How You Can Fight Georgia’s Homophobic First Amendment Defense Act

The measure, which would legalize discrimination against LGBT people and others, is just the governor's signature away from becoming law.

This month, anti-LGBT measures are working their into law across the country. In North Carolina, a measure banning any city from passing laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination was passed faster than you can read this article.

And in Georgia, HB 757, a.k.a. the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), would legalize discrimination in the workplace, housing, business and elsewhere. It’s been approved by the state Senate, with only Governor Nathan Deal’s signature keeping it from becoming law.

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Georgia Unites/Facebook

Fighting against such heinous legislation can feel like an impossible task—our opponents are organized and passionate—but we can all do our part to preserve equality. Governor Deal has until May 3 to veto HB 757—and until he does we have to keep the pressure on full blast.

Below, we’re sharing five ways you can get involved in the fight against FADA.

  1. Get educated

    Staying informed is essential—so get the facts and latest news on HB 757 and other anti-LGBT bills across the country. Both GLAAD and Georgia Unites Against Discrimination are great resources, and we’ll continue to bring you updates here on NewNowNext.

  2. Get talking

    Teen Son talking to his father at home

    Everyday people can affect change: Do you have friends or relatives in Georgia—do they know what’s going on?

    Are you part of an organization or church with ties to the state? Share the facts with your pastor. Allies can come from any corner.

    “We are committed to not forcing citizens to violate religious beliefs, but also don’t want my gay brother to be denied service,” says Republican state representative, who opposes HB 757.

  3. Get online

    takei hashtag

    Share information and articles about homophobic measures like HB 757 on social media, using hashtags like #NoHateInMyState. If enough people do, they’ll trend on Twitter, bringing awareness to people around the country and the world.

    “The longer we keep the Governor in the national limelight, the better our chances are at defeating Georgia’s heinous License to Discriminate bill,” says Georgia Unites Against Discrimination’s Hope Jackson.

    You can sign (and share) petitions from Georgia Unites and GLAAD, and even share your own story.

  4. Get spending

    USA, Georgia, Atlanta, Elevated view over Downtown and Centennial Olympic Park

    Corporations are letting politicians know they won’t stand for discrimination: Disney and Marvel says they will cease production in Georgia if HB 757 passes.

    “Nobody wants a discrimination law in America today,” says SalesForce CEO Marc Benioff who has also threatened to boycott The Peach State. “But there are still bigots out there fighting for people to be discriminated against.”

    Does you employer do business in Georgia—Have they taken a stand on FADA? Where are you’re planning your next vacation? Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in Georgia, and if Governor Deal thinks that will be jeopardized by FADA, he’ll be less inclined to sign it.

  5. Get on your feet

    georgia rally

    Georgia Unites Against Discrimination is planning a rally on Atlanta’s Liberty Plaza on Tuesday, April 5, at noon.

    “We’ve got to make this the biggest rally yet to drive home the message that state-sanctioned discrimination is NOT welcome in Georgia,” says Jackson. “We want the image of hundreds of Georgians marching on the Capitol to be beaming through every computer screen and TV set in America.”

    You can RSVP to the demonstration here.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.