Atlanta Stonewall Democrats today threw their support behind Kasim Reed in the race for mayor, indicating a splintering – if not a split – in the contest for the gay and lesbian vote.
Earlier this month, Georgia Equality endorsed Lisa Borders for mayor.
Tim Cairl, a member of Stonewall’s board of directors, conceded that Georgia Equality is the larger group. Stonewall has 1,900 members, while Georgia Equality claims 17,000 statewide.
But Stonewall is made up of political activists, and that could make a difference.
Read the entire endorsement here. But this is the gist:
Kasim Reed has spent the last 11 years representing Atlanta in both houses of the Georgia General Assembly. During that time in office, he has a 100% voting record from Georgia Equality and other LGBT-advocacy organizations.
He has delivered concrete results and advanced progressive policies to level the playing field and give more protections to the LGBT community. As a State Representative, he was the chief House sponsor for Georgia’s Hate Crimes Bill that included protections for LGBT individuals, and fought to keep those protections over the objections of a number of Republican and Democratic legislators.
He secured state funding for an LGBT tourism study for the City of Atlanta, and feels that Atlanta needs to invest in more aggressive marketing to solidify Atlanta’s standing as an LGBT destination in light of strong competition from other cities.
As stated before, Reed – unlike Borders or Mary Norwood – has expressed a religious objection to gay marriage. Say the Stonewall Democrats:
We are aware that Kasim has stated his support of civil unions with full benefits, however, Kasim has proven his commitment to full legal equality for same sex couples when he led the effort in the State Senate against the Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage.
He has also been a key ally working with Rep. Karla Drenner to stop attempts to ban gay adoption in Georgia. During the last legislative session, he sponsored and passed legislation that now requires Georgia to test prisoners exiting the state’s penal system for HIV/AIDS and to provide counseling.
This will help prisoners know their health status and seek the help they need before they are released. Kasim’s statement on the Eagle raid made clear that he would not tolerate a police department that violates the civil rights of any citizen.
Read Georgia Equality’s endorsement of Borders by clicking here.
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