How our Georgia MassResistance activist confronted government officials, tried to arouse churches, and reached out to local citizens
Demands ACTION to stop LGBT push for men in women’s restrooms
Leading to her outrageous arrest and jailing – for LEGALLY protesting in front of state Capitol
Part 2 of 3
February 19, 2018
When public officials and church leaders don’t want to face (or even acknowledge) an attack on society by the LGBT movement, someone has to stand up and force the issue. Marquitta R. Ford is one of the most courageous and persistent activists we have ever worked with. Even though this Georgia MassResistance activist is only 5 feet tall, she backs down to nobody!
Our report on this outrageous incident is being presented in three parts.
- Part 1 described the horror stories that Marquitta and others endured.
- Here in Part 2 we describe her tireless protests and lobbying. It’s really quite moving. This woman truly covered the waterfront!
- In Part 3 you’ll read about her bizarre and unlawful arrest and jailing.
As we reported in Part 1 of this series, last year the Georgia’s governor caved in to LGBT pressure and vetoed the “religious freedom” bill passed by the Legislature. This LGBT “victory” has led to men using women’s public restrooms.
Since then Marquitta and her friends have experienced several terrifying incidents. But the Georgia politicians refuse to take action to protect women. In fact, almost no one in government and even in local churches even wants talk about it, fearing the viciousness of the LGBT activists.
But many people feel that the government needs to act, and Marquitta was determined to make that happen. For several months she aggressively lobbied public officials, tried to ignite local churches on the issue, protested, and generally spread the word.
Marquitta’s unrelenting efforts – and particularly her frequent protests outside the State Capitol – were clearly upsetting some state officials. On Jan. 25 she was suddenly surrounded by state police, handcuffed, jailed in a humiliating manner, and charged with a bizarre offense unconnected with anything she had been doing. In addition, her arrest records have been mysteriously “locked” by the courthouse and she was told that even the clerk cannot access them.
Here’s what Marquitta’s been doing:
Marquitta called the offices at least a dozen State Representatives and State Senators and meticulously described the horror stories that had happened, and how people were looking to their elected officials for protection. She focused on politicians who were known to be conservative and Christian.
As for most who call their State House, she spoke with the aides. She rarely got any response beyond that. She was not able to speak directly with a single State Rep or Senator. It was clear that this is an issue that even conservative Christian politicians don’t want to touch.
One aide connected Marquitta with the organizers of the Domestic Violence Awareness event being held at the Capitol. But they weren’t interested either.
In June 2017, after being rejected by so-called “strong Christian State Reps,” Marquitta went to the Capitol to try the Governor’s office. She went to the Constituent Services office and filled out a form describing the incidents. She was told this would be investigated, and that someone would get back to her.
She also contacted the government offices of nearby cities. Again, no one wanted to deal with the issue.
Protest inside the Capitol. Nearly four months went by and Marquitta had heard nothing from the Governor’s office about their promised “investigation.” So on Oct. 10, 2017, she and her 19-year-old son decided to go back. She was carrying a sign about men in women’s bathrooms. She intended to protest inside the building until an official was willing to talk to them about this. They would also visit some Reps’ and Senators’ offices.
What happened was bizarre. When they went to the Constituent Services office, they were told that no one would be addressing or investigating her complaint because (a) they are waiting until the legislative session starts in January, and (b) the incidents took place in private establishments (though one was in the public subway station). Marquitta immediately re-filed her complaint.
Marquitta then told the staffers that she was tired of her public officials being bullied, bossed and bought by the LGBT movement. She said she would go into the Capitol Rotunda and hold her sign for the rest of the day.
Soon after she got to the Rotunda, she was surrounded by three police officers. They told her that it was unlawful to have a sign inside the Capitol and she would be arrested if she stayed in the building with the sign. However, when she had entered the Capitol with the sign that day, the security detail saw her sign and had no problem with her bringing it in. It was obvious that the nature of her sign was what bothered the three officers that confronted her.
There was a lengthy conversation between Marquitta and the three officers. Rather than arrest her, they deceived her by telling her that she could speak to her State Representative’s staff if she went to the building across the street. That wasn’t true. She and her son exited the Capitol only to return to the Capitol to go to her State Senator’s office – after Marquitta left her sign downstairs in the building for a guard to keep.
Marquitta kept going. About a month later, she managed to speak on the phone personally with her Congressman, Rep. John Lewis (D-Atlanta), often called a “Civil Rights icon.” However, when she described the bathroom madness that was going on in his district, he became very rude and wanted nothing to do with it, she told us. (He apparently views the transgender movement as equivalent to the Civil Rights movement.)
DeKalb County Commission
Since two of the bathroom incidents that Marquitta and her friends endured took place in DeKalb County, she felt that the DeKalb County Commission should intervene on behalf of its citizens. So she decided to address them during the “public testimony” part of their meeting.
It wasn’t easy. In February, 2017 she came to the Commission meeting to speak, but was told that she would have to speak at the next meeting instead since “time ran out for citizens to speak.” But at the following month’s meeting Marquitta did speak. And she really gave them an earful! You can watch it here:
Watch Marquitta's powerful testimony before the DeKalb County Commission HERE (2:00 min)
Later, Marquitta met twice with two Commission staff members. The commission seemed moved by her testimony – but like the other politicians, they clearly didn’t want to touch this issue. They simply advised her to “do a petition.”
