Editorials

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Gay state rep honors gay politician and lobbyist – only without the ‘gay’

Editor's note: State Rep. Karla Drenner has responded to this editorial. You can read her letter here.

The Georgia House of Representatives approved March 3 a resolution honoring Cathy Woolard, the state's first openly gay elected official. But despite being sponsored by our first openly gay state legislator, the resolution never uses the word "gay" and does not mention Woolard's historic first.

Woolard made history in 1997 when she was elected to the District 6 seat on the Atlanta City Council, becoming the first openly gay elected official in Georgia. She made history again in 2001, when she was elected Atlanta City Council president, the first woman and the first openly gay person to hold the post.

Guess which one of those milestones made it into the resolution approved by the Georgia House of Representatives earlier this month?

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What happens when the ‘gayby boom’ grows up?

Lucy and Carter, the two youngest members of the Georgia Voice staff

If you turned out for the afternoon session of the Human Rights Campaign’s “Bowling for Equality” on Feb. 26, you may have noticed the two youngest members of the Georgia Voice team.

Lucy, age 11 months, smiled all afternoon as our staff took turns cuddling her.

Carter, age five, gamely rolled a few slow gutter balls, while also finding time to play “Angry Birds” under our table and spill a drink precisely in someone’s shoe.

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Guest Editorial: A spiritual call for LGBT unity

We know the LGBTQIA community has made a great deal of progress over the past 40 years. This progress has come because the community as a whole has stepped far out of the closet into the every day world.

There is no place one can go and not find well-adjusted and successful folk. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is about to become a thing of the past. More states are granting rights to same-sex couples. The national polls show we are making great strides to become an accepted part of society.

The more we are honest about who we are and who we love, the more true is Rev. Troy Perry’s proclamation of 30 years ago: “To know us is to love us!”

In every major faith there are affirming congregations who stand proudly for and with us as a whole people of God. We participate in many sports and excel right next to our straight sisters and brothers. We even run for public office and win.

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Sex & Dating: Nothing gayer than Valentine’s Day

If there is any holiday that invokes a “love it” or “hate it” response, it’s Valentine’s Day.

For some, it’s the perfect occasion to put one’s romance skills on display. For others, it’s a bitter reminder of singlehood. And even for some of us who have an amazing person to call our Valentine, it’s still a manufactured holiday when the world goes gaga for mostly straight love.

But maybe Valentine’s Day should actually be the queerest holiday of all. Beyond campy cupids, it is the one day of the year set aside to celebrate love, which is exactly what our civil rights movement is about: fighting for the freedom to love whom we choose, how we choose.

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Guest editorial: You can provide a hand to hold this holiday

Within minutes of setting foot in the United States, I was the recipient of a toy drive. It was Dec. 21 and the American Red Cross’ presence was already on the tarmac at Miami International Airport, welcoming the hundreds of Cuban refugees who were arriving daily on the Pan Am Freedom Flights.

It had already been quite a morning, having left behind everything the Castro regime forbade our family to take with us, save our dignity. Ever grateful for receiving the care package containing the limited basic necessities we would need for an uncertain future, the children also received toys; after all, it was Christmas.

At the time, unimaginable to us, Christmas would be removed from the Cuban calendar in 1969 when Fidel Castro decided it was interfering with the sugar harvest festival — and having declared it an Atheist country in 1962, all public displays of Christmas and Hanukkah would be banned by then.

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Guest Editorial: Obama’s next step on gay rights

With the midterm elections over, we now move full-tilt into 2012 campaign mode. The coming months will bring answers to tantalizing questions, like whether Sarah Palin will run for president (most likely) and whether President Obama will replace Joe Biden on the ticket with Hillary Clinton (less likely).

More critical is the question of whether Obama will face competition from within his own party or from a third-party candidate like Michael Bloomberg.

Make no mistake that Bloomberg is considering a run. He has campaigned for moderates from both parties and is involved with the new organization No Labels, which seeks to unite moderate Republicans and Democrats. No Labels describes itself as a “citizens movement” aimed at overcoming “the tyranny of hyper-partisanship.”

A challenge from Bloomberg could siphon votes from the Republican nominee as well, but Obama has the most to lose in a three-way race. Bloomberg, a former Democrat who switched to the GOP only to switch again to become an independent, holds many progressive views, including support of same-sex marriage.

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Roy Barnes no dream but Nathan Deal a nightmare

To hear former Gov. Roy Barnes at the Oct. 25 LGBT Democratic fundraiser, Tuesday’s election is the most important in Georgia “since World War II.”

While that might be a bit exaggerated, it is hard to overstate the importance of this year’s state elections to LGBT Georgians — although that is not what Barnes and the other Democratic Party leaders and candidates who spoke at the fundraiser were talking about, since they managed to stand at a microphone at an LGBT event and not say the words “gay” or “sexual orientation” one single time.

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Pride should be a means, not an end

We had just finished hanging the last banner on the GA Voice booth at Atlanta Pride on Friday afternoon when a small voice spoke up.

“Can I take one of these?”

I looked around the side of the tent to see her pointing at the rack of newspapers in front of our table. She was young, a little shy, just starting to sport a baby dyke look with her short dreadlocks and baggy shorts.

Of course, we said. So she took the paper, but lingered.

“This is my first Pride.”

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Guest Editorial: Long transformation of the black church

Humility does not come easy to those who believe they are imitating Christ, especially a megachurch pastor whose promotion of his righteousness has netted millions in profits.

Last Sunday, New Birth Bishop Eddie Long vainly tried to be humble during his first public comments on the sex scandal years in the making, replacing the fiery oration that has made him one of the most powerful men in Atlanta with a labored meekness designed to perfect his role as David versus Goliath in his fight against the four teenage boys who have accused him of seducing them.

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Editorial: Why we have ‘two Prides’

The conversation comes up every year, but this time it seems even more distasteful.

As Labor Day nears, it never fails that some Atlantans start questioning the need for one of the city’s largest events over the holiday: Black Gay Pride.

“Why do they want to be segregated?” these white gay people ask. “Why do we have two Prides?”

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Guest Editorial: Empowering black LGBT people

Barbecues, backyard parties and soul-food jams. Summer is a time for family get-togethers. A time when people all over the world take vacations so they can make memories with close friends and loved ones, but in African-American communities only some of us feel comfortable going home.

In our communities, only some of us feel safe enough to be who we are in the company of those who raised us. Only some of us can show up and be all of ourselves all of the time with the people we love most. The pain of moving through our families – closeted, and, in many instances, alienated – is devastating black families everywhere.