Laws

United States of America

GEORGIA

Limited information only available for these topics

Access to Children
Adoption of Children
Age of Consent
Anti-Vilification
Annuities, Benefits
Artifical Insemination
Assisted Reproduction
Civil Unions
Custody of Children
Discrimination
Estates, Wills
Fostering Children
Gender Identity
Harassment
Hate Crimes
Health, Medical
HIV/Aids
Homosexuality
Inheritance, Succession
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
Marriage
Military
Parenting
Partners
Pensions
Property
Sodomy
Transgender, Transsexual
Violence
Wrongful Death

Please read the Disclaimer

Age of Consent Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

Consensual sex between same-sex couples is lawful at aged 16 years [R1.1].

R1.1 Southern Voice: Georgia Supreme Court Throws Out Fornication Law 17 JAN 03
Annuities, Death Benefits, Employee Benefits, Pensions, Retirement, Social Security, Superannuation Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [HEALTH, MEDICAL]
1.

County

On 03 November 2015, Athens-Clarke County commissioners voted unanimously to keep the county's eight-year-old policy of providing health insurance benefits to the domestic partners of county employees. County management recommended that the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage, and the wider availability of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, made the domestic partner benefits unnecessary [R1.2].

On 13 October 2015, the Cobb County Board of Commissioners voted 5-0 to allow same-sex spouses of Cobb employees to receive pension benefits. Same-sex County employees whose pension benefit began before the US Supreme Court same-sex marriage decision on 26 June remain ineligible [R1.1].

R1.2 OnlineAthens: Athens-Clarke commissioners leave county's domestic partner benefits in place 05 NOV 15
R1.1 AJC.com: Cobb approves same-sex pension benefits
Children: Access, Custody, Visitation Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

In June 2009, Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham rejected a custody agreement saying, "The prohibition against [the children having] contact with any gay or lesbian person acquainted with [Eric Mongerson] assumes, without evidentiary support, that the children will suffer harm from any such contact. Such an arbitrary classification based on sexual orientation flies in the face of our public policy that encourages divorced parents to participate in the raising of their children." [R1.4].

Previously:

In February 2009, Lambda Legal filed an amicus brief in support of Eric Mongerson, a gay man who is disputing a child custody agreement restriction which prohibits him from "exposing his children to his homosexual partners and friends" [R1.3].


In January 2002, the Georgia Court of Appeals ruled that Susan Freer and her lesbian partner could not seek child-visitation rights because they are not married. The couple established a civil union in Vermont in 2000 [R1.2].


In May 1999, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Manis awarded joint custody of a toddler to his lesbian mother and to his father, saying the dispute had nothing to do with gay rights, only with the child's best interests [R1.1].

R1.4 PinkNews.co.uk: Georgia Supreme Court rules against 'homophobic' custody agreement 17 JUN 09
R1.3 PinkNews.co.uk: Georgia Court Tells Gay Dad He Cannnot "Expose" Kids to Homosexuals 18 FEB 09
R1.2 Associated Press: Civil Unions Aren't Marriage 25 JAN 02
R1.1 Atlanta Journal Constitution: Lesbian Mom, Dad Both Get Custody 19 MAY 99
Civil Unions, Partners: Domestic, Registered Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [MARRIAGE]
1.

State

There is no State-wide statutory recognition of Civil Unions, Domestic Partners or Registered Partners

Whilst State law doesn't recognize LGBT marriages and relationships a Domestic Partnership Agreement, Power of Attorney and Advance Health Care Directive, Last Will and a second-parent adoption can protect LGBT partners, their families, and their personal interests [R1.1].

See also: GayLawNet - General Information - Partners

2.

County

On 27 April 2001, the DeKalb County Commission voted to offer DP benefits to its county workers [R2.2].


In July 2003, Fulton County Board of Commissioners voted to offer DP benefits (medical insurance, bereavement leave, county jail visitation rights and other benefits) to its gay and lesbian county workers on their completing a form declaring they are in a "committed relationship" [R2.1].

3.

Cities & Towns

On 22 July 2013, the City of Avondale Estates Board of Mayor and Commissioners unanimously approved the resolution that will allow for the formal recognition of same-sex and opposite-sex couples [R3.3].

In December 2001, the Atlanta City Council passed an equal benefits ordinance [R3.2].

