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Georgia Equality announces endorsements in upcoming election

Georgia Equality announced today some of its endorsements in the Nov. 2 election, saying it would make more endorsements in the near future.

“The endorsed candidates below have demonstrated their support of the LGBT community and they need your support now,” said Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, in a press release about the endorsements.

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Police investigating death of gay campground employee

Local law enforcement investigators have ruled the death of a gay campground employee a murder and are investigating the crime as a “homicide by gunshot.”

On Sept. 8, victim Todd Tumlin was found in the woods off Pulliam Mill Rd. near the site of River’s Edge, a gay campground where Tumlin worked. Tumlin had been reported missing on Aug. 28 and had last been seen in the immediate area.

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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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Atlanta Police LGBT advisory board meets, questions raised about second gay liaison

Atlanta Police Department LGBT Advisory Board

Questions about the controversial Atlanta Eagle raid, the status of former LGBT liaison Dani Lee Harris and the appointment of a new liaison as well as how to rebuild trust between the LGBT community and the Atlanta Police Department were the main focus of today’s first meeting of the Atlanta Police Department’s newly formed GLBT advisory board.

Chief George Turner addressed the board this morning at its meeting at Saint Mark United Methodist Church, saying that a second LGBT liaison will be appointed soon to help Senior Patrol Officer Patricia Powell. But others wanted to know what happened to Dani Lee Harris, who has been on leave since April.

“If we are to establish trust between the community and the APD there has to be dialogue,” said board member Betty Couvertier, a longtime activist who hosts the LGBT radio show “Alternative Perspectives” on WRFG 89.3 FM. “We need to have information about Dani. We have talked to her and she’s not very happy and we need to take that into consideration. She is without pay.”

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Atlanta police LGBT advisory board meets Monday

The Atlanta Police Department announced the first scheduled meeting of the city’s LGBT Advisory Board.

The panel will meet at Saint Mark United Methodist Church on Monday, Sept. 20, at 10 a.m. The meeting is open to the public.

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Atlanta police plan LGBT public safety seminars

The Atlanta Police Department continues to reach out to the LGBT community, as well as other segments of the city’s population, and ask for their help in solving all crimes. Crime Stoppers is the best way to give a tip to police to solve some of these crimes.

Senior Patrol Officer Powell, the police department’s LGBT liaison, will conduct a series of public safety seminars for LGBT people beginning Sept. 23 at Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse.

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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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Savannah’s historic Queer Power March and Pride fest attract hundreds

2010 Savannah Pride festival and Queer Power March

Savannah’s first Queer Power March made history with hundreds of people marching down the streets in the city’s historic district, chanting and holding signs seeking marriage equality, the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and domestic partner benefits for Savannah city employees.

Organized by Jesse Morgan, who was a volunteer for Atlanta’s MondoHomo annual fest, and Laura Cahill, the march on Sept. 10 attracted a diverse crowd of people — there were a couple on motorcycles, many people on bicycles, and most walking down the streets as tourists took photos and employees of shops along the route stood outside and cheered. There were young children, elderly men, and several families as well.

The march began in Johnson Square, the city’s oldest, most historic square, and ended at Ellis Square where a rally with several speakers was held.