In June, when Russia’s government passed an anti-gay “propaganda” bill that was quickly signed into law by President Vladimir Putin, LGBT Americans reacted with fury.
Many jumped to action by organizing petitions to boycott or move the Olympics. Dan Savage, gay activist and columnist for the Seattle Stranger, urged his readers and others to boycott one of Russia’s leading exports — vodka, specifically Stolichnaya vodka.
“[T]here is something we can do right here, right now, in Seattle and other US cities to show our solidarity with Russian queers and their allies and to help to draw international attention to the persecution of gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, trans people, and straight allies in Putin’s increasingly fascistic Russia: DUMP RUSSIAN VODKA,” Savage wrote in his July 24 column.
When the manager of a bar crosses the street to unwittingly ask a table of city of Atlanta employees, including an off-duty cop, to come on over to his bar and enjoy all-you-can-drink beer for $10 after the official bar closing time of 3 a.m., he probably has only himself (and maybe his boss) to thank for being raided.
At about 4:30 a.m. on June 9, the East Atlanta bar named Asylum, owned by Brian Michael Sawyer, was investigated by the Atlanta Police Department. Many in Atlanta's LGBT community may remember Sawyer from other shenanigans, including bilking LGBT organizations out of promised donations.
The only person charged on June 9 was Asylum's manager, Couri Antonio Williams, with selling liquor after hours. The APD police report states 83 patrons exited the club after Williams shut down the club.
Local lesbian attorney Kathleen Womack has been elected to the State Bar of Georgia's Board of Governors, according to the organization.
Womack, a past president of the Stonewall Bar Association and former chair of Georgia Equality's Board of Directors, was named to the State Bar of Georgia in 2011 but won election for the first time in April.
Her election may just be the first time an openly gay or lesbian attorney was elected to the state bar.
Jeff Powell, wearing his baseball cap flipped backwards, lights up a Marlboro Light in the upstairs bar of Blake’s on the Park. It’s early on a Saturday night, so the Midtown bar is not jam-packed with people. He and his friends are tossing back beers and cocktails as drag star Charlie Brown sashays past.
“I’m a very conscious smoker,” Powell said. “I’m aware of my surroundings. I want to be conscious of nonsmokers and don’t want to offend anyone.”
Blake’s allows smoking throughout the two-story bar, but in the past few months, several other gay bars have announced they are prohibiting smoking or only allowing smoking in a designated area. Powell said he has no problem with that.