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Fulton Chair John Eaves comes out in support of gay marriage

Fulton County Commission Chair John Eaves said today he supports full marriage equality for same-sex couples after initially only supporting civil unions.

“I did previously support civil unions but I have since learned more … and my previous stance was not sufficient,” Eaves said today. “I’m supportive of marriage equality, not just civil unions.”

Eaves said after talking with members of the gay community and studying the issue on his own, he now believes in gay marriage.

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Mary Norwood’s lawsuit against incumbent Fulton Commission chair dismissed

A Fulton County Superior Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Mary Norwood against current Fulton County Commission Chair John Eaves after she alleged he was trying to block her from the ballot.

In his short ruling issued July 1, Judge Jerry Baxter stated, “The court finds, at this time, there is no actual controversy … and the ends of justice do not warrant a declaratory judgment.”

Norwood, who is attempting to gather some 23,000 signatures to qualify as an Independent on the ballot to run against Eaves for the Fulton County Commission chair post, filed suit last week after Eaves and his attorneys challenged “several thousand” of the signatures she has obtained.

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The road to country music’s first openly gay star

Some may argue that Chely Wright isn’t technically the first major country singer to come out as gay.

Butch crooner kd lang had three country albums under her belt — along with the 1989 Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance — before she discussed being a lesbian in a 1992 interview with The Advocate.

But it’s difficult to consider lang the first mainstream country artist to come out because she was never really “in” — neither in the closet nor accepted in the Nashville-centered world of country music.

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Outspoken: Country singer Chely Wright, U.S. Rep. Steve King and more…

Country star Chely Wright recently came out of the closet

“When I first moved to Nashville, I worked at Opryland and there are a lot of gay boys running around at those themeparks. I was afraid there was some identifiable factor in me that they could pick up on, that they might know that I was gay.”

— Country singer Chely Wright, who recently came out, in a candid interview last week with Oprah Winfrey (“Oprah” via ContactMusic.com, May 19)

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The marriage expectation

I started the MEGA Family Project over six years ago with the notion that LGBT couples should be afforded the right to marry our same-sex partners, and receive the same rights, benefits, and obligations that our straight counterparts receive through the institution of marriage. Living in a conservative state like Georgia, I have no illusion that marriage equality is coming here any time soon.

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GA Spotlight: MEGA Family Project

MEGA, or Marriage Equality Georgia, was founded in the wake of the 2004 state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The group evolved into the MEGA Family Project, offering a variety of proactive, positive educational and social events for LGBT families.

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Fulton Commission chairman silent on gay marriage

Fulton County Commission Chair John Eaves faces a re-election challenge from Mary Norwood, who was an outspoken gay marriage supporter when she ran last year for Atlanta mayor.Jon Eaves

Eaves said today he welcomes Norwood’s entry in the race and he plans to defend his record on LGBT issues and other county issues as he seeks another term.

Eaves, a Democrat, said he has not taken a public stance on gay marriage and declined to do so today in an interview with the Georgia Voice.

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Outspoken: Dixie Carter, Erica Jong on Oprah, Colin Farrell

“And that, Marjorie — just so you will know, and your children will someday know — is the night the lights went out in Georgia!”

Dixie Carter as Julia Sugarbaker in “Designing Women”; the scene was so beloved by gay fans that it played regularly at Hoedowns, the gay Atlanta country bar. Carter, age 70, died April 10.

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Couples say ‘I do’ in D.C.

WASHINGTON — Both smiles and tears of joy were in plentiful supply earlier this month as the nation’s capital became the latest jurisdiction in the United States to recognize same-sex marriage.

The District of Columbia’s Religious Freedom & Marriage Equality Amendment Act took effect on Wednesday, March 3, according to the DC Agenda, an LGBT media outlet. Couples who receive marriage licenses must wait three business days to wed, so with the weekend, March 9 was the first day for gay marriages in the district.