ATLANTA, GA -- For the first time in Olympic history gays and lesbians have a place at the Games. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has established a Media Resource Center at the first-ever Gay and Lesbian Visitor's Center in midtown Atlanta, at 1374 West Peachtree Street (at 17th St., two blocks from the Arts Center MARTA Station) which will operate throughout the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.
GLAAD's Media Resource Center will help media professionals from around the globe cover breaking gay and lesbian Olympic stories, offering electronic and print media outlets features and profiles. The Center will provide computers, telephone and fax facilities for working press. Georgia is the setting of many controversial anti-gay legislative initiatives such as the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the infamous Cobb County Resolution, and is the home of anti-gay Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich.
"Atlanta, 'the city too busy to hate,' is busy welcoming gays and lesbians to the Games for the first time in Olympic history," said Cathy Renna, a GLAAD spokesperson. "GLAAD's Media Resource Center has broken new ground and we hope it will come to symbolize the spirit of togetherness the Olympics inspires."
The GLAAD Media Resource Center will focus attention on events organized by Atlanta's gay and lesbian community. July 23 marks the 3rd anniversary of the passage of Cobb County's anti-gay resolution, which drew national attention to the suburban Atlanta community. The resolution, which condemned homosexuality as "incompatible with community standards," galvanized the gay and lesbian community prompting the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games to relocate all Olympic events slated to occur in Cobb County.
Thousands of Olympic visitors will see a giant billboard with a stark message: "WARNING: COBB COUNTY'S ANTI-GAY RESOLUTION DENIES RIGHTS AND DIVIDES FAMILIES." The billboard, located on Route 75 South between exits 113 and 114, is sponsored by the Cobb Citizens Coalition and the Georgia Equality Project.
GLAAD is the nation's lesbian and gay news bureau and the only national lesbian and gay media watchdog organization. GLAAD promotes fair, accurate, and inclusive representation as a means of challenging discrimination based on sexual orientation or identity.