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Gay Columbus, Ga., City Council candidate, HIV activist pushes local leaders to get tested

Jeremy Hobbs

Jeremy Hobbs, an openly gay HIV activist, is pushing for local elected officials and community leaders in Columbus, Ga. to join him on getting testing on National HIV Testing Day later this month.

Hobbs, 37, is also running for a seat on the Columbus City Council against incumbent Red McDaniels.

“In 2007, I started giving a voice back to people who are [HIV] positive,” Hobbs told GA Voice in phone interview. “So many people want to live in the shadows or not talk about anything. We're trying to face the stigma here locally.”

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Atlanta’s Baton Bob says he was physically threatened, called anti-gay slur


Baton Bob, the self-proclaimed "Ambassador of Mirth" known for wearing tutus and other costumes while twirling a baton on the streets of Atlanta, said he was accosted Wednesday afternoon by a man who called him a "damn faggot."

Baton Bob, 60, also known as Bob Jamerson, created the Baton Bob character 11 years and for the past  several years has been sighted all over Atlanta dancing and strutting in his outrageous costumes with a baton in hand and a whistle hanging around his neck. He has also become a popular sight at neighborhood festivals as well as the Atlanta Pride parade. He recently introduced a new character, Shake-a-Bag Bob who shakes pom poms rather than twirling a baton.

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Pushing Congress to regulate content over anti-gay beating not the answer


It was hard to watch, but I had to see it.

The video posted to that showed Brandon White being assaulted outside of an Atlanta corner store drew views from around the world. As of today, it's been watched more than a million times.

Local activists are understandably angry at the anti-gay crime, but a new focus on pushing Congress to regulate websites like is misplaced.

“I believe websites like World Star Hip Hop have a responsibility to report this type of activity to some type of law enforcement agency,” said Devin Barrington-Ward of Change Atlanta in a statement released today. Barrington Ward was an organizer for the Feb. 11 rally held at the scene of the video-taped attack.

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Pressure on GOP candidates over LGBT positions ahead of primaries

GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann

The Grand Old Party has had a hard time dealing with LGBT activists this campaign season. From “glitter bombs” to awkward responses in town hall meetings, this year's crop of GOP presidential candidates has been forced to stand by their positions on marriage, gays and lesbians in the military and employment non-discrimination.

Thanks to the power of social media and the accessibility of amateur video for the world to see, activists have been able to highlight the often hypocritical or nonsensical anti-gay positions as the GOP's candidates make their way across the early primary states.

Take Michele Bachmann, for example. She and her husband Marcus run a Christian-based counseling clinic that practices “reparative” therapy in her homestate of Minnesota. “Pray the gay away,” in other words. That, and Michele's anti-gay positions, led to a series of “glitter bombs” and even an occupation of the Bachmann clinic by “gay barbarians” over the summer.