You’d think that Christian churches in the Deep South would want to help stop these kinds of horrors attacking society. But times are changing – for the worse. Marquitta phoned over a hundred churches in the greater Atlanta area and across Georgia. She painstakingly described what was happening. She asked if she could tell her story and help alert people so they can confront this.
Unfortunately, dealing with the churches was not much different than dealing with the politicians. Many just ignored her phone messages. Others said they’d arrange a meeting, etc., but never got back to her. Among the excuses she got was that her message “isn’t appropriate.”
Even church leaders backed off. In Aug. 2016, Marquitta attended a meeting of the Concerned Black Clergy after discussing her story with their executive director. But when she got there she was not allowed to speak and was told that “we as Christians should be compassionate toward the LGBTQ community.”
However, two churches did have Marquitta speak. In September and October 2016, Faith AME Zion Church in Atlanta allowed her to speak during two different bible study sessions. She gave a very passionate talk. She described the events that happened to her. And she emphasized that Christians must obey God rather than men when laws of the land go against God's word. Her first talk was very well received. But the second time she also described the aggressive manner of the LGBT movement and the evils of abortion. The pastor cut her talk short.
In March 2017, she spoke twice at St. Martin Spiritual Church and told them about the bathroom incidents. She was also well received there.
Marquitta wanted to get the word out everywhere. She called the Georgia Bar Association, the county Legal Aid group, and at least one national pro-family law group. She called the officials at several local schools and colleges. No interest.
She called the DeKalb Police Department, and was told that their “hands are tied” and they “can do nothing about men entering women’s restrooms.”
She called major Atlanta media outlets. A few of them talked with her, but none were interested in reporting about it.
Marquitta called Kelvin Cochran, the former Atlanta Fire Chief, now a minister, who was fired for writing a book about homosexuality. He told her that pastors are "trying to figure out what to do" regarding these kinds of restroom experiences.
Fish Fry to spread the word in her neighborhood!
Marquitta decided that at least her own neighborhood should be informed. In October 2017, she started by holding a sign on a local busy street corner.
But she wanted to do more. So on Oct. 20, and then again on Nov. 11, she held Fish Fry Fundraisers in her neighborhood, run out of her apartment. She handed out her flyers in hair salons and barber shops in her neighborhood. The purpose was (1) spread awareness to protect the safety and privacy rights of women and children in restrooms, and (2) to raise money for Georgia MassResistance to continue fighting for this cause.
As Marquitta told us:
I held Fish Fry Fundraisers to spread awareness to protect the safety and privacy rights of women and children in restrooms, locker rooms, shower rooms and fitting rooms – meaning common sense for males to use the appropriate facilities according to what God created them to be and not what they "feel" like. Also common sense for females to use the correct facilities according to what God created them to be and not what they "feel" like.
It was the first time she had done this kind of thing. The fish fries didn’t bring in much money, but they did spread awareness. She plans to expand this in the future.
Protesting outside State Capitol
If the state politicians were choosing to ignore this terrible issue, Marquitta wasn’t going to let it be ignored. The politicians needed to be continually reminded that people are outraged.
Starting in mid-October 2017, Marquitta regularly protested with a sign on the sidewalk outside the main entrance to the Georgia State Capitol building. Early on she had been told by a State Police officer that if she kept moving while holding the sign – going up and down or back and forth on that sidewalk area – it was perfectly legal. So that’s what she always did.
But right from the beginning, she was harassed by various police officers. They would usually tell her she needed to leave the area. But she always stood her ground – sometimes quite strongly – and each time the police backed down and let her continue.
A few examples of police harassment: On October 25, 2017, two Capitol Police officers told her she needed to leave that area because the Capitol “owned” the sidewalks. She refused and told them she wasn’t believing such nonsense. One of the officers then phoned his chief for a clarification, but then he let Marquitta continue protesting. On November 14, a police officer similarly started to harass her, then simply walked away when she told him she wasn’t leaving. On November 28, a motorcycle cop stopped and approached her, heard a few choice words from her about her right to protest, then got back on his motorcycle and just watched her for a while. None of them could cite that she was actually doing anything illegal. Despite freezing weather, Marquitta kept coming back in December and January.
In the meantime, Marquitta was getting the attention of State Reps and their staffers. Photos of her protesting were posted on social media, and inside the Capitol. By late January, state reps and aides would recognize her and speak to her. Several told her they supported what she was doing. She was clearly making her statement heard inside that building!
This is activism!
On the face of it, this fight would seem frustrating and overwhelming. It’s astounding that both the churches and our own allies in the Legislature have largely caved on this issue.
When things get this difficult, too many pro-family conservatives become mushy or simply give up. Both the LGBT movement and the RINO conservatives count on that. But they hadn’t met Marquitta R. Ford, a tireless Georgia MassResistance activist who doesn’t accept defeat and doesn’t back down. They didn’t know what to do about her!
Coming in Part 3 – Marquitta’s illegal arrest and jailing
It was Marquitta’s very visible protesting on the public sidewalk outside the State Capitol that apparently finally got to certain state politicians.
On January 25, after months of protesting at the spot where she had been told by state police and Capitol police that it was perfectly legal, she was surrounded by police, arrested, and taken to jail. The bizarre charges filed against her and her foul and humiliating treatment should outrage everyone.
We will have a full report on that in our next post – Part 3.