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Atlanta Zoning Committee approves ordinances to oust Cheshire Bridge Road adult businesses



In a 3-2 vote, with one abstention, the Atlanta Zoning Committee voted to approve proposed legislation that would oust adult businesses along Cheshire Bridge Road by 2018.

Voting in favor were Keisha Lance Bottoms, chair of the committee; Alex Wan, co-chair and sponsor of the legislation; and Carla Smith. Voting no were Howard Shook and Ivory Lee Young. Joyce Sheperd, who arrived late to the meeting, abstained.

Next stop for the controversial legislation that has been amended numerous times before it was decided to focus solely on strip clubs and sex stores is the full City Council on June 3.

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Petition pops up urging Atlanta City Council to outlaw sex shops on Cheshire Bridge Road

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A petition popped up this week on change.org urging the Atlanta City Council to banish adult businesses on Cheshire Bridge Road.

Posted to the popular website by a group calling itself "Concerned Atlanta Residents" and made up of people living in the area, the petition states, "Adult businesses are incompatible with residential neighborhoods. Our neighborhoods were here decades before the adult businesses started appearing on Cheshire Bridge through a series of zoning loopholes and poor decisions/enforcement by the City of Atlanta."

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UPDATE: Atlanta City Council passes resolution supporting gay marriage

The Atlanta City Council voted 11-2 today to pass a resolution supporting marriage equality, said Alex Wan, the council's only openly gay member.

Wan presented the resolution to the full City Council. He told GA Voice the news but also posted to his Facebook page, "Proud to share with everyone that the Atlanta City Council just passed a resolution supporting marriage equality!!!"

The vote puts the council ahead of Mayor Kasim Reed, who has stated publicly he does not support marriage equality. He met with LGBT advocates in June to discuss his stance, but despite the pressure, was still was not willing to change his position even after President Barack Obama came out in support of gay marriage.

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Ga. Supreme Court rules for gay journalist who sued Atlanta over open meetings

The Ga. Supreme Court ruled 4-3 today that the Atlanta City Council violated the state's Open Meetings Act when it refused to disclose how individual council members voted on a rule to amend the amount of public comment time at committee meetings.

Matthew Cardinale, who is openly gay and founder and editor of Atlanta Progressive News, represented himself in the case before the high court. Representing the city were city attorneys Cathy Hampton, Amber Robinson and Kristin Denius.

Cardinale argued his case before the Georgia Supreme Court on Oct. 4. You can view video of the oral arguments by Cardinale and the city by clicking here.

The case stems from a public meeting retreat the council had at the Georgia Aquarium in 2010 when council members voted on whether to amend rules regarding the amount of time the public can speak during committee meetings. According to documents, the council vote was 8-7 to keep the public comment time as it is. However, the minutes of the meeting did not show who voted how and Cardinale asked the city for a list of how each council member voted.

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Openly gay East Point City Councilmember alleges threat against him

Openly gay East Point Councilmember Lance Rhodes has filed a report with city police alleging a terroristic threat was made against him. The threats are not stated to be anti-gay.

Rhodes filed a complaint with the East Point police and stated the threat against him occurred after a heated Oct. 4 meeting in which a woman addressed the council and allegedly said to him, "If you come over to my neighborhood and knock on my neighbor's door, she might shoot you."