The measure requires city contractors to offer equal benefits for GLBT and straight employees.

Mayor Bill Campbell had to decide whether to sign it, let it take effect without a signature or veto it.


In August 2001, Decatur city commissioners approved a domestic partner benefits to take effect from 1 January 2002. The partners of gay and lesbian city employees will then be eligible for the same benefits as the wives and husbands of heterosexual employees [R3.1].

4.

Churches

On 04 May 2010, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America said the Rev. Bradley Schmeling and the Rev. Darin Easler had been approved for reinstatement. Rev. Schmeling, who served as pastor of St. John Lutheran Church in Atlanta, was removed from the church's clergy roster in 2007 for being in a same-gender relationship with Easler [R4.1].

5.

Courts & Tribunals

In September 1999, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Wendy L. Shoob firmly rebuked Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine's attempts to block implementation of Atlanta's domestic partner ordinance, ordering him to lift his statewide ban on domestic partner coverage in insurance policies [R5.2].


In November 1997, the Georgia Supreme Court upheld a policy allowing Atlanta city employees to include aging parents and heterosexual or homosexual partners in the insurance coverage that is one of their job benefits [R5.1].

R1.1 Project Q Atlanta: 4 ways to protect your gay relationship in Georgia 02 APR 13
R2.2 Southern Voice: Fulton County Rejects DP Benefits 19 JUL 01
R2.1 Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Fulton OKs Benefits in Gay Commitments 03 JUL 03
R3.3 Washington Blade: Atlanta suburb approves domestic partnership registry 24 JUL 13
R3.2 Planet Out: Atlanta Equal Benefits Law: Too Hurried? 07 DEC 01
R3.1 Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Decatur (GA) OKs Domestic Benefits 22 AUG 01
R4.1 365Gay.com: Lutheran church reinstates gay pastors 04 MAY 10
R5.2 Atlanta Journal Constitution: Domestic Partner Benefits Fight Ends 26 OCT 99
Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund: Judge Lifts Georgia Ban on DP Health Benefits 22 SEP 99
R5.1 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Court upholds live-in partners benefits policy 04 NOV 97
Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

On 28 March 2016, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal vetoed a highly-controversial HB 757 ''Free Exercise Protection Act'' that would have permitted faith-based organisations to deny social, educational and charitable services based on a "sincerely held religious belief" relating to marriage [R1.5].

On 16 March 2016, the House of Representatives passed the contentious "religious liberty" bill HB 757 permitting faith-based organisations to deny social, educational and charitable services based on a "sincerely held religious belief" relating to marriage. The bill also passed through the Senate and now goes to Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal for approval, who may veto it in April [R1.4].

On 19 February 2016, the Senate passed 38-14 House Bill 757 (blending the Pastor Protection Act and the First Amendment Defense Act or FADA), an anti-gay ''religious freedom'' law allowing any individual or 'faith-based' business, non-profit entity, or taxpayer-funded organization to ignore any law that conflicts with their religious beliefs about marriage [R1.3].

On 16 February 2016, the Senate Rules Committee passed SB284 (the "First Amendment Defense Act of Georgia") that now moves to the full Senate for a vote. The Bill is a sweeping "religious freedom" bill that would allow faith-based non-profits that receive public funds to discriminate against LGBT people [R1.2].

In February 2006, the Georgia House passed a bill that would require students to notify their parents before joining school clubs, a measure that gay rights advocates say will discourage students from joining gay organizations [R1.1].

2.

Cities & Towns

On 10 December 2015, the Savannah city council unanimously approved an ordinance to establish non-discrimination policies in the areas of city employment, permitting and licensing on grounds that include sex, sexual orientation, gender identity [R2.6].

In November 2009, Chamblee City Council passed a Bill to prohibit discrimination against gay and lesbian municipal workers (but not transgender employees). Clarkston and Doraville reportedly have similar ordinances, Doraville includes gender identity protections [R2.5].

In December 2001, Atlanta City Council passed an equal benefits ordinance requiring city contractors to offer equal benefits for GLBT and straight employees [R2.4].

In December 2000, Atlanta became the first city in Georgia to enact a comprehensive nondiscrimination law that includes sexual orientation and gender identity [R2.3].

In June 2000, the Decatur City Commission voted to ban discrimination on the basis of "sexual orientation, sexual preference or transgender status" in personnel regulations governing the city's employees [R2.2].

