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‘We Do’ Campaign brings marriage protest to Decatur on Monday

Campaign for Southern Equality

The Campaign for Southern Equality brings its “We Do” protest for marriage equality to Decatur, Ga., on Monday, Jan. 7.

The organization made national news last year after several events in North and South Carolina where activists attempted to receive marriage licenses but were denied – and in some cases arrested.

Aaron Sarver, communications director for the Campaign for Southern Equality, told GA Voice today by phone that his organization expects a handful of couples, perhaps as many as five or six, to take part in the Decatur protest where they will apply for and be denied a marriage license.

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Atlanta scores 82 for ‘municipal equality’; other Ga. cities fail LGBT ratings

Atlanta scored 82 out of 100 on LGBT issues in the new Municipal Equality Index released by the Human Rights Campaign.

Three other Georgia municipalities — all known for being LGBT-friendly — received much lower scores: Decatur received a score of 27, the North Druid Hills area of Dekalb County received 15 and Avondale Estates, home to openly gay State Rep. Karla Drenner, scored 8.

The report examines almost 50 LGBT-related criteria in 137 cities, including the 50 state capitals, 50 cities with the highest populations in the country, and the top 25 large cities, top 25 medium-sized cities, and top 25 small cities with the highest concentrations of same-sex couples identified in the 2010 U.S. Census.

Scores are based on policies and procedures and are not a measure of the "climate" for LGBT people, since some areas can seem friendly and accepting even without actual laws on the books, HRC stressed.

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Decatur folk singer Amy Andrews plays for ‘Gay Ole Opry’ on Thanksgiving


Decatur resident and singer/songwriter Amy Andrews is ready to celebrate Thanksgiving and she's inviting the entire World Wide Web to join her.

Andrews, 26, along with the The Skipperdees, a twin-sister duo based in Athens, will play a holiday concert on Thursday, Nov. 22, to raise money for the North Star Fund, an organization providing relief to those hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy.

The concert will be broadcast online at 7 and 8 p.m. ET on the website It's pay what you want to view and listen to the concert with all donations going to the North Star Fund Now you can use your full belly to prop up your laptop for a good cause and some good music. Good deal.

Andrews came up with the idea for the internet concert after plans for her to perform at the Gay Ole Opry in Brooklyn, N.Y., were canceled due to the damage Hurricane Sandy brought to the Northeast.

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Alterna-grass band Roxie Watson on twang, tradition and honoring foremothers

Roxie Watson

Roxie Watson isn’t that hot girl you dated when you were younger.  Roxie Watson is Decatur’s own “alterna-grass” band that is selling out venues, playing with the likes of Amy Ray and keeping a full touring calendar this summer, including two June 9 shows at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur.

The members of Roxie Watson are veterans of Atlanta’s music scene, accomplished musicians, and oh yeah, they’re all gay. The band features Beth Wheeler on mandolin, Lenny Lasater on bass, Linda Bolley on acoustic and electric guitar, Sonia Tetlow on banjo, and Becky Shaw playing guitar, harmonica, button accordion and lap steel.

On the heels of the latest Roxie Watson release, “Of Milestones and Moon Pies,” Lenny and Sonia sat down to talk about their latest album, their diverse fan base and honoring their grandmas.

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My Sister’s Room changes owners, to become sports bar and grill

My Sister's Room to become lesbian sports bar

Lesbian bar My Sister's Room will transform into a new venue soon after the new year as owner Susan Musselwhite sells her bar of 15 years to business and life partners Jami Siden and Jennifer Maguire.

Maguire, known to many in the nightlife scene as promoter and emcee Chase Daniels, and Siden, who has been working as MSR's marketing person, along with Musselwhite and her wife, Patryce Yeiser, made the announcement at the East Atlanta bar on Saturday.

"We decided we wanted to do something like the bar scene in 'A League of Their Own' — a place to honor strong women in history and sports," said Maguire. The 1992 film "A League of Their Own" starred Madonna, Rosie O'Donnell and Tom Hanks and was a fictionalized account of the first women's professional baseball league.

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Lesbian-led band Disappear Fear brings new album to Decatur

Sonia Rutstein of disappear fear

When sisters Sonia Rutstein and Cindy Frank formed the band disappear fear back in the mid-1980s, Ronald Reagan was president, “trickle down economics” was the buzzword, gay couples were not allowed to marry anywhere in the United States, and there were no out pop music stars.

“On one side there was ‘Women’s Music’ (which we felt was sweet but boring) and there was rock and dance,” recalls SONiA, a Jewish lesbian who prefers to go by just her first name, complete with creative capitalization.

“Today countless singer songwriters and fans approach me and say, thank you — your strength and courage gave me the courage to be true to myself and my life,” she says, while adding, “I am glad to be the medium for such light and healing. It is not me — it just comes through me.”