Join us for Georgia Equality’s World AIDS Day Event

World AIDS Day Exhibit tackles HIV stigma with public art, education for lawmakers, healthcare providers

December 1, 2016 – Atlanta, GA, – Georgia Equality will honor World AIDS Day this year with a provocative community art exhibit at West Midtown’s Gallery 874 on November 30th – December 1st. The exhibit, Living With, explores the life stories of 5 HIV positive young people in Georgia through a series of multi-media installations created by local artists working alongside the youth themselves. Living With is a modern interpretation of the largest piece of folk art in history: The AIDS Memorial Quilt, which will also be on display at the exhibit.

 Living With seeks to challenge the fear-based narrative about HIV that leads to stigma and discrimination for those living with the virus and deters those at risk from getting tested or even talking about risk (find more details at www.STDAware.com/test-centers/). “Artists have a long tradition of speaking loudly and bravely about HIV when no one else would,” says Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality. “This exhibit reminds us that many people are living and thriving with HIV and that stigma and discrimination can be deadlier than the virus itself.”

 

World AIDS Day- Atlanta Living With Reception

Thursday, December 1, 2016

6:00pm to 9:00pm

Gallery 874

 CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS

This private, ticketed event will commemorate World AIDS Day and raise awareness and support for Georgia Equality’s ongoing HIV advocacy. Guests will peruse the Living With exhibit, meet the artists and the youth whose stories their art depicts, and enjoy food and beverages handcrafted especially for the event from Atlanta’s top food artists. Tickets are on sale at www.GeorgiaEquality.org/HIV. Proceeds will support programs like the Georgia HIV Advocacy Network and the Youth HIV Policy Advisors Program.

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Recognizing ITLA – Congratulations in the 20th year!

In The Life Atlanta Celebrates “20 Years Strong” 

In The Life Atlanta, the official organizer of Atlanta Black Gay Pride (ABGP) has the theme this year  of “20 Years Strong,” to acknowledge its 20 years of service to the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA) community.

Georgia Equality will be participating again this year throughout the following event schedule for  September 1st& 2nd at the Center for Civil and Human Rights, 100 Ivan Allen Blvd, Atlanta 30313. Georgia Equality will also be participating in the health fair on Saturday and will table at the Pure Heat Festival on Sunday.

 

ATLANTA BLACK GAY PRIDE TOWN HALL & DISCUSSION SERIES SCHEDULE

Thursday, September 1st

 

8:30am – TOWN HALL – “A More Perfect Union – The Need for Comprehensive Civil Rights”

Moderator Leah Ward Sears – Former Ga Supreme Court Justice

10:00am – THRIVING WITH HIV – “Overcoming the Stigma that Prevents Us from Ending the Epidemic

10:00am – ORLANDO – “Lessons Learned”

 12:00pm – Women’s Empowerment Purple Ribbon Luncheon — LGBTQIA Anti-Bullying Campaign

Celebrating Audre Lorde and her contribution to women as a feminist and activist.

 

2:15pm – QUEER CONVERSATIONS

2:15pm – Domestic Violence – “Love shouldn’t hurt like this” 

 

Friday, September 2nd

8:30am – SOCIAL JUSTICE DISCUSSION – OUR LIVES MATTER

8:30am – SOCIAL JUSTICE DISCUSSION – THE INSIDE GAME

 10:00am – MEDIA & FILM: IMAGES OF A CHANGING LANDSCAPE

10:00am – THE EQUALITY MOVEMENT – Politics, Law & Race

 

11:30am – FAITH & EQUALITY DISCUSSION

 2:00pm – TRANSGENDER EMPOWERMENT

2:00pm – CAMPUS EQUALITY – Living & Learning

 3:30pm – HIV INCLUSION – In It Together

3:30pm – SPORTS & LGBTQ EQUALITY

 

To learn more information contact: www. Inthelifeatlanta.org

 

Rob Woods
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Georgia Senate advance FADA

The Senate Rules Committee advanced the so-called First Amendment Defense Act (FADA). Now, this mean-spirited bill aiming to write discrimination against same-sex couples into Georgia law moves to the Senate floor, where it could be voted on at any moment.

Media Coverage –

http://www.myajc.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/georgia-senate-panel-merges-religious-liberty-bill/nqRHm/#cfb91eee.3828699.736010

 

There’s no time to waste. Tell your Senator: No more. Reject the First Amendment Defense Act and end the onslaught of attacks on LGBT Georgians.

