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Transgender Father On Coming Out to His Daughter and Her Unbending Acceptance Gabe Pelz ~ Atlanta, Georgia
#SaveHB159 Success: Adoption Language from Stalled HB 159 Has Been Added to Another Bill & Is Moving Again Through the Legislature March 29, 2017

There’s some good news today out of the capital for the 12,000 children in Georgia’s adoption and foster care system.

Last night, the adoption language from HB 159 was added as an amendment to another bill, meaning that much needed funding and reforms for Georgia’s currently overburdened child welfare system are back on track to pass during the current legislative session.

Meanwhile, the Senate Judiciary Committee continues to stall on the original bill because seven committee members refuse to advance a clean bill to the full Senate. Currently, HB 159 includes anti-LGBT amendments that would allow adoption agencies to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation—as well as race, ethnicity, and religion—all while receiving public funding.

However, the fact that this critical adoption language has been added to another bill means that anti-LGBT members’ cynical political ploy—playing politics with children’s lives all for the sake of advancing a license to discriminate—hasn’t worked. There is strong bipartisan support for updating Georgia’s adoption laws. The original language of HB 159 is the product of decades of work by child welfare advocates, it’s got strong endorsements from House leadership and Republican Governor Nathan Deal.

Sens. William Ligon, Josh McKoon and Greg Kirk—the lead proponents of the anti-LGBT amendments that held this bill hostage until late Tuesday night—need to take a hard look at their attempt to sabotage a good bill with anti-LGBT discrimination and reconsider whether this will be a winning legislative strategy in the future (hint: it won’t be).

Thanks to everyone who called and emailed their state senators and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee urging them to do the right thing. Even though a handful of extremist lawmakers ultimately chose not to, the strong grassroots pushback against HB 159’s anti-LGBT amendments ultimately paved the way for passage of a clean adoption bill.

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Today we thank the Macon Commissioners who voted to advance #LGBT protections—& urge a YES vote to pass them on 5/2! bit.ly/2o6Yux3 pic.twitter.com/teZCZv1edy

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