In December 1997, Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell signed an administrative order requiring all companies seeking to do business with the city to adopt employment policies that ban anti-gay discrimination [R2.1].

3.

Courts & Tribunals

On 06 July 2017, the US Court of Appeal for the Eleventh Circuit denied the petition of Jameka Evans for a rehearing en banc (full court). Am appeal to the US Supreme Court is mooted (see R3.7, R3.10-C3.12 below) [C3.14], [R3.13].

On 10 March 2017, in a 2-1 decision, a three-judge panel on the US 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars discrimination on the basis of sex, affords no protections to Jameka Evans, a security guard targeted for harassment and effectively terminated from her job at Georgia Regional Hospital for being a lesbian [C3.12], [R3.11].

On 15 December 2016, the US Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in the Civil Rights Act 1964 Title VII case of Jameka Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital. Evans alleges she was forced to leave her job because she is a lesbian [R3.10]. See below at [C3.7].

On 14 January 2016, the US Court of Appeal for the Eleventh Circuit reversed in part the US District Court opinion in the Jennifer Chavez case, ruling there was sufficient evidence of employment discrimination for the case to be heard by a jury. Chavez, a m2F transgender auto mechanic, alleges she was fired from her job shortly after she had transitioned, experiencing a number of discriminatory incidents in the workplace [C3.9], [R3.8].

On 09 September 2015, US Magistrate Judge G R Smith dismissed the Civil Rights Act 1964 Title VII discrimination complaint of Jameka K Evans against the Georgia Regional Hospital alleging she was forced to leave her job as a security guard because she is a lesbian, concluding she had no actionable claim as Title VII doesn't protect employees from such discrimination [C3.7].

On 16 December 2011, in the case, Keeton v. Anderson-Wiley, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit held that a public university graduate counseling program can require its students to follow the American Counseling Association's ( "ACA" ) code of ethics, including its prohibition on discrimination, before allowing those students to work with clients, setting limits on the right to use religion to discriminate [C3.6], [R3.5].

On 20 August 2010, US District Judge Randal Hall ruled that Augusta State University's requirement that graduate student Jennifer Keeton read material about counseling gays and increase her exposure to that community after she objected to counseling homosexual clients was "academically legitimate" [R3.4].


On 03 August 2010, US Judge Richard W Story ruled that former Georgia state employee Vandy Beth Glenn, a transgender woman who was fired after revealing her intention to transition, must be reinstated to her position as an editor in the legislative counsel's office by Monday [R3.3].

Previously:

In July 2010, transgender woman Vandy Beth Glenn won her case against the Georgia General Assembly, when a federal judge declared that the assembly illegally discriminated against her. Her employment was terminated when she informed her supervisor of her transition plans [R3.2].


In October 2003, church-affiliated social service organizations that receive state funding in Georgia were prevented from discriminating against gay people or applicants of other faiths by the settlement of a lawsuit against the Georgia Department of Human Resources [R3.1].

