State Representatives Kim Schofield (D-60, Atlanta/Forest Park/College Park/East Point/Hapeville), Sandra Scott (D-76, Rex) and Viola Davis (D-87, Stone Mountain) issued statements in recognition of Pride Month. Pride Month commemorates the June 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York, which was the first major resistance of LGBTQ+ people against police harassment and is widely considered the birth of the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement.
“At this time in our nation, we are witnessing the intentional dismantling of human rights,” Schofield said. “Now more than ever, this is the perfect time for legislation to protect gay rights, transgender rights, gay youth, marriage equality, health care, housing, workplace and incarceration issues that impact the LGBTQIA community on a larger scale. We are committed to taking action and finding solutions. The most important thing we must do in Georgia is work to remove personal biases and confront judgment and hatred. Let’s celebrate love and value for all.”
Scott added, “It takes no money to respect an individual’s rights. It takes no money to be who you want to be. I see your true colors as they shine like a rainbow. As your state representative, it takes no money for me to create policies that guarantee equal rights for all citizens. It takes no money to enjoy your month, so go have safe fun.”
“We celebrate the LGBTQ Pride Month to reinforce the need for equal justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans and recognize the years of struggles and sacrifices,” Davis said. “We need to send a strong message that we support the LGBTQ community and will reject any attempt to undermine their quest for equal rights. We pray the Lord covers everyone with love and understanding and protects you from hate.”
The representatives’ statements follow a contentious legislative session, which was capped by a last-minute vote to ban transgender girls from playing school sports.
LGBTQ+ Georgians and their supporters say the ban doesn’t only prevent those student athletes from playing, but also puts LGBTQ+ students at increased risk of school bullying and targeted violence. Supporters of the ban say transgender girls have inherent strength and speed advantages over cisgender girls, a claim debunked in 2016 by a Sports Medicine literature review of scientific studies.
A more recent study of Air Force records of transgender men and women indicated that hormonal transition may give transgender women a brief advantage in the first two years, but the study’s authors said the data is inconclusive and cautioned against wider applications.
In May, President Joe Biden noted an increase in targeted attacks against LGBTQ+ people and gathering places that parallels increased anti-LGBTQ rhetoric.
As part of his campaign for the Republican lieutenant governor’s slot, Georgia Sen. President Pro Tem Butch Miller ran an attack ad aimed at transgender girl athletes, featuring a male-presenting swimmer with five o’clock shadow grinning at the camera from the starting block, then posing with a trophy as a cisgender girl swimmer slow-claps. Miller lost to Burt Jones, who took 50.1% of the Republican primary vote to Miller’s 31.1%.