Republican House member blocks ‘Freedom’ band resolution

A Republican member of the state House on Thursday blocked passage of a resolution honoring the Atlanta Freedom Marching Band, an ensemble that represents the city’s gay community.

Rep. Matt Ramsey, R-Peachtree City, asked that a vote on the resolution be delayed until Friday.

Rep. Karla Drenner, D-Avondale Estates, had sponsored the resolution, which references the LGBT community, and said Ramsey did not talk to her before making his move.

“I’m not surprised,” Drenner, who is gay, said. “I’m disappointed.”

The House approves multiple privileged resolutions every day. They typically congratulate constituents, offer condolences for a death or commend someone for service to the state.

Ramsey said members of the GOP caucus had questions about the resolution and so he asked that consideration of it wait a day.

“Nothing more, nothing less,” Ramsey said.

Asked if the resolution would pass Friday, Ramsey said, “I don’t know.”

It is rare that one is blocked, although there is precedent. The state Senate in 2006, in a bipartisan vote, defeated a resolution honoring Jane Fonda for her charity work in the state. House Republicans in 2009 defeated a resolution commending Barack Obama for being elected president.

Drenner said Ramsey doesn’t get the “privileged” part of privileged resolutions and said she would understand if it suggested any policy change.