ATLANTA — The Georgia House Judiciary subcommittee on Tuesday voted 3-2 to table a bill that would have provided workplace protections to all state employees, including LGBT workers, not long after hearing testimony comparing gays to pedophiles and necrophiliacs.
The GA Voice reported that Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality — which has been lobbying heavily in favor of the bill — said it is too soon to say the bill is dead.
“The bill is very much still alive,” said Graham, who was among several supporters of the bill who testified at the hearing. “We had as conservative a group as we could have had and they voted to table and not end it.”
In 2010, the state passed an anti-bullying bill after it was first tabled, Graham said. So, he said, Tuesday’s action does not mean the end of HB 630. But it won’t be easy to get it passed, he admitted. Georgia Equality is urging people to call their local legislators to lobby on behalf of the bill.
“It is going to be a huge challenge to get it through this year,” he said.
During the course of testimony in support and in opposition to the measure — HB 630 — one witness urged lawmakers to oppose the bill, saying that passage would increase the likelihood of increased pedophilia in Georgia’s schools.
Tanya Ditty, state director for the anti-gay Concerned Women for America, testified saying:
“What’s going to protect our children if a pedophiliac comes in and gets a teaching job, is a bus driver, is a custodian? And they could be people that just want to prey on children and they would be protected by this law,” testified Tanya Ditty, state director for the anti-gay group, Concerned Women for America.
Ditty stated that “sexual orientations” included pedophilia, transsexuality, zoophilia and necrophilia and that “we do not believe the government should have a special protected minority class.”
Watch, courtesy the GA Voice:
Graham said “he hoped people would better understand what Georgia faces at the General Assembly every day when working for LGBT equality” after listening to Ditty’s comments.
“I think it certainly shows there is reasonable argument why this bill should pass,” said Graham. “It is up to the members of the committee and the legislature to do what is right or cave into the ridiculous fears of our opponents. Our opponents can’t even make a reasonable argument against this. That’s why they have to distort the facts and go as extreme as they do,” he said.