Age of Consent:
Consensual sex between same-sex couples is lawful at aged 16 years [R1.1].
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 [L1.1] 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.
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 [R2.1].
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 [R2.2].
Children: Access, Custody, Visitation:
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." [R1.1].
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 [R1.4].
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 [R1.3].
Civil Unions, Partners: Domestic, Registered:
There is no State-wide statutory recognition of Civil Unions, Domestic Partners or Registered Partners
On 27 April 2001, the DeKalb County Commission voted to offer DP benefits to its county workers [R2.1].
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" [R2.2].
In December 2001, the Atlanta City Council passed an equal benefits ordinance [R3.1].
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 [R3.2].
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 [R5.1].
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 [R5.2].
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].
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 [R2.1].
In December 2001, Atlanta City Council passed an equal benefits ordinance requiring city contractors to offer equal benefits for GLBT and straight employees [R2.2].
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 [R2.4].
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 [R2.5].
Gender Identity, Intersex, Transgender, and Transsexual:
In December 2000, Atlanta became the first city in Georgia to enact a comprehensive nondiscrimination law that includes sexual orientation and gender identity [R1.1].
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 [R1.2].
In September 2008, Georgia's Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of a transgender politician accused by her rivals of misleading voters by running as a woman [R2.1].
In September 2003, State Court Judge Duncan Wheale granted a transgendered woman the right to change her name [R2.2].
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].
It is unlawful for persons who know they are HIV-positive to engage in unprotected sex without disclosing their status [R1].
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 [R1.1].
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 [R1.1], [R1.2].
Parenting, Adopting, Fostering:
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].
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 [R2.1].