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Delaware becomes 11th state with marriage equality

Just minutes before the Delaware Senate was set to vote on its marriage equality bill, a Democrat senator who had been quiet about how she would vote announced on her Facebook page that she would vote yes. The announcement by Senator Bethany Hall-Long, who represents Dover, the state capital, came just minutes after the city’s other Democratic senator, Karen Peterson, came out as gay on the floor during debate.

The final roll call vote, after three hours of debate, was 12 to 9, with the gallery erupting into loud and prolonged applause. The twelve supporters included one Republican; the nine opponents included two Democrats.

Just minutes later, Democratic Governor Jack Markell signed the bill, making Delaware the eleventh state plus the District of Columbia to provide for equal protection under its marriage laws.     Meanwhile, a Minnesota House Ways and Means Committee gave the marriage equality bill there a green light Monday, and the House floor is scheduled to vote on the measure Thursday (May 9). Democratic Governor Mark Dayton is lobbying actively for the measure.

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HBO airs documentary on gay former N.J. governor

Former NJ Gov. Jim McGreevey

Jim McGreevey once envisioned a political career even greater than what he had already achieved as the 52nd governor of New Jersey. But that dream came crashing to a halt in August 2004, when he not only announced that he was gay but that he had been having an affair with a man whom he had appointed as the New Jersey homeland security adviser.

McGreevey, who was married to a woman at the time, became the nation’s first openly gay governor, but announced his resignation at the same time. He claimed he was being blackmailed by the man, an Israeli citizen named Golan Cipel, who instead said McGreevey had sexually harassed him.

How McGreevey, now happily in a relationship with a different man, is tackling the second act of his life is the basis of the new HBO documentary “Fall to Grace.”

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Obama cites ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ in first debate

The first Presidential Debate

No questions concerning LGBT issues were posed during the first presidential debate Wednesday night, but President Obama made a direct reference to one.

Near the end of the 90-minute debate, responding to a charge from Republican challenger Mitt Romney that he has not worked well with Republicans, President Obama pointed to a number of examples where his administration worked with Republicans with success. One example he cited was repeal of the ban on gays in the military.

Immediate reaction from many commentators — mainstream and LGBT —held that Romney dominated the debate and that Obama failed to take some political shots he had at his disposal.

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Rick Perry drops out of GOP presidential race

Texas Governor Rick Perry

The field of GOP presidential hopefuls became a little less crowded today as Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced that he would cease his campaign to become his party's nominee for the 2012 election.

Perry joins Atlanta businessman Herman Cain, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and former Ambassador Jon Huntsman as GOP candidates to drop out of the race.

Perry finished the Iowa caucuses fifth and received less than one percent of the total vote cast in New Hampshire to claim sixth.

Perry made waves when he first entered the campaign, but a series of missteps, including a particularly embarrassing moment during a Nov. 9 debate where he could only remember two of the three federal agencies he proposed to eliminate, derailed his campaign before the first ballot was cast.

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Gov. Deal comes out against homophobia?

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal

Gov. Nathan Deal has officially come out against homophobia, transphobia and Islamaphobia.

Well, at least a generic welcome letter his office sends out to groups requesting an official welcome to their event states so.

Betty Couvertier, organizer of this year’s International Day Against Homophobia, sought — and finally received — a letter from the governor’s office that is addressed to: “Atlanta International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Islamaphobia.”

The letter, complete with the seal of the state of Georgia and the governor’s signature (obviously just a signature stamp), simply states:

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Is direct action making a comeback in gay Georgia?

Atlanta's Queer Justice League protests the National Organization for Marriage's Atlanta rally

It was dubbed “Queerlicious Mouths Unite” and was intended to make a strong statement to Gov. Nathan Deal that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are here and queer, so get used to it.

The plan was for same-sex couples to attend Deal’s inauguration and publicly kiss as the new governor, a Republican, took his oath. But the Jan. 10 protest was canceled as the worst snowstorm to hit Georgia in a decade also canceled many of Deal’s inauguration events.

“The intended message was that we wanted to seriously remind Deal and the general public of the queer community, our seat at the table and that we are Georgians, too,” said Jess Morgan, an organizer of the canceled event with the Queer Justice League, MondoHomo, Savannah’s Queer Power Movement and GetEQUAL.