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Avondale Estates establishes domestic partnership registry for residents

Avondale Estates, the home of state Rep. Karla Drenner, the first openly gay state legislator in Georgia, has now established a domestic partnership registry for its residents. The registry extends to lesbian and gay couples as well as opposite-sex couples.

While a domestic partner registry does not offer any legal recognition of a couple's relationship due to Georgia's 2004 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, the registry does add a level of symbolic recognition to couples and their relationships.

This new resolution should also help boost Avondale Estates' ranking from an 8 out of 100 with the Human Rights Campaign in its next "municipal equality" ranking.

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Topher Payne: When good enough isn’t good enough

Playwright and writer Topher Payne

We live in a part of town that people tend to pass through on their way to somewhere more desirable — the remnants of a once-picturesque 1950s suburb built around Avondale Mall.

That mall is now a Wal-Mart that managed to grow so sketchy in its brief existence that the Wal-Mart people decided to build another one less than five minutes away.

This is a model established to great success by other businesses in our area: Bad Wal-Mart is within spitting distance of Scary Wells Fargo, Don’t Go To That Kroger, and The Pizza Hut Where You Might Die.

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Atlanta scores 82 for ‘municipal equality’; other Ga. cities fail LGBT ratings

Atlanta scored 82 out of 100 on LGBT issues in the new Municipal Equality Index released by the Human Rights Campaign.

Three other Georgia municipalities — all known for being LGBT-friendly — received much lower scores: Decatur received a score of 27, the North Druid Hills area of Dekalb County received 15 and Avondale Estates, home to openly gay State Rep. Karla Drenner, scored 8.

The report examines almost 50 LGBT-related criteria in 137 cities, including the 50 state capitals, 50 cities with the highest populations in the country, and the top 25 large cities, top 25 medium-sized cities, and top 25 small cities with the highest concentrations of same-sex couples identified in the 2010 U.S. Census.

Scores are based on policies and procedures and are not a measure of the "climate" for LGBT people, since some areas can seem friendly and accepting even without actual laws on the books, HRC stressed.

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Trilogy offers unique books from a unique family

Trilogy Bookstore

Trilogy, which opened in October in the Atlanta suburb of Avondale Estates, is more than just a New Age bookstore. The serene, creative space also perfectly reflects the unique family that owns it.

Sean and Havilah Tonkin were married for 10 years and had two children together. But then Sean met Valentin, and the two men have now been married for three years.

When Sean and Valentin Tonkin decided to pursue their dream of opening a business, Havilah and her son moved to Georgia from Ohio to join them. The three parents now own the bookstore together, and live together with their three kids.