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Department of Defense clarifies rules on military benefits for gay couples

The U.S. Department of Defense today announced plans to extend benefits to spouses of same-sex uniformed service members and civilian employees in the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision that found Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

The DOD plans to make spousal and family benefits available by Sept. 3. Those benefits will be retroactive to the day of the court decision, June 26.

In a memo, dated Aug. 13 but released to media today, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel lays out the DOD's new rules for legally married gay and lesbian couples.

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Historic rulings show work remains for marriage equality here

Atlanta Day of Decision rally

Christopher Dellamura joined the military in 1998 — five years after the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on gay service members was enacted, and two years after the Defense of Marriage Act became the law of the land.

Now, in not even two years, he has seen both of those policies fall.

“Serving in silence was a daily burden added to the difficulties of serving in the military,” said Dellamura, an Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 stationed at Fort Benning, near Columbus, Ga. “I felt as though I lied to everyone that I worked with and this hurt almost every professional and personal relationship that I had with my co-workers.  Immediately after the repeal, if felt like a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders.”

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Town hall on July 2 to discuss what SCOTUS rulings mean to Georgia


UPDATE on July 1: The Rush Center is completely booked for this town hall, but people can still register to attend online by clicking here.

There's a time to celebrate. And now it's time to get back to work.

Georgia Equality and Lambda Legal team up on July 2 for a town hall meeting to discuss what the recent Supreme Court rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Prop. 8 means for Georgians.

The meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Phillip Rush Center, 1530 DeKalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307.

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Woo hoo, y’all! Atlanta celebrates DOMA ruling — and it was beautiful


The corner of 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue in Midtown was taken over by hundreds of gay and queer people basking in victory on Wednesday, June 26, as just one of dozens of Day of Decision rallies taking place across the country. It was beautiful.

We were there to celebrate the Supreme Court's ruling against DOMA and its ruling that the supporters of Prop 8 in California had no standing, leading to legal same-sex marriages starting back up on Friday. And it was beautiful.

The clever signs, the cheers, the smiles, the hugs, the loud honking from supportive motorists passing through the busy intersection  — all of it was part of a community coming together for some merry making. And it was beautiful.

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‘World War G’ summer blockbuster scares the bejesus out of religious conservatives


It finally happened. The gays are taking over the world. With the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on DOMA on Wednesday, gays can get married (but not yet in Georgia).

This year's summer blockbuster 'World War G' (heheheh) starring Brad Pitt shows how we cannot be stopped. We will take over the world with parades and rainbows and fabulous dancing flight attendants. Our love is a virus.

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[Video] Atlanta LGBTQ activists ask for our hand to ‘Marry the Movement’


I'm in love. And I hope we all say, 'I do.' And how could you not to such a dapper looking group of people asking for our help to continue to fight for equality for all people.

Southerners on New Ground, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, is honoring the Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage by urging LGBTQ people and allies to "Marry the Movement."

Check out this great video released the day after the historic SCOTUS rulings on DOMA and Prop 8 that features Atlanta-based LGBTQ leaders including Pat Hussain, Paulina Helm-Hernandez, Ashe W. Helm-Hernandez, Step Guillod and Holiday Simmons.

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Top 10 signs from Atlanta’s ‘Day of Decision’ rally

Atlanta Day of Decision rally

On Wednesday, June 26, several hundred gay marriage supporters gathered at the corner of 10th and Piedmont streets in Midtown Atlanta to celebrate the two U.S. Supreme Court rulings on DOMA and California's Prop 8. And many of them came with signs.

Some of the signs seen at the rally were in the classic protest-style, but others, like many of the ones below, were tongue-in-cheek with a Southern flair you'd only find in Atlanta.

Here are our favorites, snapped by GA Voice staff members Laura Douglas-Brown, Dyana Bagby and Ryan Watkins. Enjoy!

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ANALYSIS: Marriage equality wins at Supreme Court, but no immediate change in Ga.


The Supreme Court handed down a pair of victories for marriage equality today, striking down a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional and issuing a ruling in a challenge to California's Proposition 8 that should allow gay marriage to resume in that state.

The rulings do not give same-sex couples the right to marry in Georgia, but LGBT rights supporters here will join allies around the nation in hosting rallies tonight. The Atlanta rally is set for 5 p.m. at the corner of 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue.

“While we had hoped for a more expansive ruling that would immediately affect the legal status of couples here in Georgia, this is an important step towards the full legal recognition of our relationship.” said Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, the state's largest LGBT political group.