February 15, 2016 Newsletter

(The February 15, 2016 Newsletter content includes these topics: Sex-Neutral Public Accommodations, Hemp/Marijuana Connection, In-State Cultivation of Marijuana,Side-stepping the Electoral College with NPV, Restrooms: Privacy Rights of Students)

H.B. 849 Unisex in Public Accommodations
Separate Restrooms for Males and Females would be Illegal in Public Facilities

H.B. 849, “The Georgia Civil Rights in Public Accommodations Act,” was introduced January 27th by Representative Rich Golick, and assigned to his House Judiciary Non Civil Committee. It requires nondiscrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in any place of public accommodations. H.B. 849 was introduced, specifically, as a means to add sexual orientation as a protected civil rights status. That was done in committee when the word “sex” was added. Meaning, it will require sex neutral public accommodations in Georgia.

Exception is Ambiguous
H.B. 849 “shall not apply to a private establishment, except¹ to the extent that facilities of such private establishment perform as a place of public accommodation.”
Conversation with the author of H.B. 849: “What will you do if someone tries to amend H.B. 849 with ‘gender,’ ‘gender identity’ or ‘sexual orientation’?” His reply, “No gender, no gender identity, but I don’t know about sexual orientation.” Then he was asked, “Does sexual orientation include gender and gender ID?” He didn’t answer, but, yes, it does. Currently, 58 identifications are acknowledged sexual orientations. Some of the 58 are listed in footnote 3.
The U.N. is lobbying for five² genders; Australia’s Human Rights Commission acknowledges 23 genders; Facebook and the Australian Broadcasting Commission recognize 583 genders.

Background. In the February 8th subcommittee meeting, Representative Taylor Bennett proposed amending H.B. 849 to prohibit discrimination based on “religion, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or veteran’s status.” The subcommittee defeated that amendment 6-4, but he offered it again the next day. Then, Representative Beskin offered “sex” as a one-word amendment and it passed. Then, the full committee voted 8-5 to pass the amended bill into the Rules Committee where sex should be deleted, because its multiple genders (behaviors) have been expanded far beyond natural male/female contact.

Give this message to the Rules Committee: “Delete the word ‘sex’ from H.B. 849
or defeat the bill.” Note: See page four to learn about students’
right to privacy in restrooms, etc.

ACTION – Oppose. Call any or all on the following list and ask them to defeat the bill or remove the word “sex.” House Rules Committee Representatives Meadows, Ch., 404 656-5141; Harrell, V-Ch., 656-0254; Richard Smith, Sec., 656-6831; Abrams, 656-5058; Ballinger, 656-0254; Benton, 463-3793; Burns, 656-5052; Cooper, 656-5069; Dempsey, 463-2247; Dickson, 463-2247; Drenner, 656-0202; Ehrhart, 463-2247; Evans, 656-6372; Fleming, 656-0152; Golick, 656-5943; Greene,656-0202; Hugley, 656-5058; Jackson, 656-0314; Jan Jones, 656-5072; Knight, 656-5099; Morris, 656-5115; Parrish, 463-2247; Peake, 656-5132; Alan Powell, 463-3793; Jay Powell, 656-7855; Ramsey, 656-5024; Rice, 656-5912; Carl Rogers, 656-7855; Terry Rogers, 651-7737; Setzler, 656-7857; Sims, 656-7857; Lynn Smith, 656-7149; Smyre, 656-0116; Stephens, 656-5115; Weldon, 656-5105; Willard, 656-5125; and Al Williams, 656-6372.
¹ Does that exception include (a) public facilities at religious events held in public buildings or (b) nonreligious events held in facilities owned and operated by religious entities?
² Male, female, asexual, transsexual, and hermaphrodite
³ Included in the 58 genders: agender, androgyne, androgynous, bigender, cisgender, cis female, cis male, gender fluid, gender nonconforming, gender questioning, gender variant, genderqueer, intersex, neither, neutrois, non-binary, pangender, transgender, trans person, transfeminine, transmasculine, transsexual, transsexual female, transsexual male, transsexual person and two-spirit.

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February 12, 2016 Radio Commentary

More Marijuana Bills

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, February 12, 2016 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

Two more marijuana bills have been introduced this session. S.B. 254 reduces to a misdemeanor the penalty for possessing any amount of marijuana, which could mean a year in prison or a $1,000 fine, or both. This would repeal the law against unlawful possession, but growing or buying or selling marijuana would continue to be illegal.

H.B. 704 concerning the cultivation of industrial hemp is a problem, because hemp and medical cannabis are derived from the same marijuana plant that could be legally grown in Georgia if Representative Allen Peake’s 25-page H.B. 722 passes this session. The hemp-producing marijuana plant is listed as a hallucinogenic drug in the Controlled Substance Act.

The difference between hemp and marijuana is the amount of THC in the plant. Industrial hemp contains no more than three-tenths of one percent of THC on a dry weight measure. But, finding the right seed to cultivate is a major complication in the production of industrial hemp. Since available seed is not certified to produce plants with a THC content as low as necessary for hemp, no viable hemp seed has been documented or legally imported in decades. Continue reading

February 5, 2016 Radio Commentary

Two Subjects: (1) Parental Rights and (2) Marijuana

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, February 5, 2016 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

H.B. 713 was pre-filed in December and officially introduced January 13th by Representative Raffensperger. It changes three sections of Georgia law – the Juvenile Code, domestic relations, and adoptions. It amends the (a) Juvenile Code to allow termination of parental rights if conception results from rape, incest or trafficking for sexual servitude.

It amends the (b) domestic relations Code concerning with whom parental power lies. When a termination of parental rights petition is received, the superior court, currently, decides the case, considering whether the child was abandoned, or the parent cannot be located, or is absent, insane, incapacitated, or disabled. To that list of circumstances to consider, H.B. 713 adds rape, incest and trafficking, so domestic relations law and the Juvenile Code will use the same standard when terminating parental rights.

(c) H.B. 713 also makes the same change in adoption law, but all such changes require clear and convincing evidence that rape, incest, or trafficking caused that conception. Call Representative Tom Weldon at 404 656-5105 and ask him to pass H.B. 713 out of his committee.

During the 2015 legislative session, Representative Allen Peake’s H.B. 1 passed and with it came Georgia’s list of eight medical conditions that qualified patients for treatment with low THC cannabis oil. Continue reading

January 1, 2016 Newsletter

(The January 1, 2016 Newsletter content includes these topics: Casinos, horse racing, marijuana, new legislators)

Critical Issues Await 2016 General Assembly

Carryovers from 2015 Session

  • Bills left-over for 2016 – 438 House bills (H.B.) and 179 Senate bills (S.B.) – total 617.
  • Resolutions left-over for the 2016 session – 92 H.R. and 77 S.R. – total 169.
  • Left-over totals – 786 bills and resolutions remain alive for action in 2016.

House and Senate Action in the 2015 Session

  • Of the 955 bills introduced in the 2015 General Assembly, 706 H.B. passed and 249 S.B. passed.
  • Of those 955 bills introduced, only 12 were defeated or withdrawn.
  • Of the 1,610 resolutions introduced in 2015, 960 H.R. and 650 S.R. passed – total 1,439.
  • Governor Deal signed 239 House bills and vetoed eight House bills.
  • Governor Deal signed 62 Senate bills and vetoed three Senate bills.

The governor’s signature on a bill indicates his support, and frequently prompts a signing ceremony and photo-op for supportive citizens and organizations, as well as the bill’s author and other legislators. Legislation the governor signs may become law upon his signature, but other bills that passed become law on the up-coming July 1st or as specified in the legislation.

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