Tag Archives: georgia

Georgia Governor Vetoes Anti-LGBT Bill, and a North Carolina Update

In news today, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has vetoed the anti-LGBT rights bill passed by the Georgia legislature. The bill, known as House Bill 757, would have exempted anyone claiming to be a “faith-based organization” from complying with any hiring, state labor practice, public service, or other laws which cover those who serve the public. In other words, it would allow groups to discriminate against an LGBT person based upon any allegation that it violates their organized “religious belief.”

The reason for the veto was money, pure and simple – an unprecedented number of companies, sports teams, and professional organizations came out against this bill, threatening to take their business elsewhere, or even move their entire company out of state. Sources close to the Governor are alleging (with no confirmation, mind you), that the most worrisome threat was that from the National Football League, which threatened to disallow Atlanta from hosting a future Super Bowl should the law be passed (one wishes that they had said the same about North Carolina’s bill, but then that bill was ram-rodded through their legislature in an unprecedented 3 hours from start to finish).

Republicans have threatened a special session to over-ride the Governor’s veto, and there is no information at this time as to how serious or possible such an attempt may be.

In related news, two transgender men, a lesbian woman, the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, and Equality North Carolina have filed a lawsuit in Federal Court, seeking to overturn the state’s disastrous anti-transgender legislation which was passed last Thursday. In response to the lawsuit, North Carolina Republicans are doubling down, releasing a “frequently asked questions” about the new law which has been proven to be deceptive and misleading – a scary thing, coming from the Governor’s office – claiming that the entire purpose of the law was to prevent men from using women’s facilities.

This lawsuit has significant potential to impact the transgender community nationwide. It is very likely that unless one side relents, the case will reach the United States Supreme Court, where at this time it is uncertain whether it would be upheld or thrown out – and on what possible grounds. The Supreme Court has never ruled on the subject matter of whether transgender discrimination is sex discrimination, and transgender-rights observers are nervous about what sort of precedent could be set should a “conservative flu” be contracted by the Court on this issue.

There are some nail-biting times ahead, folks.

UPDATE: Suspect in Atlanta Transgender Beating Invokes ‘Trans Panic’ Defense

I first reported on this outrage a couple of days ago. The short story – two transgender women on the Atlanta, Georgia MARTA train were attacked and assaulted, with at least one of them stripped naked – all while the crowd applauded or stood by and watched.

Well, two of the animals who attached the women have been arrested, and one of them has decided to double down by using a “trans panic defense.” Not too far removed from the legendary Chewbacca Defense, the suspect alleges:

“These guys, they came on to me,” Thomas said in the interview. “Even the one that looked exactly like a female said she like guys with dreads. He’s calling me the ‘n word’ and then saying, ‘y’all better get him.’ [They were] getting closer and closer.”

At that point in the incident, Thomas acknowledged that he escalated the altercation, kicking one of the women in the stomach, later punching her in the face.

“I hate that it did happen,” says Thomas. “I hate that I lost my temper. If I could do it all over again, I probably would have moved to another car or got off the train or something.”

Shame that since he is only being charged with a misdemeanor, so he can’t wait for the next train from prison.

WATCH: Suspect in Atlanta Beating Invokes ‘Trans Panic’ Defense | Advocate.com.

MARTA Police Arrest Suspects Allegedly Involved in Trans Bias Attack

As I reported on 29 May, two transgender women were assaulted and one was stripped naked while on a MARTA train in Atlanta, Georgia. At the time they received no help from the police officer on the scene, but now I can report that two suspects have been arrested, and have been charged with disorderly conduct. One wonders how attacking a woman on a train and stripping her in front of the other passengers doesn’t rate higher than “disorderly conduct,” but then charges are often added later as prosecutors learn more during the investigation process.

If these two are in fact guilty of the accusation, let’s hope that they receive strong and certain justice.

MARTA Police Arrest Suspects Allegedly Involved in Trans Bias Attack :: EDGE Provincetown.

Trans Women Assaulted on Train, One Stripped, Passengers Cheer

What words can even describe something like this? Is it possible to understand the people who sat by and cheered, even took videos on their phone? And the animals who perpetrated the assault – how can we even call them human beings?

The title tells the gist of the story – two transgender women were assaulted and one was stripped naked while on a MARTA train in Atlanta, Georgia. And they received no help from the police officer on the scene – why does that man still have a job?

I really wish I wouldn’t have to call attention to these sorts of outrages, that they would eventually fall behind us on the road to equality. Sadly, that day is far in our future.

Trans Women Assaulted on Train, One Stripped, Passengers Cheer.

Southern Comfort, Exploring Transgender Lifestyles


A play which makes me wonder about its intent. The article contains the following:

A musical with a folk/bluegrass score, Southern Comfort, according to BSC, “is a true story based on Kate Davis’ 2001 Sundance Award-winning documentary about transgender friends in rural Georgia. Winner of the Jonathan Larson Award, Southern Comfort is the story of male transgendered Robert Eads (O’Toole) and his trans girlfriend Lola Cola (McCarthy) as they navigate life and its challenges in the back hills of ‘Bubba Land’ Georgia. A celebration of a uniquely American family living life openly, honestly and courageously in the community they have grown to love.”

Southern Comfort, Exploring Transgender Lifestyles, Begins July 19 at Barrington; Annette O’Toole and Jeff McCarthy Star – Playbill.com.