published Monday, March 3rd, 2014

GA lawmakers OK statue for Martin Luther King Jr.

ATLANTA — A plan passed by the Georgia House of Representatives calls for civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. to be commemorated with a statute at the state Capitol.

Lawmakers voted 173-3 today to approve a statue for the slain clergyman. It would be paid for by private donations.

The bill now heads to the state Senate and has received overwhelming bipartisan support.

There is a portrait of King in the Capitol building, but not a statue of him on the Statehouse grounds.

Recognizing King has been politically controversial in the past.

Former Georgia Gov. Lester Maddox refused to close state government to honor King when the civil rights leader was assassinated in 1968.

Political leaders who historically supported segregation are honored with portraits or monuments, most erected decades ago.

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