R1.5 TheWashingtonPost: Georgia governor vetoes religious freedom bill criticized as anti-gay 29 MAR 16
R1.4 BusinessInsider: Georgia lawmakers just passed a religious freedom bill that could allow anti-gay discrimination 17 MAR 16
R1.3 NewCivilRightsMovement: Georgia Senate Passes Discriminatory Anti-LGBT 'Religious Freedom' Bill By Huge Margin 19 FEB 16
R1.2 ProjectQ Atlanta: Georgia Senate panel passes broad anti-gay bill 16 FEB 16
R1.1 Associated Press: Georgia House: Parents Must OK Clubs Kids Join 15 FEB 06
R2.6 WTVM: Savannah city council passes LGBT workplace discrimination law 11 DEC 15
R2.5 The Advocate: Chamblee, Georgia Protects Gays 14 DEC 09
R2.4 Planet Out: Atlanta Equal Benefits Law: Too Hurried? 07 DEC 01
R2.3 The Advocate: Atlanta Passes Nondiscrimination Ordinance 15 DEC 00
R2.2 Southern Voice: Decatur Bans Gay, Trans Discrimination 15 JUN 00
R2.1 Capital Q: Georgian Contractors Must Protect Gay Employees 17 JAN 97
3. Courts & Tribunals
C3.14 Order: Order: Jameka K Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital, et al. No. 151-15234-BB PDF 48.06kb 06 JUL 17
R3.13 LambdaLegal: Onward To The Supreme Court For Lambda Legal And Client Fired For Being A Lesbian 06 JUL 17
C3.12 Opinion: Jameka K Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital et al. No. 15-15234 PDF 272.13kb 10 MAR 17
R3.11 WashingtonBlade: Court rules anti-gay workplace bias allowed under existing law 10 MAR 17
R3.10 GeorgiaVoice: Georgia lesbian fired for being gay takes potentially historic case to federal court 15 DEC 16
C3.9 Opinion: Jennifer Chavez v. Credit Nation Auto Sales LLC No. 14-14696 PDF 146.40kb 14 JAN 16
R3.8 O-blog-dee-oblog-da: Landmark Ruling as Transgender Woman's Employment Discrimination Case Heads to Trial 15 JAN 16
C3.7 Report and Recommendation: Jameka K Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital No. CV415-103 PDF 824.03kb 09 SEP 15
C3.6 Jennifer Keeton v. Mary Jane Anderson-Wiley & Ors D.C. Docket No. 1:10-cv-00099-JRH-WLB PDF 160.21kb, 16 DEC 11
R3.5 Windy City Media Group: Court says no to using religion to discriminate 24 DEC 11
R3.4 The August Chronicle: Judge rejects Keeton lawsuit 20 AUG 10
R3.3 The Advocate: Justice Served for Georgia Trans Woman 04 AUG 10
R3.2 365Gay.com: Transgender woman wins federal discrimination lawsuit 07 JUL 10
R3.1 The Advocate: Settlement Halts Bias by Georgia Church Groups 10 OCT 03
Gender Identity, Intersex,
Transgender, Transexual

[?]
Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [DISCRIMINATION]
1.

State

On 12 February 2016, it was reported that Georgia is now giving hormone treatment to all of its transgender inmates after being assessed by a medical health professional. The State changed its treatment towards transgender inmates as a consequence of the settlement in the Ashley A Diamond v. Brian Owens et al., case. Diamond alleged the Department of Corrections failed to provide her with medical treatment and to protect her from sexual assault in various prisons [R1.1].

2.

Cities & Towns

In December 2000, Atlanta became the first city in Georgia to enact a comprehensive nondiscrimination law that includes sexual orientation and gender identity [R2.2].


In June 2000, the Decatur City Commission voted to ban discrimination on the basis of "sexual orientation, sexual preference or transgender status" in personnel regulations governing the city's employees [R2.1].

3.

Courts & Tribunals

On 20 January 2017, JJ John J Ellington, Elizabeth L Branch and Amanda H Mercier in the Fourth Division Court of Appeals reversed Columbia County Superior Court Judge J David Roper's ruling denying the name change petitions of transgenders Rowan Elizabeth Feldhaus, whose birth name was Rebeccah Elizabeth Feldhaus, and Andrew Norman Baumert, whose given name was Delphine Renee Baumert. The Court ruled the men may legally change their names and remanded the case with directions [C3.12], [R3.11].

On 22 March 2016, Columbia County Superior Court Judge J. David Roper rejected a name change petition from the transgender man seeking to legally change his name from Rebeccah Elizabeth Feldhaus to Rowan Elijah Feldhaus, saying that name changes which allow someone to ''assume the role of a person of the opposite sex'' are effectively ''a type of fraud on the general public'' and ''offend the sensibilities and mores of a substantial portion of the citizens of this state''. An Initial Brief of Appellant has been filed in the Court of Appeals Case No. A16A1770 [C3.10], [C3.9], [R3.8].

On 06 December 2011, a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit US Supreme Court of Appeals ruled in favor of an employee of the Georgia General Assembly who was fired after telling a supervisor that she was undergoing male-to-female sex change treatment [C3.7], [R3.6].

Previously:

On 03 August 2010, US Judge Richard W Story ruled that former Georgia state employee Vandy Beth Glenn, a transgender woman who was fired after revealing her intention to transition, must be reinstated to her position as an editor in the legislative counsel's office by Monday [R3.5].

In July 2010, transgender woman Vandy Beth Glenn won her case against the Georgia General Assembly, when a federal judge declared that the assembly illegally discriminated against her. Her employment was terminated when she informed her supervisor of her transition plans [C3.4], [R3.3].


