A resolution expressing support for anti-discrimination measures was narrowly approved Tuesday by the Macon-Bibb County Commission.
The 5-4 vote came after Commissioner Mallory Jones questioned the gender identity portion of the measure, which he said opposed traditional values.
The resolution was a call of support for the March on Macon that will be held Saturday. The rally is to support state Senate bill 119 that would ban employment, housing and public accommodation discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
The rally is also to show favor for expanding anti-discrimination language in the county code, according to the resolution.
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Jones said his concerns were about the impact of someone using a public bathroom that was different from the gender on their birth certificates.
“This impacts our children, our teenagers, our mothers, our grandmothers in a negative, compromising way,” Jones said.
Voting in support of the resolution were Commissioners Al Tillman, Bert Bivins, Elaine Lucas, Virgil Watkins and Mayor Robert Reichert, who cast the deciding vote.
Jones, along with Commissioners Scotty Shepherd, Gary Bechtel and Joe Allen, voted against the measure.
Commissioner Larry Schlesinger, who co-sponsored the resolution with Lucas, did not attend Tuesday’s meeting.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia released a statement following Tuesday’s vote.
“This resolution sends a strong statement about Macon’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and protecting the civil rights of all its residents,” ACLU of Georgia Executive Director Andrea Young said in the release. “With progress on comprehensive nondiscrimination stalled in the General Assembly, local communities have a vital role to play in making sure that all Georgians are treated equally under the law — no matter what they look like, what they believe, or who they love. We encourage municipalities around the state to follow Macon’s lead and take a stand against discrimination in all of its forms.”
The Supreme Court ruled this week that lower courts should decide a case related to a national anti-discrimination law. The case deals with whether a transgendered Virginia high school student can use the public bathroom based on gender identity.