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Alleged gay bashing by Marines not considered hate crime

The alleged beating of a gay man in Savannah by two Marines is no longer being considered a hate crime, according to a spokesperson for the Chatham County District Attorney.

Christopher Stanzel, 23, and Keil Cronauer, 22, of Beaufort are charged with misdemeanor battery in the attack on Kieran Daly, 26, on June 12 in Savannah. Daly, who is gay, alleged that he was attacked because one of the Marines said he winked at him.

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Why Georgia needs a Hate Crimes law

As I sat to write, the City of Atlanta is gearing up for a busy weekend of queer activity. The headlining event of Labor Day weekend, Atlanta’s Annual Black Gay Pride celebration, is sure to attract tens of thousands of the “Children” to what is considered the largest Black pride festival in the world.

Throw on top of that a joint Georgia Equality/HRC sponsored protest and picket of local Target and Best Buy retail stores taking place on Saturday, bringing awareness to their recent flush donations to support a Minnesota gubernatorial candidate running on an anti-gay platform, and the fact that many will be toasting the end of summer in style during the ensuing three-day weekend, and it seems like every queer in the metro area will have something do.

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UPDATED: Gay nightclub owner’s killing raises questions about sexual orientation

Durand Robinson was managing partner of a black gay nightclub and an organizer of events for Black Gay Pride. But was Robinson, who was shot to death Wednesday, gay?

As news of Robinson’s death spread, many who didn’t know him assumed from his work that he must be gay. His brother, however, says Robinson was planning to marry a girlfriend. And Robinson’s close friends and coworkers at Traxx, the popular black gay nightclub, say Robinson never discussed a girlfriend or being gay with them.

Speculation about Robinson’s sexual orientation is taking away from the real situation — a loving man was killed and police need to find the suspect, said Phillip Boone, Robinson’s business partner.

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Flight attendant Steven Slater: Good for the gays, bad for the gays?

Flight attendant Steven Slater

America's favorite beer-stealing, air-sliding flight attendant is making my gaydar explode.

I've confirmed today, as others probably have as well, that Steven Slater, at least according to his MySpace page, is gay.

Of course, I suspected this the moment the news hit the airwaves, but this picture —which ultimately led me to his page — was the only proof I needed.

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Teens arrested in anti-gay crime charged as adults

Rev. Josh Noblitt and APD LGBT liaison Patricia Powell

The six male teens charged with felony armed robbery in the bias crime against a gay pastor and his friend will be charged as adults and face a bond hearing Aug. 19.

The teens, ages 13 through 19, have been indicted for felony armed robbery and were arraigned Aug. 2 in Fulton Superior Court when the bond hearing was set.

Those charged are Sam Johnson, 17; Benjamin Johnson, 16; and Daequan Lewis, 15, who are all listed as living at the same residence in Stone Mountain. Also charged is Jarvis Johnson, 19, of Parkway Drive in Atlanta. Sam Johnson was identified by APD as the gunman. Atlanta Police reports identified Jamal Bryant, 13, and Tyrone Smith, 16, as two other suspects who are also charged as adults.

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Atlanta police LGBT liaison Patrica Powell profiled

Atlanta Police Department LGBT liaison Officer Patricia Powell

After a three-year stint in the Army, Patricia Powell was managing her brother’s barbecue restaurant, Hecky’s in Evanston, Ill., when she got a phone call from her sister in Atlanta.

“She said I should move down here, they were hiring police officers. I said, ‘Me, a police officer?’ She said you’d be good, you’re in shape,” Powell said.

Powell, who played basketball for the Army (position: guard), was ready to move from the cold climate of Chicago and the restaurant business and try something new.

So at 35 she packed her bags, moved to Atlanta and began the process of becoming an APD officer. Some 11 years later, she was named the department’s LGBT liaison officer.

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Suspect confesses in beating of parole officer

The man arrested in the beating of a parole officer from Marietta has confessed to the crime and the incident does not appear to be a random act, according to a press release from the Atlanta Police Department.

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Atlanta Police to form LGBT Advisory Board

The Atlanta Police Department is seeking nominations for a nine-member LGBT advisory board, the department announced today. Nominations and those interested in serving must be made by Friday, July 16.

"As I begin to do important work with this position, it will be vital that I hear directly from our community on an ongoing basis," said the APD LGBT liaison Officer Patricia Powell in a statement.

Nominations are being sought from the local LGBT community as a way to create an ongoing dialogue and better improving relations and understanding, according to a press release.

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Atlanta Police chief finalists meet in town hall forum

Candidates for the Atlanta Police Chief position

At the recent town hall forum to let the public meet the three finalists to be the next Atlanta police chief, Mayor Kasim Reed acknowledged that many believe there has been a breach of confidence between the city’s residents and the police department.

“Tonight we begin repairing that breach,” Reed said during opening remarks on June 3 at the Atlanta Civic Center.

The three candidates are interim Chief George Turner; Dr. Cedric Alexander, head of the Transportation Security Administration at the Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas International Airport; and Robert White, the Louisville, Kentucky Metro police chief.