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Who will be your gay grand marshals for Atlanta Pride in 2012?

Last year's Atlanta Pride Grand Marshall Rick Westbrook

It's that time of year when people from Atlanta's diverse LGBT communities nominate one or more grand marshals to lead Atlanta Pride's annual parade. Nominations are being accepted now until May 28.

Atlanta Pride is scheduled for Oct. 13-14 at Piedmont Park to coincide with National Coming Out Day. The parade, the highlight of the fest, takes place on Sunday, Oct. 14.

“Being asked to serve as a grand  marshal is the highest honor that Atlanta Pride can bestow upon someone in recognition for their support of the LGBT community," said Glen Paul Freedman, board chair of the Atlanta Pride Committee, in a prepared statement.

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[Video] Is Georgia a hotbed for ‘ex-gay’ conferences?


Coming to Helen, Ga., this Nov. 8-11 is the "ex-gay" conference titled "Follow Me Discipleship Retreat." And this comes after Love Won Out brought its "ex-gay" conference to Villa Rica in February.

Seems like Georgia is a favorite place for ex-gay conference.

Joe Jervis at the blog JoeMyGod reports on the "ex-gay" conference to be led by "ex-gay" pastor DL Foster . Other speakers include James Pennyman, Rev. Kyra Jones and Poetic Prophet J. Elijah.

(And, oh yeah, what does the DL stand for?)

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Gilbert’s to move into former Outwrite building; promises to honor legacy of corner of ‘gay and gay’

Gilbert's Cafe and Bar, the gay-friendly restaurant, is ready to take over the space at 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue where former gay landmark Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse was once located.

On the Facebook page named Gilbert's Expansion — 10th and Piedmont, Gilbert's owners Gilbert and Sean lay out their future plans, including honoring the space — long dubbed the corner of gay and gay — that has been an iconic location for LGBT Atlanta for more than a decade.

"The corner of 10th and Piedmont has been a beacon of progressive attitudes, acceptance and respect, we wish to continue that legacy as the city matures and welcomes an ever increasing diversity and a growing respect for general human rights," said owners Sean and Gilbert in a Facebook posting made yesterday.

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Local activist says it’s time to step up to help LGBT youth in midst of YouthPride crisis

A startup community initiative for "a safe and brighter future for Atlanta's LGBT Youth Rising!" is being organized by a local activist who worked with the volunteer task force that investigated the viability of YouthPride and found it to be in deep debt and disarray.

A Facebook event created by Maggie Lopez late Thursday asks for adults and youth to organize together in the midst of the financial crisis YouthPride is facing.

"It is evident that the demand for services and a safe community center for LGBT youth is larger than any one current organization. The cry for 'someone' to provide alternatives to the status quo in this community has gone on long enough without anyone stepping forward. So, to that end, I invite everyone interested, to come together in unity, sow the seeds that will take root to begin the endeavor," Lopez states.

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Ga. House panel takes no vote on LGBT job bias bill; cameras, videos banned from hearing

Wendell Willard

In a move some legislators say they've never seen before, the media was banned from taking photos and video during a public hearing today at the Georgia General Assembly that included testimony on HB 630, the State Fair Employment Practices Act. The bill, which would ban job discrimination against state employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity, was discussed for a second time by a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee.

No vote was taken on the bill today. It was tabled at a hearing on Feb. 21, but Rep. Mike Jacobs (R-Atlanta), who presided over today's subcommittee hearing and is a co-sponsor of the bill, said the legislation remains "alive" in his subcommittee.

"Well, I don't know what happens next at this point. We're just at a point where there's a lot of legislation pending and inability to get it all done prior to crossover day,” Jacobs said.

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Federal appeals court upholds expulsion of anti-gay Ga. college student

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday upheld a lower court's ruling that an Augusta State University student should be expelled from the school's counseling program because her anti-gay beliefs went against the ethical guidelines for being a school counselor.

Jennifer Keeton, who describes herself as a Christian and was attending ASU to become a school counselor for grades K-12, sued the university after professors recommended she undertake a remediation plan as a way to teach her more about LGBT issues. The plan included attending workshops on LGBT issues as well as attending Augusta Pride.

Keeton is represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, an organization dedicated to defending "traditional family values." In her lawsuit, Keeton claimed her First Amendment rights were violated by the university because it stated her biblical opposition to homosexuality — that she would state in class and to other students — went against the professional code for being an ethical counselor.

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Atlantans jump in to scold King & Spalding for defending DOMA

An Atlanta litigation paralegal sent an email to the managing partner of the locally-based King & Spalding law firm to express her dismay at the otherwise gay-friendly firm for its decision to defend the Defense of Marriage Act.

Pam Rymin, who is straight, also took the opportunity to introduce the firm to her co-worker, Joel Tucker, and his husband Robert Todd, who were legally married in Connecticut on June 10, 2010. She is a litigation paralegal with Buckley & Klein, a law firm focused on assisting those who say they have been discriminated against in the workplace.

"When I read yesterday that K&S has agreed to represent the Congressional GOP in its fight to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act, thereby seeking to continue to deny civil rights to a large portion of America’s population, I was very dismayed. Actually I was so angry it took me a full day to be calm enough to write this email," Rymin wrote in an email to Mason Stephenson, managing partner of the Atlanta office.

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Armed robbery strikes in heart of the gayborhood

Two men robbed at gunpoint in front of the Flying Biscuit at Piedmont Avenue and 10th Street on Wednesday in the heart of what’s known as the gayborhood led to the arrests of three men suspected in a rash of robberies in Virginia Highland and Midtown.