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If not Obama, Kelly Clarkson and Beyonce, then who?

Barack Obama inauguration

Ya know, Barack Obama must have had some serious decisions to make about who would perform at his second inauguration.

Using only the finest in Internet truth (Wikipedia, duh), it seems that Obama had his pick of the litter.

Here's the deal: Aretha Franklin sang "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" at Obama's first inaugural shindig. This time around, James Taylor sang "America the Beautiful," Kelly Clarkson did "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" and Beyoncé slayed them all with what's now commonly known as the second greatest national anthem ever sung (RIP, Whitney!).

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LGBT angles to watch for at today’s Presidential Inauguration

President Barack Obama's inauguration is just another example of how he includes LGBT people among the fabric of America. Here are several specific LGBT moments to watch for today:

During the ceremony

Crowds began building hours ago, but the inauguration gets underway in earnest when First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and then President Obama are seated a little after 11 a.m.

Any of the speakers may choose to include LGBT people in their remarks, and we'll be listening closely for specific inclusion in Obama's inaugural address, which starts at noon.

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Anti-gay boobs on the Hill, or DOMA defense renewed thanks to House Republicans

US House

Today marks the first official day of the 113th session of the United States Congress. With new appointments, incoming freshmen legislators and the drama of the fiscal cliff behind them, things are returning to what Washington considers “normal.”

One of the first acts of the Republican leadership in the House was to extend funding to continue the legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act in its court challenges.

The Supreme Court announced in December that it would hear a challenge to the 1996 law that forbids the federal government from recognizing same-sex unions. Lower court rulings have consistently found the law unconstitutional. The Department of Justice announced last year it would no longer defend DOMA in its many court challenges.

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Top national news of 2012: Obama says ‘I do’

Barack Obama

In perhaps the biggest year for the LGBT rights movement in history, one story stands out as the most significant: President Obama’s re-election after he publicly endorsed marriage equality.

Obama won re-election by taking 51 percent of the popular vote compared to the 47 percent won by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, paving the way for the pro-LGBT policies of his first term to continue over the next four years. Obama won major swing states, including Ohio, Florida, Colorado and Virginia.

In May, during a TV interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts, Obama announced his personal support for same-sex marriage, making him the first sitting U.S. president to take that step.

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Outspoken: 2012 in quotes

Barack Obama

From President Obama coming out in support of marriage equality to celebrities like Anderson Cooper just plain coming out, 2012 provided plenty of notable quotables.

Here is a look back at some of the most memorable LGBT media moments of the year.


“I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly, I don’t see much of a distinction beyond that.”

— Vice President Joe Biden on Meet the Press, touching off debate over whether he had gone beyond President Obama, who did not support gay marriage but has said his views are “evolving.” (Meet the Press, May 6)

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Atlanta Freedom Bands to send marchers to D.C. for Presidential Inaugural Parade

 Atlanta Freedom Bands

Seven members from the Atlanta Freedom Bands will head to Washington, D.C., next month to march alongside members of the Lesbian & Gay Band Association in the 57th Presidential Inaugural Parade, held to commemorate President Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony.

Two of Atlanta Freedom Bands' marchers will be section leaders, group President Cliff Norris said.

More than 30 different gay and lesbian music organizations will send marchers to the parade from cities across the country. The combined band will number around 230 participants.

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White House to livestream World AIDS Day event today

White House marks World AIDS Day

Today, the White House hosts a live video stream of its World AIDS Day observation featuring members of President Barack Obama's administration discussing the global impact of HIV/AIDS and the next steps that must be taken to combat the ongoing epidemic.

The livestream can be viewed online at; beginning at 1 p.m.

World AIDS Day, first observed in 1988, is Dec. 1. It is dedicated to raising awareness of the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic.

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WATCH: Atlanta’s City Talk profiles Atlanta Police LGBT liaisons, discuss ‘It Gets Better’ video


City Talk, a public access TV show focusing on Atlanta's government, aired a segment recently about the LGBT officers in the Atlanta Police Department.

Officer Brian Sharp, the first male LGBT liaison for the APD, discusses the department's role to build bridges between the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities and the APD.

Sharp also points out that the APD has made an "It Gets Better Video" and a community screening is planned for December. Sharp states in his interview the video would also be shared on APD's Facebook page and Twitter account. The video will be made public either Thursday or Friday, according to an APD spokesperson.

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National Organization for Marriage aims to export anti-gay battle to Middle East

Maybe they should change the name to the INTERNATIONAL Organization for Marriage. In the wake of massive losses for marriage equality opponents in last week's elections, leaders of the National Organization for Marriage plan to export their anti-gay strategies — especially to the Middle East, where they hope to draw more sympathy.

Tuesday's vote brought the reelection of President Barack Obama, the first sitting president to personally support marriage rights for same-sex couples, and a string of victories on ballot measures for marriage equality.

Voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington affirmed the right of gay couples to marry in their states, while Minnesota became the first state to vote down a proposed state constitutional amendment to define marriage as only between one man and one woman.

So what's an organization dedicated to banning gay marriage to do? Apparently, NOM leader Brian Brown's plan is to whine and appeal to religious extremists -- wherever they may find them.

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Will Republicans learn from their general election loss?

Brian Brown

Even before news that President Barack Obama claimed a second term in the White House late last night, Republicans and conservatives had already begun searching for someone, or something, to blame for their candidate's defeat.

With Obama's victory, Democrats have won four of the last six presidential elections going back to 1992.

Early on election night, conservative Fox News pundit Bill O'Reilly blamed the eventual loss on Hurricane Sandy, suggesting the storm which ravaged the northeast just a week ago took all of the momentum out of the hands of former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney.