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GLSEN Atlanta on HB 757 Veto
GLSEN Atlanta Chair
Media Relations Manager
GLSEN Atlanta Applauds Governor Nathan Deal for Vetoing HB 757
ATLANTA (March 29, 2016) – GLSEN Atlanta applauds Gov. Nathan Deal for vetoing HB 757, which was passed by the Georgia General Assembly earlier this month and would have allowed businesses and individuals to withhold their services from gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Georgians on so-called religious liberty grounds. GLSEN Atlanta Chair, Patrick Faerber, said:
“GLSEN Atlanta thanks Gov. Deal for vetoing HB 757. If enacted, this law would have opened dangerous and profoundly mean-spirited new avenues for discrimination, including allowing counselors and other providers of potentially life-saving school-based supports to refuse to help students simply because they are LGBT. It would have also sent the dangerous message that the harassment and discrimination that LGBT youth regularly face in school is sometimes justified. Thank you to the businesses and communities who raised their voices against this bill and in support of LGBT people and students in Georgia. We urge the legislature to back Gov. Deal to ensure that Georgia remains a welcoming place for all, including its LGBT students, and not override the veto.”
The Georgia State Snapshot of the latest edition of GLSEN’s National School Climate Survey found eight in 10 LGBT students in Georgia were verbally harassed based on their sexual orientation and more than five in 10 based on the way they expressed their gender. LGBT students who experienced discrimination and bullying and harassment at school were more than three times as likely to have missed school in the past month as those who did not, had lower GPAs than their peers, and had lower self-esteem and higher levels of depression.
GLSEN is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students. GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.