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Task Force opposes discriminatory immigration bills in Georgia

April 7, 2011

While thousands protest anti-immigration legislation and seven undocumented students have been arrested protesting the bills working their way through the Georgia Legislature, Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey sent a letter to Gov. Nathan Deal urging him to stop the discriminatory bills from becoming law.

The trio of legislative proposals would criminalize and harm residents of Georgia by infringing on civil liberties, launching racial profiling campaigns, and instigating harassment of persons who are suspected of residing in the United States without immigration documentation. These proposals would usher in an era of social exclusion and ostracism of more than 450,000 of your residents, the vast majority of whom seek to make a better life for themselves and their families.

The Task Force produces and sponsors the National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change every year and Atlanta is currently the planned location for Creating Change 2013. However, if these discriminatory bills become law, the Task Force will be forced to reconsider the location for its conference which in 2010 generated approximately $4 million in revenue for the City of Dallas, according to the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau during our 2010 Creating Change conference in Dallas, Texas.

Call or e-mail Gov. Nathan Deal and urge him to put a stop to these discriminatory bills.
Call:  404. 656.1776
E-mail: http://gov.georgia.gov/00/gov/contact_us/0,2657,165937316_166563415,00.html

The full text of the letter is below:

April 6, 2011

Honorable Nathan Deal
The Office of the Governor State of Georgia
203 State Capitol
Atlanta, Georgia 30334

Dear Governor Deal,

I write to urge that you do all in your power to ensure that House Bill 87, Senate Bill 40, and Senate Bill 104 not become laws, either separately or wholly, in the state of Georgia.

This trio of legislative proposals will criminalize and harm residents of Georgia by infringing on civil liberties, launching racial profiling campaigns, and instigating harassment of persons who are suspected of residing in the United States without immigration documentation. These proposals, should they become the law in your state, will not improve your economic climate, will not improve education or health care delivery, and will not create jobs. Indeed, your state will usher in an era of social exclusion and ostracism of more than 450,000 of your residents, the vast majority of whom seek to make a better life for themselves and their families.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force stood with other advocacy organizations in strong opposition to Arizona’s draconian and inhumane anti-immigration law, enacted there just one year ago. Our organization joined a coalition of groups that not only publicly opposed the Arizona law, but also joined a boycott against the state of Arizona until that law is repealed, overturned by the courts, or superseded by comprehensive federal immigration reform.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force produces and sponsors The National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, annual training and strategy forum for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political movement. Our 2010 Creating Change Conference, held in Dallas, Texas, generated approximately $4 million in revenue for the City of Dallas, according to the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau. We currently plan to produce The 25th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change at the Hilton Atlanta, January 23 – 27, 2013. However, should the State of Georgia follow Arizona down a regrettable path to codifying anti-immigrant bias in its laws, we would be forced to reconsider our choice of venue and host city for the 2013 Creating Change Conference.

Following enactment of the Arizona anti-immigrant law, a June 2010 survey conducted by Harris Interactive, a global market research and consulting firm, found that 63% of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans who had seen, read or heard about the Arizona law expressed strong opposition to it. Further, 43% reported they would be less likely to travel to Arizona for leisure; 36% said they would be lesslikely to travel to Arizona for convention gatherings; and 32% said they would be less likely to travel there for business purposes.

You may ask why an organization that works to ensure full legal equality and social acceptance for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people would take an interest in immigration law and policy. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has long recognized that immigrant communities and cultures are inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. We believe that all people, irrespective of their sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, race, color, class, creed and religion, age and ability deserve fair and just treatment from all entities of government, including the State of Georgia.

Please know that I am available to discuss this matter with you and to provide you with a deeper sense of our commitment to fair and just treatment for immigrants, their children, and their families.

Best regards,

Rea Carey
Executive Director

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Lisa from Georgia permalink
    April 7, 2011 3:28 pm

    we appreciate the support!

  2. Edward L Hilton permalink
    April 25, 2011 8:28 pm

    Hopefully this will become national. Spread the word Deal needs to leave office.

Trackbacks

  1. S.O.N.G. » IMPENDING National Boycott of Georgia in Opposition of HB-87 & HB-40!!
  2. Task Force part of women’s delegation drawing attention to Georgia’s inhumane anti-immigrant law « National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Blog

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