Simon Williamson, columnist with Georgia Voice

Simon Williamson: Left out, kept out

It didn’t register much earlier this year because of the chaotic presidency that has scrambling journalists fixated on what “this is not normal” aspect of the Trump presidency to focus on (spoiler: racism, prej...

5 LGBT things you need to know today, March 29

1. The potential for including LGBT-related questions about sexual orientation and gender identity on the US Census is all but gone after the Census Bureau admitted those questions were "inadvertently" listed f...
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Why can’t Atlanta sustain lesbian bars?

Is it something about the particular women’s bars that have opened here, or is there something inherently different about the way lesbians approach nightlife? Either way, Atlanta is back to having just one lesbian bar, despite about two dozen bars targeted to gay men.

This week, Bellissima, the lesbian bar located at Amsterdam Walk in Midtown, announced its closure after a contract to sell the bar encountered problems.

That means there is just one specifically lesbian bar left in the city: My Sister’s Room, which reopened last weekend with renovations and new owners, and debuts a new sports bar menu this weekend.

This is down from a heyday of a whopping three lesbian bars in the Atlanta area in 2010, when Paris Decatur closed.

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By the numbers: Gay couples in the 2010 Census


Same-sex couples who self-identified on the 2010 U.S. Census.


Percent of U.S. counties reporting at least one same-sex couple, including 100 percent of Ga. counties.


Percent of same-sex couples who are two women.


Atlanta’s rank among large cities for the concentration of gay couples per 1,000 households.


Georgia’s rank out of 50 states and D.C. for the concentration of gay couples per 1,000 households.

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North Ga. mountains home to high concentration of gay couples

The two Georgia counties with the most same-sex households won't surprise LGBT residents: Fulton County ranks first in terms of total couples, while DeKalb is first based on the highest concentration of couples. But three counties in the North Georgia mountains also rank high for the number of gay households per 1,000.

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Census: Close to 30,000 same-sex couples live together in Ga.

Almost 30,000 same-sex couples live together in Georgia, according to data released Thursday from the 2010 Census, and more than 28 percent are raising children. The total numbers show a sharp increase from the 19,288 same-sex unmarried partners reported in the state in the 2000 Census.

The increase is likely due to a combination of better outreach and more lesbian and gay Georgians feeling safe to come out on the confidential form, according to Jeff Graham, executive director of statewide gay political group Georgia Equality.

"The Census Bureau and community organizations did a much better job in 2010 of conducting outreach to the LGBT community than in 2000, therefore more people knew how to respond and the importance of responding," noted Graham, whose organization joined in outreach efforts as the Census was underway last year.

In addition, "as acceptance of our families has grown, more people are willing to stand up and be counted," Graham said. "As more data is collected on the LGBT community in general, the more accurate and comprehensive that data will be."

The federal government conducts a full Census every 10 years. The 2010 Census did not ask respondents to indicate their sexual orientation, so it can't be used to count single gay people.

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By the numbers: Valentine’s Day


Estimated gay couples in the United States as of 2009.


U.S. jurisdictions that currently allow gay marriage: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont, and the District of Columbia.


States that give benefits to same-sex couples under a different label like “civil union” or domestic partnership: California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, Illinois.


States with constitutional amendments banning gay marriage. Georgia passed a constitutional gay marriage ban in 2004.


Nations that grant more rights to same-sex couples than the United States, ranging from marriage to domestic partner recognition.