesday when she asked a state health official whether people with HIV could legally be quarantined.

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Savannah’s first LGBT center opens doors with block party

By : Wire Report
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) – An advocacy group in Savannah has opened the first LGBT community center in Georgia’s oldest city.

The First City Network is a nonprofit organization serving Savannah’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents. The group opened the doors of its new community center to the public with a block party in the evening July 13.

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What other states could be problematic for NCAA?

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Now that North Carolina has lost its NCAA and Atlantic Coast Conference championship events for this year, some other states face potential challenges in the organization’s fight for discrimination-free environments.

The NCAA this week took the unprecedented step of pulling seven championship events from the state over its objection to a law that can allow discrimination against LGBT people. Two days later, the ACC did the same thing – relocating all 10 of its neutral-site championships from the state the conference has called home since its founding in 1953.

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LGBT rights group appeals denial of transgender name change

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ATLANTA (AP) – An LGBT rights group is asking an appeals court to step in after a Georgia judge declined a legal name change for a second transgender man.

Lambda Legal says it filed an appeal Sept. 8 of a June order by Columbia County Superior Court Judge J. David Roper rejecting a petition from the 21-year-old transgender man seeking to legally change his name to Andrew Baumert.

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FBI won’t pursue hate crime charges in scalding assault on gay couple

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ATLANTA (AP) – The FBI has decided not to pursue hate crime charges against a Georgia man found guilty of throwing scalding water on a sleeping gay couple.

Martin Blackwell was sentenced to 40 years in prison this week for aggravated assault and aggravated battery.

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