National

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Chambliss’ office responsible for anti-gay slur

U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss admitted an anti-gay blog comment originated from his Atlanta office

Georgia LGBT groups were up in arms this week after an anti-gay death threat in an online forum was tracked back to the office of Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.). Georgia Equality, the state’s largest LGBT political group, organized supporters to call Chambliss’ local offices around the state, while the upstart Queer Justice League demanded that Chambliss apologize.

“We want an official, contrite apology for Senator Chambliss, to the LGBT community and to all Georgians,” QJL’s Art Izzard said in a press release. “We also want Sen. Chambliss to commit to engaging his employees in sensitivity training, to equip them to better handle the concerns of his constituents.”

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‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal stalls in U.S. Senate

U.S. Senator John McCain (AZ-R) voted against the cloture measure effectively blocking a Congressional repeal of DADT

Efforts to allow gays to serve openly in the U.S. military received a serious setback Sept. 21, when the U.S. Senate rejected a motion to break a Republican-led filibuster against an annual defense spending bill that includes language aimed at ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

The vote was 56 to 43 — four votes short of ending the filibuster. Georgia’s two U.S. senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, both Republicans, voted in the majority to stymie the repeal.

Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, called the vote a “frustrating blow.”

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Defense Authorization cloture vote fails in Senate, stalling ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal

The Senate Tuesday afternoon rejected a motion to break a Republican-led filibuster against an annual defense spending bill that includes language aimed at ending the military’s "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" law banning out gays. The vote was 56 to 43.

The vote was uncertain all the way up to the vote, started at 2:30 eastern time, as Democratic leaders were reportedly trying to negotiate an agreement with one or two senators to reach the 60 votes they needed to proceed. But Republicans stood united in their contention that a procedural restriction placed on consideration of the annual defense spending bill was politically motivated to win the votes of LGBT people and Latinos for the mid-term elections in November.

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DADT debate pushed back

The United States Senate was unable to move forward with the 2011 Defense Authorization bill that included an amendment that would have allowed President Barack Obama to repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy after the completion of a Pentagon review. There were 56 votes to bring the bill to the floor and 43 votes against. 60 votes were required.

The failure to bring the bill to the full Senate is a defeat, albeit temporary, for those advocating the repeal of DADT.

Republicans, led by Arizona Senator John McCain, argued that the majority was trying to include non-relevant amendments to the legislation and accused Democrats of using the Defense Authorization bill to push through a liberal social agenda.

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Senate to vote on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal today

Gay rights supporters are urged to call their senators this morning as the U.S. Senate is expected to vote today on an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill that would set in motion repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban on openly gay service members.

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Chaz Bono talks about coming out as trans in public eye

Chaz Bono at the 2010 Southern Comfort Conference

Southern Comfort, the annual Atlanta transgender conference, celebrated its 20th anniversary Sept. 6-12, drawing hundreds from around the globe to the Crown Plaza Ravinia Hotel.

The conference included seminars covering everything from surgeons discussing their procedures to open conversations on a variety of topics pertaining to transgender life.

One of the main highlights this year was the appearance of transgender celebrity and advocate Chaz Bono, who also participated in many of the events and hosted a seminar on media activism with Nick Adams, media awards communications manager for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

Bono, the child of Cher and Sonny Bono, made national headlines when he came out as transgender. He mingled with the crowd each day and was very gracious with socializing.

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Senate vote expected on repeal of military gay ban

Barely two weeks after a federal judge ruled the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy unconstitutional, the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on repealing the ban on openly gay service members.

At press time, the Senate was expected to vote during the week of Sept. 20 on the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes an amendment repealing DADT.

The U.S. House approved in May a defense authorization bill that includes an amendment on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” although it delays repeal until after a Pentagon study on gays in the military is completed and military leaders determine repeal will not hurt troop readiness.

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By the numbers: Same-sex immigration

24,000 Estimated gay couples in the U.S. that include one foreign partner. The Uniting American Families Act would allow them to sponsor their partners for immigration. 11 million Estimated undocumented immigra...