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LGBT inclusive hate crimes bill introduced on last day of Ga. legislative session

It was Sine Die at the Gold Dome on Thursday and the day that Rep. Rashad Taylor (D-Atlanta) introduced a hate crimes bill in the House.

Taylor announced at a rally in February he would introduce the bill following the beating of a gay man. Brandon White, in southwest Atlanta by gang members who repeatedly called him "faggot." A video of the beating went viral and made national headlines. Four men have been charged in the beating and a federal investigation continues to determine if the attack is a hate crime.

Taylor said today he was hoping to get Republican sponsors to sign on to the bill that includes sexual orientation and gender identity before introducing it, but because it was an election year several supportive Republicans wanted to wait until January to sign on. Georgia is one of five states that does not have its own hate crimes law.

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Gay beating victim starts new LGBT anti-violence campaign

A lively group of more than 40 Pre-K children crowded together on a recent Wednesday morning at the ABC Early Learning Academy in Midtown and sat with their legs crossed, fidgeting and giggling while waiting for their speaker to be introduced.

On this day, March 7, that speaker was Brandon White, the gay 20-year old who was brutally beaten in southwest Atlanta last month after leaving a grocery store. A videotape of the attack was uploaded to the internet where it went viral. White’s audience with the children is his first official speaking engagement as part of his new anti-violence campaign, “Speak Out with Brandon.”

“If you guys are being bullied it can make a lot of things you do a lot harder than what they actually are,” White told the four and five-year olds. “If you’re being bullied at school, you may not want to go outside and play with the other kids, you may not want to talk to anyone, you may want to sit in the corner. But you’re not alone in what you do.”

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Fourth man charged in Atlanta gay videotaped assault

A Fulton County grand jury has indicted four men in the beating of openly gay Brandon White, whose videotaped attack was uploaded to the internet and went viral, rallying efforts to pass a hate crimes law in Georgia.

The fourth suspect, Javaris Bradford, 24, has not yet been arrested by the Atlanta Police Department, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Jarvis has a record including being charged with armed robbery and aggravated assault.

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Gay Change Atlanta organizer apologizes for ‘appearing’ to turn back on Brandon White

Devon Barrington-Ward

Many in Atlanta's LGBT community are criticizing Change Atlanta on Facebook and various websites for the group’s apparent about-face in its support of Brandon White, the young gay man who was beaten in a filmed attack that went viral on the internet.

Now one of the leaders of the fledgling group says he has “learned his lesson” in how he dealt with the incident, which he acknowledges included questioning whether White was lying about knowing the attackers, “cuddling up” with one of the suspect's defense attorneys on TV and not understanding that many in the LGBT community have been victims of anti-gay violence.

"Yes, we have gotten some flack. And I'm glad I'm learning this lesson at 21 rather and not at 41,” Devin Barrington-Ward said told the GA Voice in an interview Feb. 28. “My youth and immaturity played into this. I will always reflect back on this when I'm 60 or 70.”

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Attorney: ‘Reckless’ to accuse videotaped victim in anti-gay assault of lying

Brandon White's attorney said Friday that allegations from gay activists who accused the young man of lying about knowing the three men who brutally attacked him in southwest Atlanta are "patently false."

"Brandon did not know his attackers and it is sickening to think that people would say that without asking Brandon and are instead taking the word of one of the attackers," attorney Christine Koehler said.

Gay members of Change Atlanta told CBS Atlanta that they believed White, 20, lied when he said he did not know the three gang members who attacked him on Feb. 4 as he stepped outside a grocery store in the Pittsburgh community. The brutal assault, in which the attackers repeatedly called White "faggot," was videotaped and uploaded on a hip hop website where it went viral.

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Gay activists allege beating victim Brandon White knew his attackers

Gay activists with the group Change Atlanta told CBS Atlanta that beating victim Brandon White knew his attackers and was threatening to expose them for being gay. The Change Atlanta members believe the beating was not motivated by hate but rather by revenge.

Christine Koehler, the criminal defense lawyer representing White as his case goes through the court system, could not be immediately reached for comment on this story. Yesterday, however, she spoke out against Change Atlanta's meeting with suspect Dorian Moragne's mother and attorney, and the characterization of Moragne as "a good kid."

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Lawyer of victim in anti-gay videotaped beating speaks out against those defending alleged attackers

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Gay activists with Change Atlanta met with the mother of a suspect accused of brutally attacking a gay man in southwest Atlanta and are now planning a town hall meeting with her and the suspect's attorney. The lawyer representing the victim, however, believes their approach is not helpful to the case that is being investigated as a federal hate crime.

Brandon White, 20, who is gay, was brutally attacked Feb. 4 by three male gang members who repeatedly called  him "faggot."  The assailants then uploaded a video of the attack on a hip hop website where it went viral. The three suspects — Christopher Cain, Dorian Moragne and Darael Demare Williams — have all been arrested.

CBS Atlanta was invited to the meeting with Change Atlanta and Dorian Moragne's  mother and reported on the meeting Wednesday, Feb. 22.