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   I’ve been advocating for gay rights and basic human equality for all since 1984. Even before I was in elected office, in 2004, when Georgia Republicans sponsored a statewide referendum to deny same sex couples the right to marry, I went on the record by stating that ‘history will record this bigotry toward gay Americans precisely as it has recorded the persecution of blacks, women, and Jews.’

I believe in nothing less than total equality for all Americans regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. I believe that the fight for LGBTQ rights is a battle for our civic souls and I have worked to support those rights throughout my entire adult life.

As mayor of Columbus, I was the first Mayor to officially recognize LGBTQ Pride Day, attend Pride functions, require LGBTQ sensitivity training by law enforcement, and require an LGBTQ liaison for Public Safety and for the Mayor’s Commission on Unity, Diversity and Prosperity. I took steps to ensure that the city did not discriminate in employment and city services, reported hate crimes to the FBI, treated LGBTQ people as equal citizens, and improved the city’s Human Rights Campaign score. I was one of only four mayors in Georgia who vocally supported marriage equality. And I was proud to sign my name as a legal witness for one of the first same sex marriages in Columbus, so that our citizens knew that their Mayor enthusiastically supported marriage equality.

Georgia has been slow to enact the kinds of protections that people in many states take for granted, so I understand the importance of protections on the federal level. I will always fight to ensure that all Americans enjoy equal protection and dignity under the law, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

— Teresa Tomlinson

AS THE NEXT UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM GEORGIA, I will

  • Support the Equality Act as a top legislative priority, which will amend the Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and sex-based stereotypes, in a wide variety of areas including public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, and credit.
  • Support LGBTQ representation at all levels and branches of government.
  • Support the expansion of anti-bullying programs to protect our LGBTQ youth from harassment, violence and death by suicide.
  • Support legislation to ensure that religious freedom laws are not used to discriminate against LGBTQ people.
  • Support legislation that prevents welfare service providers from discriminating based on religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.
  • Support and protect the health, safety, and civil rights of transgender Americans.
  • Support funding for healthcare, housing and other relief to improve the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS.
  • Support legislation and policies that provide social services to senior LGBTQ Americans.
  • Support legislation and policies that condemn LGBTQ human rights abuses, champion international LGBTQ rights, and provide for an asylum process for LGBTQ people who risk persecution in their home country.

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