News

article placeholder

Spelman hosts historic summit on black LGBT students

Spelman College hosted historic LGBT summit

Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, president of Spelman College, jump-started the Audre Lorde Historically Black Colleges & Universities Summit with a compelling bit of trivia.

“As we celebrate our 130th anniversary and founding by two women who lived, themselves, in life-long partnership, it seems appropriate that [Spelman] should be a leader in creating more inclusive environments for our LGBT students,” Tatum said.

That public acknowledgement that Sophia Packard and Harriett Giles, co-organizers of the acclaimed all women’s college, lived as domestic partners set the stage to explore the complex relationships LGBT people share in both attending and working for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Fast forward in time and it is clear how highly publicized incidents like the 2002 beating of a Morehouse student allegedly motivated by homophobia, combined with greater media attention surrounding suicide-related deaths among LGBT youth, have sparked much needed dialogue regarding issues of gender and sexuality at HBCU campuses.

article placeholder

Organizers seek to raise awareness of restaurant chain’s anti-gay giving

GetEqual and Queer Justice League Atlanta protested the Chick-fil-A Leadercast Conference

Four people — two dressed in cow costumes wearing sandwich boards that read “Moor equality” and “What’s your beef wif gay people?” — showed up at the corner of Centennial Park across from CNN on May 6 to protest the Chick-fil-A Leadercast taking place at the nearby Georgia World Congress Center.

While the protest was scheduled from noon to 3 p.m., it ended at 1 p.m. because organizers had to return to work.

The small group of Queer Justice League and GetEQUAL GA supporters handed out “coupons” to passersby stating, “Reserve your free Bigot-fil-A Deluxe” with a list of some of the Atlanta-based fast-food restaurant’s anti-gay donations, including $1,000 to the Family Research Council, $5,000 to the Alliance Defense Fund and $15,000 to Serving Marriages Inc. The money is donated through the WinShape Foundation, the charitable arm of Chick-fil-A founded by owner Truett Cathy and his wife, Jeannette, in 1984.

article placeholder

YouthPride screens classics for a cause

Dwight Eubanks of ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’

Atlanta LGBT youth organization YouthPride hosts its annual Night on the Boulevard fundraiser May 20 to benefit its HIV Prevention Department.

Attendees are asked to wear their best nightwear, pajamas or loungewear to the benefit held at Ansley Park Playhouse. There will be a red carpet from 7-7:30 p.m. open to all guests with photographers posing as paparazzi. Tickets to the fundraiser start at $100 and include admission as well as food and beverages.

Event co-organizer and YouthPride Executive Director Terence McPhaul said the event began around 10 years ago as a gathering of friends to watch old movies.

“Before it was a private affair,” McPhaul said. “It really started as a slumber party.”

article placeholder

Anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church to protest in Savannah

Savannah gay activists are gearing up for a rally when the “God Hates Fags” church rolls into town on May 22 to hold a protest at several local churches with plans to return to Savannah on May 27 to protest high schools.

Act Out Savannah, an LGBT activist group, is already organizing a “Rally Against Hate” to be held May 22 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, one of the churches WBC will be protesting.

“A peaceful protest against bigotry, prejudice and violence will be held in direct response and defiance of the Westboro Baptist Church’s continued mission to bring pain, suffering and humiliation to others in the guise of religion,” states a press release from Act Out Savannah.

Another group, Savannah Unite, plans a candlelight vigil on Wednesday, May 27, to protest Westboro’s visit to Savannah. The vigil will be at Forsyth Park at the Orchestra Stage from 6-9 p.m.

article placeholder

By the numbers: Tyler Clementi

18

Age of Tyler Clementi when he committed suicide last fall by jumping off the George Washington Bridge after learning that fellow Rutgers University students filmed him having sex with a man and webcast it.

3

Years of a pre-trial intervention program that Molly Wei, 19, accepted when she pleaded not guilty May 6 for her role in the webcast. If she completes the program, charges against her will be dropped.

300

Hours of community service Molly Wei must also complete, in a deal accepted by Clementi’s parents. She must also testify against Clementi’s roommate, Dharun Ravi, who faces 15 counts of invasion of privacy and bias intimidation.

10

The length of the hearing, in minutes.

5

Maximum years in prison under New Jersey law for a count of secretly collecting images of nudity or sexual contact, then distributing them.

 

article placeholder

Gov. Deal comes out against homophobia?

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal

Gov. Nathan Deal has officially come out against homophobia, transphobia and Islamaphobia.

Well, at least a generic welcome letter his office sends out to groups requesting an official welcome to their event states so.

Betty Couvertier, organizer of this year’s International Day Against Homophobia, sought — and finally received — a letter from the governor’s office that is addressed to: “Atlanta International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Islamaphobia.”

The letter, complete with the seal of the state of Georgia and the governor’s signature (obviously just a signature stamp), simply states:

article placeholder

Atlanta police LGBT Advisory Group speaks out on behalf of Major Khirus Williams

Atlanta Police Chief George Turner

The Atlanta Police Department's LGBT Advisory Group is stepping up to speak on Zone 5 Commander Major Khirus Williams' behalf after it was made public he was being "forced into retirement" for leaking internal information to eliminate community-oriented policing.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Major Williams claims to have been “forced into retirement” after leaking an internal proposal that would have eliminated community-oriented policing. The AJC also reports that Williams was a 26-year veteran of the force and was considered as a possible replacement for Chief Richard Pennington after his retirement in 2010.

A Public Safety Committee meeting is set for today at Atlanta City Hall at 3 p.m. in Committee Room 2.

article placeholder

Atlanta Pride opens nominations for 2011 parade Grand Marshals

The Atlanta Pride Committee opened nominations for 2011 Pride Parade Grand Marshals today. Last year to celebrate the festival's 40th anniversary, some 120 honorary Grand Marshals marched in the parade wearing special green shirts.

According to the Pride Committee, nominees do not have to reside in Georgia, but submissions are encouraged to have a connection with the local LGBT community.

All nominations must be submitted by 5 p.m. on June 1.

article placeholder

Atlanta Chick-fil-A protest fizzles, but organizers say goal was to raise awareness

LGBT activists protest the Chick-fil-A Leadercast Conference

Four people — two dressed in cow costumes wearing sandwich boards that read “Moor equality” and “What’s your beef wif gay people?” — showed up at the corner of Centennial Park across from CNN to protest the Chick-fil-A Leadercast taking place at the nearby Georgia World Congress Center.

While the protest was scheduled from noon to 3 p.m., it ended at 1 p.m. because organizers had to return to work.

The small group of Queer Justice League and GetEQUAL GA supporters handed out “coupons” to passersby stating, “Reserve your free Bigot-fil-A Deluxe” with a list of some of the Atlanta-based fast-food restaurant’s anti-gay donations, including $1,000 to the Family Research Council, $5,000 to the Alliance Defense Fund and $15,000 to Serving Marriages Inc.