NATIONAL NEWS: Anti-Gay Bill Might Harm Atlanta’s Super Bowl Bid

Plus: The HRC is in a controversy over endorsing a GOP Senate candidate, and a LGBTQ event in Ukraine was shut down by 200 protesters.

Jason Getz | USA Today Sports

Jason Getz | USA Today Sports

The NFL is speaking out against Georgia’s recently passed “religious liberty” bill.

Georgia House Bill 757, which will allow institutionalized LGBTQ discrimination, has received opposition from the National Football League. League spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement, “NFL policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard. Whether the laws and regulations of a state and local community are consistent with these policies would be one of many factors NFL owners may use to evaluate potential Super Bowl host sites.” In other words, Atlanta, which has been named a finalist for 2019 and 2020 Super Bowl consideration, might not make the cut. Other organizations, including Google and Apple, have also publicly criticized the legislation.

The Human Rights Campaign endorses GOP incumbent Mark Kirk for Senate over Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth, who has a higher HRC rating.

The HRC has been under scrutiny this week over endorsing Republican incumbent Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois over Democrat Tammy Duckworth. In the group’s endorsement, HRC president Chad Griffin said, “Whether it was becoming the first Republican Senator to co-sponsor the Equality Act, co-sponsoring a bill to help schools combat anti-LGBT bullying or supporting marriage equality, Senator Kirk has demonstrated time and again that he believes in full federal equality.” However, some are criticizing the move given that Kirk’s HRC score is 75 percent, while Duckworth’s is 100 percent. In 2008 and 2014, HRC endorsed Republican Congresswoman Susan Collins over a higher-scoring Democratic challenger even though she wasn’t supportive of marriage equality until 2014.

In international news, a Ukrainian LGBTQ festival was shut down by anti-gay protesters.

More than 200 anti-gay protesters reportedly shouted “Kill, kill, kill” as they ambushed a LGBTQ festival in Ukraine on Saturday. Only 70 participants attended the festival in the tourist city of Lviv, but that was enough to provoke several demonstrators to surround the hosting hotel while throwing stones and calling the police to force a closure. The event had had a tough time finding a welcoming space, and Lviv mayor Andriy Sadovy partially blamed the LGBTQ community on Facebook: “[Saturday’s] events in Lviv are a result of a carefully planned provocation … both sides were conscious or unconscious parts of the whole picture.” However, Ukraine Parliament member Mustafa Nayyem took to Facebook to criticize the police: “The authorities should always react when people’s rights are infringed upon. It doesn’t matter whose rights it is — LGBT people, the opposition, patriots, migrants, women, the elderly or children.”