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Atlanta Police to form LGBT Advisory Board

The Atlanta Police Department is seeking nominations for a nine-member LGBT advisory board, the department announced today. Nominations and those interested in serving must be made by Friday, July 16.

"As I begin to do important work with this position, it will be vital that I hear directly from our community on an ongoing basis," said the APD LGBT liaison Officer Patricia Powell in a statement.

Nominations are being sought from the local LGBT community as a way to create an ongoing dialogue and better improving relations and understanding, according to a press release.

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Arrests made in attack on gay couple in Piedmont Park

Atlanta Police Department Officer Patricia Powell, the recently appointed LGBT liaison, said she is considering offering a safety course to gay Midtown residents after a gay couple was robbed at gunpoint in Piedmont Park.

“I don’t know if gay people are being targeted,” Powell said Tuesday.

But she noted the July 2 armed robbery of Rev. Joshua Noblitt of Saint Mark United Methodist Church and his partner, as well as reports of anti-gay epithets used during a series of fights and disturbances by young people at the June 3 Screen on the Green in the park.

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Breaking: Transgender woman wins federal lawsuit against Georgia General Assembly

A federal judge ruled late Friday that the Georgia General Assembly illegally discriminated against Vandy Beth Glenn, a transgender woman, by firing her from her job as a legislative editor when she announced her plan to transition from male to female.

Beth Littrell of Atlanta, staff attorney for Lambda Legal which is representing Glenn in the lawsuit, said she was "thrilled and relieved but not surprised" with the judge's ruling because it was clear those working for the General Assembly who fired Glenn broke federal law.

It's also important to keep in mind the defendants may still appeal the decision, Littrell said, and this ruling is not a substitution for a statewide law needed to ensure people in Georgia cannot be fired based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

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Gay men report being robbed at gunpoint in Piedmont Park

Rev. Josh Noblitt of Saint Mark United Methodist Church and his partner say they were robbed at gunpoint Friday in Piedmont Park by a group of young men after being asked if they were gay.

Noblitt said he and his partner, Trent, were having a picnic dinner on the grassy area on 10th Street at about 9:45 p.m. on July 2 when three young men approached them.

“They walked up directly to us and asked, ‘Are y’all gay? Two men laying on a blanket. We ought to beat y’all for that,’” Noblitt said.