Southern Voice rates Georgia's best and worst in Congress on LGBT issues. Civil rights icon and Congressman John Lewis is considered Georgia’s "strongest ally for gay rights"—boasting a 100 score from the Human Rights Campaign and called a "lion and a legend" by HRC President Joe Solmonese. Lewis is closely followed by Rep. Hank Johnson with a 95 score.
Both have co-sponsored a series of gay rights bills. Lewis and Johnson both are co-sponsors of the Employment
Non-Discrimination Act; Lewis has spoken out numerous times in favor of
gay marriage and has appeared at many Atlanta Pride events.
Lewis’ district encompasses most of Atlanta, Johnson’s district includes much of DeKalb County, and both are considered two of the most solid Democratic districts in the country. As the Congressional districts move out from I-285, support for gay issues drop significantly.
Also worth noting: Lewis and Johnson's district's have the largest percentage of black voters in the state, a demographic pattern also seen in many of the pro-gay congressional districts across the Deep South.
Lewis—who has previously said "gay marriage is not a threat to heterosexual marriage"—has slammed anti-gay pastors in the black church and so-called "civil rights leaders" who say gay rights are not civil rights. Lewis told NPR's Terry Gross last winter: "I fought too hard and for too long against discrimination based on race and color, not to stand up against discrimination based on sexual orientation."
Rep. Paul Broun (R-Athens) comes in at the bottom of the list for his proposed anti-gay legislation and has been called "clearly one of the most vocal" anti-gay foes in Congress. Broun has a 0 score from HRC.
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