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Georgia Passes Pro-LGBT Bill Allowing Non-Biological Same-Sex ‘Parent’ Custody Rights

Georgia’s House Bill 543, the last bill to win legislative approval during the Peach State’s legislative session, might have flown under the radar largely unnoticed by the majority of Georgians but not the LGBT community.

Ryan Lee of Georgia Voice, a pro-LGBT news outlet, said, “When Gov. Kemp signed the bill into law May 6, Georgia quietly became a national leader in protecting LGBTQ parents.”

The new law, which was approved with near-unanimous votes in both chambers and signed by Georgia’s Gov. Brian Kemp, will allow any person, including the non-biological “parent” in a same-sex marriage, to petition a superior court judge for custody rights if he or she can show proof of a “permanent, unequivocal, committed and responsible parental role in the child’s life.”

How did the state miss the real meaning behind this bill? Writing for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jim Galloway says that the bill’s relevance to LGBT parents never came up in committee hearings or floor debate. Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, who teaches family law at Emory University School of Law, said, “I think people knew this was going to help a [small] number of people—and some of those people were gay people—who had been functioning in reality as parents. But I don’t think there was interest in making that issue a public talking point.”

The law goes into effect July 1.

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Film Execs Call for Boycott Over Georgia’s ‘Heartbeat Bill’

Executives at CBS, Disney, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Sony, and Warner Media have been threatening to boycott Georgia and pull their filmmaking efforts out of the Peach State contingent on whether Georgia’s “heartbeat bill” goes into effect. They claim that the bill would impinge the so-called “right to abortion ” because the “heartbeat bill” would prohibit abortions when a baby’s heartbeat is detected, generally at six weeks.

“I think many people who work for us will not want to work there, and we will have to heed their wishes in that regard,” Disney CEO Robert Iger said. “If [the bill] becomes law, I don’t see how it’s practical for us to continue to shoot there.”

But with Georgia’s draw of massive tax break incentives for filmmakers and the fact that uprooting film projects would be both disruptive and potentially more costly, Peter Chernin, producer of The Greatest Showman and Hidden Figures, is suggesting a more practical tactic. In an email to some top executives, Chernin suggested a fundraising campaign to raise $15 million to fund the ACLU’s legal efforts and said, “We have a moral responsibility to act immediately.”

According to The New York Times, the Peach State offers 92,000 jobs connected to film and television production. Chernin’s approach would help pro-abortion executives avoid major losses by simply throwing money at a cause and letting the ACLU do the rest.

While liberal execs blow a lot of smoke in an effort to scare conservatives into bending over backward to accommodate their wishes, Georgia’s governor isn’t worried. “We’re elected to do what’s right—and standing up for precious life is always the right thing to do,” said Republican Gov. Brian Kemp.

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Georgia Governor Signs ‘Heartbeat’ Bill Under Threat of Boycott

Despite impending court challenges from Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, and boycotts from the Writers Guild of America and actress Alyssa Milano, Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed the Peach State’s “heartbeat” bill on Tuesday.

Other than in cases of rape, incest, physical medical emergencies, and pregnancies deemed “medically futile,” the bill, which takes effect January 1, 2020, would prevent any abortions when a heartbeat is detected, generally around six weeks. The state currently allows abortion in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.

“I can’t govern because I’m worried about what someone in Hollywood thinks about me,” said Gov. Kemp. “We cannot change our values of who we are for money. And we’re not going to do that. That’s what makes our state great.”

This is saying a lot considering Georgia is a major hub for the film industry. In the last fiscal year, the state was home to 455 productions, generating $9.5 billion in economic impact and $2.7 billion in direct spending.

But in the end, for the Georgia governor, it isn’t about economics. It’s about declaring Georgia a “state that values life” and “stand[s] up for those who are unable to speak for themselves.”

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NOTE: FACT provides links to external websites for educational purposes only. The inclusion of any links to other websites does not necessarily constitute an endorsement.

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Georgia Sixth-Graders Get Sexual Identity Quiz

Sixth-graders in a health class at Lithonia Middle School in Dekalb County, Ga., were given a quiz testing their knowledge of sexual preferences. Students were asked to identify ten sexual identities, including gay, lesbian, transgender, and more. It is unclear whether this assignment was curriculum approved by the school district or whether the teacher just decided to distribute the quiz on her own.

Parent Octavia Parks was livid. “Why are they teaching that in school?” she asked Fox 5 Atlanta. “What does that have to do with life?” Noted Parks, “We’re talking about a sixth-grader who still watches Nickelodeon. I’m not ready to explain what these words are—nor what they mean.” Parks had talked with the health teacher voicing her concerns about this kind of subject matter in advance of the assignment. The health teacher had reassured Parks that this kind of subject matter would not be taught in the classroom. Though the school district issued a statement in response saying it would “investigate” the “alleged event,” Parks was not satisfied. She is now taking her case to the school district directly.

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