In September 2008, Georgia's supreme court ruled unanimously in favor of a transgender politican accused by her rivals of misleading voters by running as a woman [R3.2].


In September 2003, State Court Judge Duncan Wheale granted a transgendered woman the right to change her name [R3.1].

When the woman's transition is complete, possibly by 2005, her birth certificate also will be changed to say she is female.

R1.1 LawyerHerald: Georgia Changes Prison Policy after Former Transgender Inmate Filed Lawsuit 14 FEB 16
3. Cities & Towns
R2.2 The Advocate: Atlanta Passes Nondiscrimination Ordinance 15 DEC 00
R2.1 Southern Voice: Decatur Bans Gay, Trans Discrimination 15 JUN 00
3. Courts & Tribunals
C3.12 Opinion: In Re Feldhaus, In Re Baumert A16A1770, A17A0041 PDF 74.40kb 20 JAN 17
R3.11 abcNews: Appeals Court Tells Judge to Allow Transgender Name Changes 20 JAN 17
C3.10 Final Judgment: In Re: Petition of Rebecca Elizabeth Feldhaus for Change of Name No. 2015D0607 PDF 3.60MB 22 MAR 16
C3.9 Transcript of Proceedings: Rebeccah Elizabeth Feldhaus No. 2015D0607 PDF 666.12kb 17 FEB 16
R3.8 13WMAZ: Georgia judge rejects transgender man's name change 09 JUN 16
C3.7 US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit: Vandiver E Glenn v. Sewell R Brumby PDF 107.98kb, 06 DEC 11
R3.6 PrideSource: Trans woman wins in firing case 08 DEC 11
R3.5 The Advocate: Justice Served for Georgia Trans Woman 04 AUG 10
C3.4 US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia: Vandiver E Glenn v. Sewell R Brumby PDF 260.21kb, 02 JUL 10
R3.3 365Gay.com: Transgender woman wins federal discrimination lawsuit 07 JUL 10
R3.2 The Advocate: Georgia Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Trans Politician 07 OCT 08
R3.1 Associated Press: Transgendered Woman Wins Case to Have Name Changed 11 SEP 03

GayLawNet®™ "Exclusive" Sponsorship of this page IS available
Hate Crimes Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [VIOLENCE]
1.

State

On 28 March 2012, Rep. Rashad Taylor (D-Atlanta) introduced a hate crimes bill (HB1311) in the House, " … to provide for enhanced sentences in any case in which the trier of fact determines beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intentionally selected any victim or any property of the victim as the object of the offense because of the victim's race, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or national origin; … ". A like Bill (SB228) was intriduced in the Senate 04 March 2012 [R1.1].

R1.1 GA Voice: LGBT inclusive hate crimes bill introduced on last day of Georgia legislative session 30 MAR 12
Health, Medical Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [EMPLOYEE BENEFITS]
1.

State

On 12 February 2016, it was reported that Georgia is now giving hormone treatment to all of its transgender inmates after being assessed by a medical health professional. The State changed its treatment towards transgender inmates as a consequence of the settlement in the Ashley A Diamond v. Brian Owens et al., case. Diamond alleged the Department of Corrections failed to provide her with medical treatment and to protect her from sexual assault in various prisons [R1.2].

On 03 November 2015, Athens-Clarke County commissioners voted unanimously to keep the county's eight-year-old policy of providing health insurance benefits to the domestic partners of county employees. County management recommended that the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage, and the wider availability of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, made the domestic partner benefits unnecessary [R1.1].

R1.2 LawyerHerald: Georgia Changes Prison Policy after Former Transgender Inmate Filed Lawsuit 14 FEB 16
R1.1 OnlineAthens: Athens-Clarke commissioners leave county's domestic partner benefits in place 05 NOV 15
HIV Aids Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

It is unlawful for persons who know they are HIV-positive to engage in unprotected sex without disclosing their status [R1.2].

As at 2013, it is a felony for an HIV-infected person to commit an assault with the intent to transmit HIV using his or her body fluids (blood, semen, or vaginal secretions), saliva, urine, or feces upon a peace officer or a correctional officer in the course of their duties. Convictions can lead to a sentence of five to more than 20 years in prison [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

A Georgia court has sentenced a former medical student who is HIV-positive to two years in prison after he pleaded guilty to reckless conduct for having unprotected sex with his partner and not revealing his HIV status [R1.2].