Bills To Watch 2016

The 2016 Georgia General Assembly has already proven to be the most anti-LGBT since 2004.

For the exact language of the bill introduced –  click the bill number for link.

Georgia Religious Exemption Bills to-date that we are concerned with –

SB 129 – Georgia RFRA Sen. McKoon (R – Columbus)

Broad language that would allow individuals and businesses to use religious views to ignore or avoid state and local laws.  Legal experts agree that this could be used as an excuse to discriminate and passage of the law may provide such an incentive, especially as it relates to the LGBT community.  Supporters tabled the bill last year when an amendment was added that stated explicitly that “Compelling government interest includes but is not limited to: protecting the welfare of a child from abuse and neglect as provided for by state law, and protecting individuals against discrimination on any grounds prohibited by federal, state and local laws.”

SB 284 – First Amendment Defense Act of GeorgiaSen. Kirk (R-  Americus)

Would allow people or businesses who believe that “marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman or that sexual relations are properly reserved  to such marriage”  to claim an exemption from having to provide services to couples.  Would specifically allow organizations to receive government grants and contracts while discriminating against same-sex and unmarried couples.

SR 388 – Georgia State Constitutional Amendment to Fund Religious Organizations Sen. Heath (R- Bremen)

Would put up for public vote a change to the state constitution to allow for direct funding to religious organizations.

HB 756 – “Discrimination Protection Act” Rep. Tanner (R – Dawsonville)

Similar to SB 284, states explicitly that no business or individual  “shall be required to sell goods or services directly to a religious organization or for a religious or matrimonial ceremony in violation of such a seller’s right to free exercise of religion”  Could be used to withhold services from same-sex or couples whose religion does not match that of the seller.  Could be interpreted to also allow people to refuse to do business with various religious organizations, churches, synagogues, mosques, etc…

HB 757 – Pastor Protection Act Rep. Tanner (R-Dawsonville)

Would affirm constitutional guarantees that no member of the clergy would have to preside over a religious marriage ceremony that they do not want to participate in.  Additional language has been added to protect companies that do not want to open on Saturdays or Sundays and to allow certain religious organizations to refuse to “rent, lease or otherwise grant permission for property to be used by another person for purposes which are objectionable to such religious organization.”

HB 816 – Student Religious Freedom Act Rep. Mitchell (D – Stone Mountain)

Reiterates into state law the legal precedent that student led prayer is acceptable.  Not as troubling as the broader RFRA or other religious exemption laws, but could be amended to broaden the language.

HB 837 – RFRARep. Setzler (R – Acworth)

House alternative to SB 129 that simply states federal RFRA will become state law. Introduced 1/25, fuller legal analysis is pending.  Troubling because language of SB 129 (or any other bill) could be used as substitute language in floor vote.  Also note the growing problems and concerns with how federal RFRA has been used and interpreted in recent years.

HB 218 – Preventing Government Overreach of Religious Expression Rep. Teasley (R – Marietta)

This is the House version of the Senate RFRA that was introduced in 2015. While the bill’s sponsor has said he will not move his bill, it is still possible for the bill to come up in committee and we are continuing to monitor it.

Nondiscrimination Bills that are positive steps – 

HB 849 – Georgia Civil Rights in Public Accommodations Act – Rep. Golick (R- Smyrna)

First attempt to pass public accommodations law in Georgia by mirroring Title II of the 1964 Federal Civil Rights Act.  Does not include sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

Georgia Equality issued the following statement on this bill:

“We’ve been working for several years now to build support for non-discrimination protections that extend to all Georgians, including those who are gay and transgender. Over the past year in particular, the broad support for that type of legislation has become increasingly clear – among conservatives, businesses, people of faith and many others.

“Rep. Golick has explicitly said that he would like to expand the classes covered by his current bill, so that the protections it offers are as inclusive as possible. This is a step in the right direction. We look forward to having discussions with Rep. Golick and other lawmakers, on both sides of the aisle, about how we can craft legislation that protects all Georgians from discrimination.”

HB 323 – Fair Employment Practices Act – Rep. Drenner (D-Avondale Estates)

Would protect state employees from discrimination in hiring, firing or promotions due to sexual orientation and gender identity.  Has strong bi-partisan support with 77 co-sponsors, including 17 Republicans.