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Most Georgians support civil rights protections for LGBT community

A large majority of Georgians (74 percent) support passing a state law to protect gay and transgender people in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodations, according to a survey conducted by the Just Win Foundation.

But the same survey shows that an equal percentage of Georgians think it’s already illegal under state law to fire, refuse to hire, deny housing or public accommodations access to a person who is gay or transgender.

HB 757 protest rally

Time to stop hateful rhetoric

By Guest Columnist SHELLEY ROSE, interim regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, Southeast Region

Like millions of Americans and people throughout the world, we are trying to come to grips with the horror and tragedy of the mass murder in Orlando. This was not just an act of terror. Nor was it simply the result of religious extremism or easy access to guns – it was fueled by hate against LGBT people.

There may be many factors that will continue surfacing in the coming weeks and months, but a central factor in this mass murder cannot be overlooked: Hateful rhetoric leads to hateful actions.

Dan Treadaway and Eric Still (center) of Atlanta married in California on Oct. 28, 2014, their 20th anniversary.

Same-sex wedding planning tricky now in Georgia

Wedding planning is never easy, and picking a date and location is particularly tricky right now for same-sex couples in Georgia, one of 14 states where gay marriage remains illegal. The closest possibility is Florida or one of the Carolinas. Alabama may be the next state to legalize. On this cusp of historic change are stakeholders like Kristen Ott Palladino, who with her wife Maria Palladino publishes Equally Wed magazine from Atlanta, and local couples like Dan Treadaway and Eric Still, who married in 2014 for romantic and legal reasons, not wanting to stay unwed any longer.

Gay marriage in Georgia? Not if, but when, forum participants say

Ten years ago, banning same-sex marriage was so in vogue that 3 of every 4 Georgia voters approved amending the state constitution so only men and women could marry each other. Last weekend, several prominent gays and lesbians spoke of how lives and society will transform when—not if—the marriage ban is overturned.

They spoke the same week that Lambda Legal, a gay rights group, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Atlanta seeking to overturn the state of Georgia’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriages. The promise of “marriage equality” drew more than 100 people to the “Beloved Community Dialogue” Saturday night at The Friends School of Atlanta, a moment that showed how far the issue has moved away from moral debate to a question of timing and expectations.