R1.2 MCV: HIV Man Guilty of Reckless Sex 18 NOV 05
R1.1 The Advocate: 4 States With Scientifically Unsound Laws Criminalizing HIV 01 APR 113
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

In January 2003, the Georgia Supreme Court gutted the 'fornication' law that also made all gay sexual relationships illegal, ruling unanimously that the 170-year-old law that banned all sex outside of marriage violates the right to privacy guaranteed by the state constitution [R1.3].


In 1998, Georgia's 182-year-old sodomy law was overturned by the state Supreme Court holding that the sodomy law was unconstitutional based on the right to privacy guaranteed by the Georgia Constitution [C1.4], [R1.3], [R1.2].

Previously:

In the 1986 case of Bowers -v- Hardwick the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in a 5-4 decision the right of states to ban sodomy and other sex acts [C1.1], [R1.1].

C1.4 Georgia Supreme Court: Powell v. State, 510 S.E.2d 18 (1998), 23 NOV 98
R1.3 Southern Voice: Georgia Supreme Court Throws Out Fornication Law 17 JAN 03
R1.2 Los Angeles Times: Legal Assaults Against States' Anti-Sodomy Laws Multiply 03 DEC 98
Adelaide Gay Times: Anti-Sodomy Law Overturned 27 NOV 98
C1.1 Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186 (1986)
R1.1 Washington State Bar News: Same-Sex Marriage: The State of the Law SEP 98
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

In 1996 the law was amended to prohibit marriages between same-sex couples and declared same-sex marriages from out-of-state as null and void.

Constitution of the State of Georgia, Article I Bill of Rights, Section IV. Marriage [L1.2] provides as follows:

Paragraph I. Recognition of marriage

(a) This state shall recognize as marriage only the union of man and woman. Marriages between persons of the same sex are prohibited in this state.

(b) No union between persons of the same sex shall be recognized by this state as entitled to the benefits of marriage. This state shall not give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other state or jurisdiction respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other state or jurisdiction. The courts of this state shall have no jurisdiction to grant a divorce or separate maintenance with respect to any such relationship or otherwise to consider or rule on any of the parties' respective rights arising as a result of or in connection with such relationship.

See: 2. Courts & Tribunals below.


On 16 March 2016, the legislature passed Bill HB 757 that permits faith-based organisations to deny social, educational and charitable services based on a ''sincerely held religious belief'' relating to marriage and in making employment decisions. The bill now goes to Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal for approval [R1.1].

See more: Discrimination.

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 07 October 2015, Judge William S Duffey in the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia ruled that the US Supreme Court opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges prohibits the enforcement of the Georgia Constitution excluding same-sex couples from civil marriage, ordering judgment in favour of the Plaintiff same-sex couples in the Christopher Inniss, et al., v. Deborah Aderhold case [C2.11], [R2.10].

On 29 January 2015, US District Court Judge William S Duffy denied a request from the state to stay the case of Innis v. Aderhold, which challenges Georgia's ban on same sex marriage, pending a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court expected in June. The case will proceed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals [R2.9].

On 08 January 2015. US District Court JudgeWilliam S Duffy refused a State motion to dismiss the Christopher Inniss, et al., v. Deborag Aderhold, et al. same-sex marriage case, allowing it to proceed saying that the couples do not have a fundamental right to marry a person of the same sex, but he disagreed that Georgia's “interests in child welfare and procreation are advanced by the state's prohibition on same-sex marriages” [C2.8], [R2.7].

On 22 April 2014, Lambda Legal filed a federal lawsuit in the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on behalf of Christopher Inniss and Shelton Stroman of Snellville, Rayshawn Chandler and Avery Chandler of Jonesboro, Michael Bishop and Shane Thomas of Atlanta, and Jennifer Sisson of Decatur, challenging the discriminatory marriage ban and seeking class action status [C2.6], [R2.5].

In July 2006, the Georgia Supreme Court reinstated a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and legal benefits to same-sex couples in civil unions [R2.4].

In May 2006, a state judge in Georgia struck down a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage approved by voters in November 2004, saying the measure violated the state constitution's procedural requirements, which exist to prevent voter confusion and protect the constitutional process [R2.3].


