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Georgia Equality seeks end-of-year fundraising goal

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Georgia Equality, the state's largest LGBT advocacy organization, has set a fundraising goal of $15,000 before the end of the calendar year. The money, Executive Director Jeff Graham says, will go toward helping fund GE's upcoming participation in the Georgia General Assembly's 2013 legislative session.

“Some of it will used to pay for lobbyists,” Graham says. “Some will be used to pay for advocacy costs. Some will be used for staff time to coordinate interns, volunteers and to be able to monitor hearings and to participate in hearings.”

GE's annual budget is much higher than $15,000, but the money raised from this fundraising drive will go to a variety of causes and initiatives in the coming year. Through Friday, Dec. 21, a private donor has promised to match up to $1,000 in donations to GE. This donor has pledged $4,000 in matching donations, Graham says, and has already matched more than $3,000 so far.

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[Video] Georgians to protest Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays Bill’

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Gay activists and allies plan Wednesday to protest Uganda's "Kill the Gays Bill" at the Georgia State Capitol from noon to 1 p.m.

Organized by J.R. Rich, the Facebook invite to the protest describes the Uganda bill as "genocide" and states, "It is 2012 and there is still genocide in  the world and we can not let it happen! PLEASE join the fight and let your lawmakers know you want them to speak up and end this atrocity!"

Leaders in Uganda are pushing the bill to be passed soon as a "Christmas gift to the people of Uganda" as stated in the video below that was posted to YouTube on Nov. 12.

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Three lesbian representatives return to Ga. General Assembly

It was a great Election Day for LGBT equality across the nation, but in the red state of Georgia there is still much work to be done to move forward.

Lesbian candidates ruled the night in Georgia. State Rep. Simone Bell (D-Atlanta) easily coasted to victory Nov. 6 by defeating Republican challenger Earl Cooper to retain her District 58 seat.

State Rep. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates) and state Rep. Keisha Waites (D-Atlanta), both openly gay, return to the House after having no challengers in the general election. Drenner represents District 85 and will serve her seventh term in the legislature. Waites represents District 60 and will serve her first full term after winning a special election in February.

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Three lesbian lawmakers return to Ga. General Assembly

Tonight's election means there will be three openly lesbian members of the Georgia General Assembly. State Rep. Simone Bell (D-Atlanta) easily won her reelection bid against Republican Earl Cooper, while Reps. Karla Drenner and Keisha Waites were unopposed on today's ballot.

With percent 91.67 percent reporting, Bell had 87.19 percent of the House District 58 vote, according to unofficial results from the Fulton County election office. She became the first openly lesbian African-American state lawmaker in the nation when she won a special election in 2009, and won a tough primary in June when she faced off against fellow incumbent Democrat Rep. Ralph Long thanks to GOP-led redistricting.

But tonight's election likely means the General Assembly will include no openly gay men when it convenes in January. In Athens, Tim Riley, a Democrat, lost his bid for State Senate District 47 to Republican Rep. Frank Ginn. With three out of four counties in the district reporting, Riley had 34.54 percent of the vote, compared to 65.46 percent for Ginn, according to unofficial results from the Georgia Secretary of State.

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Georgia Equality releases endorsements for November general election

Early voting is underway and while many are focused on the presidential race, there are plenty of state and local races that Georgia Equality wants voters to be aware of as they head to the polls.

Today the state's largest LGBT political advocacy organizations released its 2012 endorsed candidates for the Nov. 6 general election:

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Election reshapes gay caucus in Ga. legislature

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Three out of four openly gay incumbents in the Georgia General Assembly proved victorious in the July 31 primary, while gay challengers in contested races were less successful. A lesbian attorney also won a seat on the Fulton County State Court in the July 31 vote.

Rep. Karla Drenner, Georgia's first openly gay state legislator, was unopposed for reelection in House District 86.

Rep. Simone Bell, the first openly lesbian African-American state legislator in the nation, came out on top in the Democratic primary for State House District 58.

With 95.83 percent of precincts reporting, Bell had 58.84 percent of the vote, compared to 41.16 percent for Rep. Ralph Long, according to unofficial results from the Fulton County election office.

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Election wrap-up: Gay winners and losers from Tuesday’s primary

Three out of four openly gay incumbents in the Georgia General Assembly proved victorious in Tuesday's primary, while gay challengers in contested races were less successful. A lesbian attorney also won a seat on the Fulton County State Court in the July 31 vote.

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Election Preview: Gold Dome races pit gay vs. gay-friendly

There are at least eight openly gay candidates running for seats in the Georgia General Assembly — four incumbents and five hopefuls.

Only Georgia’s first openly gay state legislator, state Rep. Karla Drenner, is unopposed, guaranteeing that there will be one out gay voice under the Gold Dome when the new legislative session starts in January.

The General Assembly’s three other openly gay incumbents — state Reps. Simone Bell, Rashad Taylor and Keisha Waites — all face opposition in the Democratic primary.

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Gay vs. gay-friendly race turns ugly over alleged anti-gay flier

Reps. Rashad Taylor and Pat Gardner

State Rep. Rashad Taylor (D-Atlanta), the only openly gay man in the Georgia General Assembly, claims homophobic tactics are being used by his opponents, including distributing what he called an anti-gay flier in predominantly African-American neighborhoods in southwest Atlanta.

The flier, provided to GA Voice by Taylor via email, reads: “The Real Rashad” with a photo of Taylor. Below the photo the flier states: “The only openly gay male in the Georgia General Assembly [AJC 5/27/11]; Accused of using his position in the Legislature to solicit sexual relationships [AJC, 5/27/11]; Former roommates with Khaatim El [APN, 1/20/11]; Possibly lived with a male lover on Moreland Ave [APN, 6/11/12].”

The statements come from articles published by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Atlanta Progressive News.