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"You should be here right now, you helped make this happen and you're part of it." 
26th-Feb-2004 10:19 pm
I just got off the phone with a very excited Allen Thornell, executive director of Georgia Equality. I had to, I was to excited not to and I wanted to share in this moment with him. He was very happy that I called! Wherever he was, there was a lot of hooting and hollering going on in the background. He's just as excited as we are, and said to tell all of the people he met at the meeting hello and thanks for the support. He said that this thing WILL go through reconsideration, that the sponsors are definitely going to be asking for it. So that's going to happen sometime around next week, maybe Monday or Wednesday possibly in the House Rules Committee. I told him that we all loved him and that we would never forget the work he had done to make this happen.

For the people here in Columbus, call your State Representatives and voice your opposition to SR 595 and explain why you think this proposed amendment is so damaging to every citizen in Georgia. For us here in Columbus, they are:

  • Carolyn Hughley:

    Capitol Email Address:
    Capitol Web Address:
    http://www.legis.state.ga.us/c ...
    Capitol Address
    614 Legislative Office Building
    Atlanta, GA 30334
    Phone: 404-656-3947

    District Address - Columbus
    4019 Steam Mill Road
    Columbus, GA 31907
    Phone: 706-687-4327
    Fax: 706-687-5582

  • Debbi Buckner

    Capitol Web Address:
    http://www.legis.state.ga.us/c ...

    Capitol Address
    511 Legislative Office Building
    Atlanta, GA 30334
    Phone: 404-656-6372
    Fax: 404-651-8086

    District Address - Junction City
    Route 1 Box 76
    Junction City, GA 31812
    Phone: 706-269-3630

  • For everyone else in the state, go to vote-smart.org, type in your zip code, and find out who you need to call and/or fax - and then do it.

I'm going to get in contact with Rabbi Tom Freidman and ask him to write a letter opposing the amendment and send it to Allen. If anyone knows of any church leaders, pastors, or congregants that would be willing to do the same, PLEASE let me know and try to get that ball rolling ASAP.

This is a big step in the right direction for us, and I personally feel very accomplished for making all of the calls, faxes, and emails to countless senators and representatives these past two weeks. I feel like a lot of energy has paid off, and though I know there is more to come, I feel good about where we are right now. This sets a precedent to all other states that Georgia, the buckle of the Bible belt, is not in favor of discriminating politicians.
26th-Feb-2004 07:45 pm (UTC)
I am so happy for you. Next step: OHIO! Wow. I wish I could celebrate with you guys.
(Deleted comment)
27th-Feb-2004 05:34 am (UTC)
Did you call Brad yet?
(Deleted comment)
27th-Feb-2004 09:31 am (UTC)
I understand. And I expected that reaction, which is why we told Allen that we'd need to talk to you first before we gave him your contact info. You know, protection of privacy and all.

27th-Feb-2004 10:09 am (UTC) - First things first...
In the meeting with Allen, we were asked why we were there. I gave a few different reasons, but the main one was your story. Afterward, when most everyone was already gone, he asked me if you'd consider giving your story on the floor. I told him that I would talk to you first, but that I would make no promises at all.

Yes, this issue is very important to me, and yes, I would be thrilled if you would consider doing this. That all having been said, I want you to know something before I go any further.

Justin, you're my friend FIRST - and all of this other stuff, while also important, doesn't take precedent over that fact. I care more that you're happy and safe and secure and that you have your privacy and peace of mind intact. That's what I want for ALL of us. That is, at least in part, why I'm on this crusade. Make no mistake, for as highly as I value this work we're all putting in here and the push it takes to affect change, if you told me flat out "No", I wouldn't think any less of you, I wouldn't lose one iota of the respect I have for you, and I wouldn't be disappointed in the least. I have no right to ask this of you in the first place, considering the gravity of the situation, and it would be terribly presumptuous of me to think or even hope you would agree - so I don't have any hope or expectation. I would like to speak with you about this on the phone, but I'm not going to try and strongarm you or try and influence you in your own choice. I'm your friend, it is my job to care for you and support the decisions you make in your own best interests, and I'm totally ready to do that.

I want you to understand that I have to ask, knowing that the odds of your answer are 50/50 - and that's fine. I have no agenda, I want nothing from you - I just had to offer this to you and see if it is something you are interested in doing - but I absolutely accept that I have no moral right to even ask. I just thought that if I gave you this information, it would be your decision to accept or decline and you have 100% support from me on either decision you make. I hope you believe that and hope that I'm not upsetting you or undermining our friendship by bringing this up to begin with. I just can't see making the choice for you to shield you from this opportunity without telling you about it first. That's what I would hope my friends would do for me were it me in the same situation. I'd be upset knowing I had the choice but someone else made the decision for me - but that's me imparting my own opinion. Take it as you will.

There isn't a single man on earth I respect or admire more than you, whether or not you think you deserve that is irrelevant. I think you're a wonderful man and a good friend, and I'll think that until or unless you give me a reason to think otherwise. Just know that this issue is exempt and will not affect anything between us one way or the other.

If you can, give me a call at home this afternoon or this evening. If you don't have my number, let me know.

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