In October 2001, a three-judge panel of the state appeals court considered arguments as to whether a lesbian couple who entered into a civil union in Vermont should be recognized as legally married in Georgia. The court did not indicate when it would rule [R2.2].

One of the women is fighting a state court order barring her from having her three sons visit while she's living with someone who is not her legal spouse. The children are from a marriage that ended in divorce in 1995 [R2.2].


In June 1997, a federal appeals court backed the Georgia Attorney-General's dismissal of a female attorney after learning she was planning to marry her lesbian partner [R2.1].

L1.2 Georgia Secretary of State: Constitution of the State of Georgia PDF 3.13mb (Accessed 03 NOV 09)
R1.1 BusinessInsider: Georgia lawmakers just passed a religious freedom bill that could allow anti-gay discrimination 17 MAR 16
C2.11 Judgment: Inniss et al v. Aderhold et al No. 1:14-cv-01180 PDF 596.60kb 07 OCT 15
R2.10 TheNewYorkTimes: Georgia: In Formality, Ban on Gay Marriage Is Struck 08 OCT 15
R2.9 PeachPundit: Georgia Same-Sex Marriage Case Bumped to 11th Circuit 30 JAN 15
C2.8 Opinion and Order: Christopher Inniss, et al., v. Deborag Aderhold, et al. 1:14-CV-01180-WSD PDF 262.75kb, 08 JAN 15
R2.7 LATimes: Georgia federal judge allows same-sex marriage case to proceed 08 JAN 15
C2.6 Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief: Christopher Inniss and Shelton Stroman & Ors. v. Deborah Aderhold & Ors 22 APR 14
R2.5 CBC News: Lawsuit challenging Georgia gay marriage ban filed 22 APR 14
R2.4 New York Times: In Nebraska and Tennessee, More Setbacks to Gay Rights 15 JUL 06
R2.3 Associated Press: Georgia Amendment Banning Same-sex Marriage Struck Down 17 MAY 06
R2.2 Associated Press: Georgia Court Mulls Same-Sex Union 10 OCT 01
R2.1 Sydney Star Observer: Court Backs Lesbian Dismissal 05 JUN 97
Military Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

On 09 December 2013, the Georgia National Guard was reported to have agreed to process spousal benefit applications for troops in same-sex marriages [R1.1].

R1.1 WashingtonBlade: Georgia National Guard to process same-sex benefits 09 DEC 13
Parenting, Adoption, Fostering Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

There is no statutory ban preventing gay men and lesbians from adopting in Georgia.


There is no statutory ban preventing gay men and lesbians from fostering children in Georgia [R1.1].

All foster candidates must take the Model Approach to Positive Parenting test, undergo a home study by a DFACS official, have a physical and criminal background exam and other children or adults in the home must be in good health [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

In September 2009, an appellate Court reportedly rejected the trial court's "conclusory finding" that leaving a child with unmarried straight foster parents because of their purportedly "immoral" relationship "would have an adverse effect on her moral character," stating, "Regardless of the trial court's moral views about unmarried people living together and its conclusion that [the state] acts in contravention of the law by allowing unmarried people to adopt or serve as foster parents, the adoption statute clearly does not prohibit this adoption". The case has potential ramifications for gay adoption in the State [R2.2].


In May 2000, Walton County Superior Court Judge Marvin Sorrells held a lesbian mother in contempt of court for allowing her female partner to share a home with her three children, in a case legal advocates say could have a broad impact on gay parents in the state [R2.1].

R1.1 Southern Voice: Perdue announces new foster parent drive 31 JAN 03
R2.2 FrontiersWeb Online: Georgia Appeals Court Rejects Denial of Adoption on 'Immorality Grounds 02 SEP 10
R2.1 Southern Voice: Ruling Against Lesbian Mom Appealed to Georgia Supreme Court 03 MAY 00
Violence: Bullying, Domestic Violence, Harassment, Vilification Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

In May 1999, the Supreme Court ruled that a Georgia school district can be held financially responsible for the sexual harassment of a fifth-grade girl if officials with the authority to help her knew about the harassment but were "deliberately indifferent" to it [R1.1].

R1.1 Associated Press: Schools Face Broadened Liability for Student-on-Student Harassment 24 MAY 99

GayLawNet®™ "Exclusive" Sponsorship of this page IS available