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U.S. Marine faces lesser charge in attack on Savannah gay man

One of the U.S. Marines charged in the beating of a gay man in Savannah will not face a battery charge, a judge ruled today.

The Savannah Morning News reported today that Sgt. Keil Cronauer, 22, “will definitely not go up as battery,” as ruled by Chatham County Recorder’s Court Judge Claire Cornwell-Williams.

The other U.S. Marine charged in the attack on Kieran Daly — Christopher C. Stanzel, 23 — was sent to Chatham County State Court on the battery charge after a preliminary hearing, the newspaper reported.

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Atlanta tops list of deadliest cities for pedestrians

Atlanta has been named as the deadliest city for pedestrians, according to GOOD Magazine.

The article states that some 10.97 people die for every 100,000 residents each year.

This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to residents of Midtown who cross 10th Street on their way to Piedmont Park or Blake’s, as drivers routinely forget to stop at the crosswalks or are forced to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting those on foot. I can attest to this first-hand.

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Southern Comfort Conference celebrates 20 years

Chaz Bono will speak at this year's Southern Comfort Conference

When Atlanta’s Southern Comfort Conference begins next week, it does so with its core mission in place, but with a renewed emphasis on entertainment – and with some star wattage in the form of Chaz Bono.

According to Alexis Dee, the chair of the conference as well as a board member, this is the 20th anniversary of the conference, designed for the transgender community.  Dee feels the conference has changed over the years from being information-only. That is one reason this year’s theme is “Party Hearty."

When the conference was launched in 1991, it was done more to provide information to bring the transgender community up to speed, according to Dee. That’s still of vital importance, and the 2010 convention will have the same kinds of information as in previous years.

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Savannah Pride, historic queer march seek to unify

Activist Derrick Martin

Savannah is set to make history on Sept. 10 when it holds its first Queer Power March, an event gay organizer Jesse Morgan calls “queerlicious.”

“Savannah has never seen anything like this before,” he said. “It’s time for Savannah to have a march. We want to show Savannah we are a large force.”

While Savannah will hold its 11th annual Pride festival the day after the march, on Sept. 11, the city has never had an LGBT march through the streets, Morgan said. Morgan helped organize Savannah’s largest LGBT equal rights rally that attracted some 400 people in May to coincide with the late gay activist Harvey Milk’s birthday.

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GOP leader Ken Mehlman comes out to mixed reactions

The coming out of former Republican National Committee Chair Ken Mehlman — who led the GOP at a time when the party was backing the Federal Marriage Amendment and marriage amendments in states throughout the country — is inspiring mixed reactions among LGBT advocates as some criticize him for his past actions and others welcome his new public support.

Mehlman’s announcement about his sexual orientation officially became public in an interview published Aug. 25 by the Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder. According to the article, Mehlman told family and associates he’s gay and came to this conclusion fairly recently.

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Alleged gay bashing by Marines not considered hate crime

The alleged beating of a gay man in Savannah by two Marines is no longer being considered a hate crime, according to a spokesperson for the Chatham County District Attorney.

Christopher Stanzel, 23, and Keil Cronauer, 22, of Beaufort are charged with misdemeanor battery in the attack on Kieran Daly, 26, on June 12 in Savannah. Daly, who is gay, alleged that he was attacked because one of the Marines said he winked at him.