Today Jim Barksdale became the first US Senate candidate in Georgia’s history to participate in the Atlanta Pride Parade, 45 years after the first march for equality and rights in Georgia.
“I’m incredibly proud to join Georgia’s LGBTQ community for the Atlanta Pride Parade. I grew up in a Georgia where our LGBTQ brothers and sisters were relegated to the shadows and denied the most basic civil rights. Today is a celebration of that day being long gone,” said Jim Barksdale. “While Senator Isakson is a co-sponsor of legislation to legalize discrimination against gays and lesbians, I want every member of the LGBTQ community to know that if I’m elected, I will stand with them as an unwavering ally in the fight for equality and dignity.”
During his time in Congress, Senator Johnny Isakson has repeatedly voted against marriage equality and protection of civil rights for gays and lesbians. Currently, he is a co-sponsor of S.1598, a bill based on Georgia’s discriminatory “Religious Liberty Bill” vetoed by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal earlier this year. The Georgia draft of the legislation was vetoed only after more than 300 Georgia businesses like Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola expressed dismay, filmmakers like Disney and Marvel threatened boycott of Georgia as a filming location, and the NFL and NCAA threatened pulling potential games like the Super Bowl and March Madness.
“Georgia Democrats thank Jim Barksdale for being the first Georgia U.S. Senate candidate from a major party to march in the Atlanta Gay Pride Parade. By standing with the LGBTQ community, Jim has demonstrated his commitment to our values of equality and fairness for all,” said Michael Smith, Communications Director, Democratic Party of Georgia. “He understands that discrimination of any kind has no place in our society, and will work hard as a Senator to eliminate the legal and social barriers between Georgians and full equity.”
Jim’s participation in Atlanta Pride follows a busy weekend traveling across the state to support Georgians impacted by Hurricane Matthew. Jim spent Saturday volunteering and bringing essential supplies to evacuees in Augusta, and has encouraged Georgians to volunteer with and give to essential frontline civilian organizations assisting with recovery. Additionally, he has called on Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, to extend Tuesday’s voter registration deadline to Friday, October 14.