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Gays Join in Protest of Ga. Immigration Law

Gays Join in Protest of Ga. Immigration Law

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An LGBT contingent joined in a march Saturday in Atlanta to protest Georgia's new immigration law, which opponents consider racist, the GA Voice reports.

Several of the participants released statements on why the issues raised by the law -- House Bill 87 -- which took effect Friday, are relevant to gay people.

"This bill uses racial profiling as a tool of Georgia to police, detain, arrest and deport Latino immigrants," said Mary Anne Adams, founder of the black lesbian group ZAMI NOBLA. "Moreover, it places all people of color in the cross-hairs of police and [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] collaboration. As a black lesbian organization we are concerned that our base, our communities, and our allies will be affected with its passing and implementation."

Said Craig Washington, prevention programs manager at the AIDS service group AID Atlanta: "As a black gay man who has been HIV-positive for most of my life, I embody identities deemed as taboo, different, queer, those whose bodies are demonized, criminalized. and imprisoned. I do not need to face the same pitfalls as an immigrant to recognize where our paths cross."

Thousands of people -- estimates ranged from 8,000 to 14,000 -- participated in the protest at the state capitol, calling for repeal of the law. Georgia is one of several states, including Arizona, Utah, and Indiana, that have recently adopted laws aimed at addressing illegal immigration, claiming the federal government is not doing enough.

Last Monday federal judge Thomas Thrash temporarily blocked some provisions of the law from taking effect. These include one that allows police to check the immigration status of suspects without proper identification and to detain illegal immigrants, and another that penalizes people who knowingly and willingly transport or harbor illegal immigrants while committing another crime. Opponents of the law had claimed the latter would penalize those who merely give rides to friends or relatives, and Thrash agreed. He also blasted the claim of the law's backers that federal immigration enforcement is insufficient, saying hundreds of foreign citizens are deported daily.

Among the provisions allowed to stand, one makes it a felony to use false information or documentation when applying for a job, and another sets up an immigration review board to look into complaints about government officials not complying with state laws on illegal immigration.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.