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This I greatly applaud:

Georgia state Sen. Jason Carter (D), who's running for governor of the state, solidified his support for marriage equality this week, first in a campaign statement and later in an interview.

Campaign spokesman Bryan Thomas told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday evening that "Jason has long supported marriage equality, and has said so to anyone who asked him. He doesn’t think we should ever be in a position of telling churches what to do, but has long been on the record in support of civil marriage equality."

The statement came in response to an editorial in The GA Voice that criticized him for sidestepping the issue, including in an interview with The Huffington Post, despite attending various LGBT-related events. - Huffington Post, 8/6/14

Here's a little more info:

Senator from Georgia Senate, Jason Carter talks during a press conference for the Carter Center's election witnessing mission in Egypt, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, June 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)
Carter is joining fellow Democrat Greg Hecht in supporting marriage equality. Hecht is also running for state-wide office in a campaign to defeat Attorney General Sam Olens and has said if he was elected he would not defend the lawsuit seeking to overturn the state’s ban on marriage equality.

We are grateful that Georgia Equality Jeff Graham told the AJC that “he was pleased by the above statement, but suggested that the Carter campaign might want to be more responsive to LGBT media in the future.”

Kudos must also be given to Project Q Atlanta for writing the story that prompted our editorial about an LGBT fundraiser for Carter in which nearly $100,000 was raised without Carter having to even say the word “gay” or “LGBT.”

And we are very grateful and hopeful now that state Sen. Carter’s has cleared up any confusion on the matter. Thank you, Sen. Carter, for your leadership in making Georgia even better. LGBT and progressive voters should be fired up to head to the polls to oust Nathan Deal and put a man with experience, knowledge, compassion, smarts and strong leadership skills to make Georgia a place we can all be proud to call home. - GA Voice, 8/6/14

Here's what Carter said regarding marriage equality:

I have, for a very long time, supported marriage equality. ... I didn't understand [the Georgia Voice's editorial]. Everybody who knows me knows where I stand on the issue. I haven't had a conversion. My grandfather is 89 and supports marriage equality in part because of the influence we've had on him.

I do think it's important for people to know that no one in the movement is talking about telling churches what to do. But as far as the government is concerned, marriage equality is something I believe in and have [believed in] for a very, very, very long time since before I got into politics.

What do you think about Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens' attempts to defend the state's gay marriage ban?

It's a legal question. [Olens] has an obligation because he is the attorney general. It's a tough question legally. Nobody has won yet trying to defend [the ban]. At some point, it becomes a waste. That's a decision where you've got to look at the law. He's got to look at what his obligations are to make a decision. ... If there's no defense, then there's no defense. These courts of appeal keep coming out [with decisions]. I look at it like a litigator. As they go down the road, that issue is one that the debate is essentially over.

Last month, President Barack Obama signed an executive order that seeks to protect federal government workers and employees of federal contractors from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. Georgia's state employees don't have those same protections in the workplace. Would you push for those kinds of protections if elected governor?

I'm against discrimination. How we get there with the Republican legislature is a question. But one thing I know for a fact is that, right now, there are state employees who are living double lives because they're not allowed to be who they want to be, and who they are, when they're at work. That's something where if they know that they have someone in the governor's office that is a friend, that will make a big difference in those people's lives. That's important to me. That's important to a huge number of other people. - Creative Loathing Atlanta, 8/6/14

Again, I applaud Carter for being vocal about his support for marriage equality. Not an easy thing for a Southern Democrat. Meanwhile, Governor Nathan Deal (R. GA) is trying to attacking Carter on this:

Responding to a reporter’s question in the governor’s office, Deal said the Democratic nominee had to defend the views of former President Jimmy Carter if he was going to rely on his elder for major fund-raising help and political advice.

“[Jason Carter] has taken the position that his grandfather is his greatest support mechanism,” Deal said. “I would like to know where he stands on his grandfather’s pronouncements most recently.”

Deal was referring to the article the former president recently wrote for Foreign Policy magazine, criticizing the actions of the Israeli Defense Forces and asking for the West to recognize Hamas as a “legitimate political actor.”

Deal said these comments classified the actions of Israelis that have resulted in the deaths of more than 1,000 civilians as “war crimes.” The Republican governor said he viewed Israel as acting in self-defense against regular rocket attacks by Hamas from launchers located among women and children used essentially as human shields.

“I certainly don’t agree with [comments] like that,” Deal said. “I think they’re inflammatory, and I don’t think they’re true. But that’s something that Jason Carter needs to state where he stands at.”

A couple of hours later, the Georgia Republican Party issued its own attack trying to force the candidate to either defend his grandfather or call Hamas a terrorist organization.

Carter spokesman Bryan Thomas said Deal is attempting to use the former president’s column to change the subject in the gubernatorial election so that it doesn’t become a referendum on Deal’s record in office. The Democrat’s cam***ued a list of rankings on Georgia’s 5th-highest unemployment rate, 4th-highest dropout rate and as one of only two states in which the inflation-adjusted family income has dropped over the past 10 years.

“This campaign is about Georgia families,” Thomas said. “We’re running on Jason’s vision for the future, while Gov. Deal is trying to distract voters from his pathetic record that has left Georgia ranked near the bottom in joblessness and education.” - The Florida Times-Union, 8/6/14

Deal's also been trying to hit Carter on missing votes but Carter's campaign has done a great job hitting back:

The Democrat’s campaign initially countered when contacted last week by pointing to the dozens of votes that Gov. Nathan Deal missed in Congress as he revved up his 2010 gubernatorial campaign, no-shows that became an issue in his campaign four years back. “Governors in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones,” said Carter spokesman Bryan Thomas.

But late Sunday evening a Democratic operative sent us over a spreadsheet of Deal’s missed votes in 1991 and 1992 ahead of his first Congressional bid. In all, it found Deal, then a Democrat who was the chamber’s pro tem, missed about 130 missed votes those two sessions.

Their review is a bit different than the analysis of Carter’s past two sessions partly because of the logistics: Votes in the early 1990s weren’t broken out in separate webpages, as they are today, but were instead logged in journals that were later scanned online, making it harder to track each proposal’s intent and legislative journey.

Among the votes the Democratic review showed Deal missed was a decision on his chamber’s version of House Bill 277, which would hold gun owners liable if a child under 12 uses their unlocked and loaded gun to injure or kill someone. - Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 8/4/14

Facing bad poll numbers and an ethics scandal, Deal is desperate to hit Carter with anything. We can win this race but we have to get our base out to the polls. Click here to donate and get involved with Carter's campaign:

Originally posted to pdc on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 04:03 PM PDT.

Also republished by Kos Georgia, LGBT Rights are Human Rights, Kossacks for Marriage Equality, LGBT Kos Community, Milk Men And Women, and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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