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Atlanta Eagle gay bar targeted by burglars

The Atlanta Eagle was the victim of an overnight burglary, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Only a few bottles of liquor were taken during the break-in, the AJC reported. Atlanta police spokesman...
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Senate passes ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal

The United States Senate voted to repeal the military’s anti-gay “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy today. The move came just hours after the Senate passed a crucial cloture vote which allowed debate to close.

The earlier cloture vote was 63 to 33. A “super majority” of 60 votes was needed to end debate to allow an up or down vote. The final repeal vote needed just a simple majority of senators to pass.

The final repeal total was 65 to 31.

The House of Representatives passed an identical measure earlier in the week 250-175. President Barack Obama has called for the policy to be repealed and is widely expected to sign the bill into law.

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Senate votes for cloture on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ repeal almost certain

The United States Senate debated a stand-alone repeal of the military’s anti-gay “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy today. The debate came after several failed attempts by the Senate to pass repeal as an amendment to the 2011 Defense Authorization Act.

Senate Republicans previously blocked the measures by forcing continued debate. Today was the first time that the Senate was able to pass cloture, allowing a final vote on the bill. The cloture vote was 63 to 33. Some 60 votes were needed for it to pass.

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GA Voice’s Dyana Bagby named in top 10 Atlanta journalists on Twitter

Clay Duda from The Center for Sustainable Journalism at Kennesaw State University named our very own Dyana Bagby as one of the Top 10 Atlanta Journalists on Twitter. The final list was based on relevant Twitter figures (like followers, reach, interactions, etc.) and a little subjectivity.

Dyana joined such notables as Creative Loafing’s Thomas Wheatley, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jeff Schultz and Paste Magazine’s Austin Ray. To view the entire list, click here.

Congrats Dyana for using your Twitter account for meaningful, responsible and entertaining conversation!

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Town hall forum to discuss Atlanta Eagle raid settlement set for Dec. 20

A town hall meeting to discuss the Atlanta Eagle’s settlement with the city of Atlanta in the federal lawsuit following the city’s illegal police raid on the gay bar last year is set for Monday, Dec. 20.

Speaking at the forum will be Dan Grossman, lead attorney for the plaintiffs; Beth Littrell, attorney for Lambda Legal; and Gerry Weber, attorney for the Southern Center for Human Rights. Lambda Legal and SCHR also represented the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

There will also be a representative from Building Locally to Organize Community Safety (BLOCS) at the forum.

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Atlanta Eagle co-owner says bar is not $1 million richer after federal lawsuit settlement

Richard Ramey and Robby Kelley, owners of the Atlanta Eagle

A family came to the Atlanta Eagle gay bar on Ponce de Leon last night after apparently being sent there by a church seeking help to buy a car. A car would help the parents find a job in these tough economic times.

This incident has Richard Ramey and Robby Kelley, co-owners of the bar, distressed and they want people to know that while $1.025 million awarded in a lawsuit filed by patrons of the Atlanta Eagle the night it was illegally raided last September is a lot of money, the bar itself is only receiving $80,000 — enough to cover the losses the bar suffered in the past year. The federal judge in the case ordered the money be put into an escrow account of Lambda Legal.

"We took this family very seriously and it was very upsetting. We don't want people to think we have all this money and we're partying on the beach or something," Ramey said. "I don't want people to think the Eagle has a million dollars. We don't."

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By the numbers: ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

71

Percent of military service members who said allowing gays to serve openly would have no impact on military readiness.

57

Percent of military service members who said allowing gays to serve openly would have no impact on their morale.

54

Percent of military service members who said allowing gays to serve openly would have no impact on unit cohesion.

53

Percent of combat-deployed military service members who said allowing gays to serve openly would have no impact on effectiveness.

62

Percent of service members who said their military career plans would not change due to repeal.

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Lambda Legal: Augusta counseling student could hurt LGBT youth

Augusta State University student Jennifer Keeton

Lambda Legal has filed a friend-of-the-court brief opposing an Augusta State University graduate student’s claim that her constitutional rights were violated when the school threatened to expel her because of her Christian belief that being gay or transgender is immoral.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court Southern Division in Augusta, argues counseling graduate student Jennifer Keeton’s First Amendment rights were violated by the university because it stated her biblical opposition to homosexuality — that she would state in class and to other students — went against the professional code for being an ethical counselor.

Keeton, who wants to be a secondary school counselor, is represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian organization dedicated to defending “traditional family values.”

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DADT debate moves forward despite uncertain future

Sen. John McCain, Adm. Mike Mullen and Def. Sec. Robert Gates at a recent Senate hearing on

The Pentagon released its highly anticipated report on the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy Nov. 30 and just two days later, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a two-day hearing on the report’s findings.

The report found that as much as 70 percent of service members would consider allowing openly gay and lesbian soldiers to be “positive” or have “no impact” on morale and unit cohesion.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen and Gen. Carter Ham, who co-chaired the Pentagon’s Working Group on the report, testified on the first day of the hearing. All three said that Congress should act to repeal the policy during the current lame-duck session.

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Federal agencies work to address LGBT suicides

A national task force dedicated to suicide prevention among LGBT youth will be part of the new National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. The Alliance, launched by Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in September, is a public-private partnership supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration.

Pamela S. Hyde, administrator of SAMHSA, revealed the plan for an LGBT youth task force in a five-page letter sent last month in response to an inquiry from leaders of the U.S. House’s LGBT Equality Caucus.

The task force will be led by Charles Robbins, head of The Trevor Project, which operates an LGBT youth suicide prevention program nationwide, and Kevin Jennings, the Department of Education’s Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. Jennings, an openly gay appointee, founded the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network.