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Augusta Pride hits new attendance record

2012 Augusta Pride Parade

With voice shaking, Holly Garner dropped to one knee on the stage at Augusta Pride to ask Brittaney Pulliam a life-changing question: Will you marry me?

“Since we got together, I knew she was the one for me,” said Garner, 27, who arranged the public proposal as a surprise to Pulliam, 21.

“We already have the wedding planned, she just never officially asked me to marry her,” added Pulliam, describing their planned ceremony in Savannah. “I am very shocked that she actually did it. She is normally a shy person.”

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Augusta grad student goes before federal appeals court over anti-gay beliefs

An Augusta State University counseling student is appearing before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today asking not to be expelled from the school because she believes homosexuality is a sin, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Jennifer Keeton, who is studying to be a school counselor for students in grades K-12, filed a lawsuit against the university on July 21, 2010, in the United States District Court Southern Division in Augusta, claiming that the school threatened to expel her because of her Christian belief that being gay or transgender is immoral.

Keeton is represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, an organization dedicated to defending "traditional family values." In her lawsuit, Keeton claimed her 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.

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‘Love Wins’ as Augusta Pride hosts second festival

Augusta Pride parade

Last year, activists in Augusta threw their first-ever Pride celebration, hoping a few dozen people would come. Instead, almost 4,000 flocked to the Augusta Commons for a sweltering day filled with entertainment and empowerment.

The second annual Augusta Pride, set for June 25, hopes to build on that success and reach an even larger audience with the theme “Love Wins.”

“It’s very important for the community, and that is what motivates me,” said Chris Bannochie, Augusta Pride public relations director. “It is time for not just Atlanta to be the only place dealing with these issues. Last year was a huge success — we were wanting to have 100 people, and we had thousands.”

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Augusta Pride

Augusta Pride parade

Augusta hosts second annual Pride festival this weekend

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HIV-positive Augusta man charged with molesting teen boy

An HIV-positive Augusta assistant band director is behind bars for allegedly coercing a 15-year old in having sex with him.

Travis Omari McCauley, 32, was arrested Wednesday and faces charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, child molestation and reckless conduct by an HIV-infected person.

According to the Augusta Chronicle, McCauley was a friend of the family of the 15-year old male. McCauley was also assistant band director of the Central Savannah River Area All-Star Band, which the teen was a member.

Police say that it was McCauley's relationship with the teen's family that brought the two together and not the relationship they had through the band.

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Queer Justice League looking to recruit Atlanta activists

Atlanta’s Queer Justice League will host its first-ever open meeting Tuesday night at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer from 7-9 p.m.

The organization is seeking people interested in LGBT activism and will offer ways for participants to become more involved in local and national issues.

The QJL recently met with the staff of U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) after his office admitted a member of the senator’s staff left an anti-gay comment on the gay blog Joe.My.God. The staffer has since been "removed."

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New print edition hits stands today

Pick up your copy of the GA Voice for our guide to the Nov. 2 election, a look at whether gays are over Obama, and the best bets for the next two weeks