A gay dad in Georgia has had enough of his state’s discriminatory laws against LGBTQ people and families, so he’s decided to do something about it.
Jonathan Gilreath-Harvey just announced he’s running to unseat “family values” Republican Rep. Eddie Lumsden in Georgia’s House District 12 this November.
“I want to be the force of change in the Georgia legislature as far as that’s concerned,” he tells Project Q Atlanta.
The 31-year-old says he was inspired to run after he and his husband applied to be foster parents last year and it opened his eyes to the systemic issues and discrimination that plagues his state.
“Being a new parent has opened my eyes to experience things I never knew or expected,” he says. “Having a child has changed the way I view the world and highlighted disparities in my own community and around our country.”
If elected, Gilreath-Harvey says he will prioritize fighting anti-LGBTQ adoption bills, including one that is currently being considered in the state Senate. SB 368 aims to give adoption and foster care agencies in Georgia the right to refuse to place children with LGBTQ couples.
“I think we made some great evolution in the Obama years and I feel like we’re just going in reverse,” he says.
Gilreath-Harvey knows he has a tough road ahead of him. Not only is Lumsden a four-term incumbent, but the last time a Democrat ran in House District 12 was in 2012.
Still, he’s hopeful.
“My mission is to lead District 12 and ultimately the state of Georgia to a better, brighter future where all children and their families are provided the opportunity to succeed without epidemics that have solutions,” he says.
And he’s already landed an endorsement from the Floyd County Democratic Party.
“We are excited that Jonathan will bring a young, enthusiastic, progressive voice to the Georgia state House 12th district race here in Floyd County,” Communications Director Tina Bucher says.
Project Q Atlanta reports that Gilreath-Harvey is the 16th openly LGBTQ candidate running for the state legislature in 2020, including five incumbents who are running for re-election.