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Guilty pleas entered by two men accused in brutal attack of gay Atlanta man


Dorian Moragne, 19, and Dareal Demare Williams, 18, pleaded guilty today in Fulton County Superior Court in the brutal assault Brandon White, a black gay man, on Feb. 4 in the Pittsburgh community.  Sentencing hearing will be held in July and the men face up to 15 and 20 years on each count.

During the hearing today before Fulton Superior Court Judge Jackson Bedford, prosecutor J. Gabriel Banks said the assault was instigated by another suspect, Christopher Cain, who alleged that the victim, White, 20, made a sexual advance toward him. Another suspect, Javaris Williams, was also allegedly involved in the attack that was videotaped and uploaded to a hip hop website.

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Lawsuit not over for ousted Ga. student council prez who wanted gay-inclusive prom

Reuben Lack, his father and attorney

A federal judged ruled Monday against an Alpharetta High School student's claim that he was sacked from his student council position after introducing an LGBT-friendly prom resolution. While the decision means Reuben Lack won’t get his leadership role back, his father stressed that the lawsuit against the Fulton County School District isn’t over.

Reuben Lack, 18, claimed in a federal lawsuit filed in March that he was removed from his position as the school's student body president after introducing a resolution during a February student council meeting that would have made the school's annual prom more inclusive to LGBT students by removing the prom “king” and “queen” titles and replacing them with more gender-neutral titles.

The school district, however, responded by saying Lack's removal had nothing to do with the prom resolution, and claimed that he was removed for canceling and rescheduling student council meetings with little or no notice, acting uncivilly and refusing to comply with direct instructions from the student council faculty advisers.

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Federal appeals court upholds former Grady doctor’s conviction on sex charges

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the 320-month prison sentence against former Grady Memorial Hospital emergency room physician Adam Wayne Lebowitz, according to a story in today's Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Lebowitz, who is gay and HIV positive, was an Emory medical student when he worked at Grady Memorial. He was arrested, charged and convicted for coercing a minor to engage in sexual acts. He also produced child pornography.

Lebowitz was arrested after an undercover sting operation that included a 15-year old boy who worked with Coweta County law enforcement.

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YouthPride Executive Director Terence McPhaul seeks millions in string of lawsuits

YouthPride Executive Director Terence McPhaul is no stranger to lawsuits. Since becoming executive director of YouthPride in June 2009, he has personally filed three lawsuits handled in federal court — including one showing that he began searching for other jobs within months of taking the helm of the youth group.

Like McPhaul’s recent lawsuit in Fulton County against a car dealership, the federal lawsuits are all filed “pro se,” or with McPhaul representing himself instead of having an attorney. The lawsuits are filed on behalf of McPhaul as an individual, not as a representative of YouthPride. One remains pending.

Court records show McPhaul has filed six lawsuits handled by the federal court system since 1994, all representing himself without an attorney. Defendants include at least four of his previous employers, including three prominent Atlanta nonprofits: AID Atlanta, National AIDS Education & Services for Minorities, and St. Joseph’s Mercy Care.

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HIV-positive man who sued city of Atlanta over police job gets new day in court

The case of a 40-year old man who was denied employment with the Atlanta Police Department over his positive HIV status will return to a U.S. District Court after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit sent the case back to the lower court to resolve unaddressed issues.

The man, identified as by the pseudonym “Richard Roe,” first applied to the APD in early 2006, but was denied employment due to his HIV status. Roe claims the department called him a “direct threat” to the safety of others.

Roe was represented by attorneys with Lambda Legal, a nonprofit group that works on LGBT and HIV issues. Lambda argued the case before the appeals panel on Jan. 25 in Atlanta.

"This is a great victory for Lambda Legal's client who will now get his chance in court to show how the APD's refusal to hire him was discriminatory and illegal," Scott Schoettes, Lambda Legal's HIV project director, said in a press release this afternoon.

"Before the appellate court, the City of Atlanta admitted that there are already HIV-positive police officers serving on the force; now they need to explain why our client should be treated any differently," Schoettes said.

In an unpublished opinion released today, the three-judge appeals court panel found that the district court erred in siding with the city that Roe had not established he is qualified to be a police officer. “Unpublished” means the opinion is not binding precedent, according to the appeals court web site.