5 LGBT things you need to know today, Nov.16

1) Over 1,000 Mormons and their families rallied at a Salt Lake City park on Nov. 14, with hundreds formally resigning from the church over policies labeling gay members "apostates." 2)A Texas family believe...

5 LGBT things you need to know today, Nov. 10

1. Meet Eric Teetsel, GOP presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio's new anti-gay director of faith outreach. 2. The Shepard/Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act at work. A Washington state man who yelled anti-gay...
article placeholder

Guilty pleas entered by two men accused in brutal attack of gay Atlanta man

images/stories/5-29-12-/brandonwhiteatplea.jpg

Dorian Moragne, 19, and Dareal Demare Williams, 18, pleaded guilty today in Fulton County Superior Court in the brutal assault Brandon White, a black gay man, on Feb. 4 in the Pittsburgh community.  Sentencing hearing will be held in July and the men face up to 15 and 20 years on each count.

During the hearing today before Fulton Superior Court Judge Jackson Bedford, prosecutor J. Gabriel Banks said the assault was instigated by another suspect, Christopher Cain, who alleged that the victim, White, 20, made a sexual advance toward him. Another suspect, Javaris Williams, was also allegedly involved in the attack that was videotaped and uploaded to a hip hop website.

article placeholder

LGBT inclusive hate crimes bill introduced on last day of Ga. legislative session

It was Sine Die at the Gold Dome on Thursday and the day that Rep. Rashad Taylor (D-Atlanta) introduced a hate crimes bill in the House.

Taylor announced at a rally in February he would introduce the bill following the beating of a gay man. Brandon White, in southwest Atlanta by gang members who repeatedly called him "faggot." A video of the beating went viral and made national headlines. Four men have been charged in the beating and a federal investigation continues to determine if the attack is a hate crime.

Taylor said today he was hoping to get Republican sponsors to sign on to the bill that includes sexual orientation and gender identity before introducing it, but because it was an election year several supportive Republicans wanted to wait until January to sign on. Georgia is one of five states that does not have its own hate crimes law.

article placeholder

Savannah council approves domestic partner benefits

The Savannah City Council unanimously passed a vote today to authorize the city manager to implement a domestic partner program for city employees.

The vote was approved unanimously by the nine-member council.

article placeholder

Why Georgia needs a Hate Crimes law

As I sat to write, the City of Atlanta is gearing up for a busy weekend of queer activity. The headlining event of Labor Day weekend, Atlanta’s Annual Black Gay Pride celebration, is sure to attract tens of thousands of the “Children” to what is considered the largest Black pride festival in the world.

Throw on top of that a joint Georgia Equality/HRC sponsored protest and picket of local Target and Best Buy retail stores taking place on Saturday, bringing awareness to their recent flush donations to support a Minnesota gubernatorial candidate running on an anti-gay platform, and the fact that many will be toasting the end of summer in style during the ensuing three-day weekend, and it seems like every queer in the metro area will have something do.

article placeholder

Why Ga. needs a state hate crimes law

Georgia is one of only five states that does not have a state hate crimes law. But now that President Obama signed the Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Jr. Act into law in October, the federal hate crimes law should be enough, right?

No, say local LGBT activists.

article placeholder

Military homophobia? Savannah beating prompts hate crime investigation

Protesters gathered in Savannah to bring attention to recent gay bashing

Under the shade of oak trees on Johnson Square in the historic district of Savannah, Ga., with City Hall as a backdrop, dozens of LGBT activists gathered June 20 to express outrage over the recent alleged beating of a gay man by two U.S. Marines.

While the incident remains under investigation, it raises serious questions about homophobia in the military — which will face significant scrutiny if “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is repealed — and whether Georgia needs to finally pass a state hate crimes law.

The purpose of the rally was to bring attention to the need for a state hate crimes law and to demand that city leaders address violence against LGBT people in Savannah, said Kevin Clark, Savannah chapter director for Georgia Equality, the state’s largest LGBT group.

article placeholder

First federal hate crimes conference held in Atlanta

Dennis Shepard, father of Matthew Shepard, speaks at an Atlanta conference on hate crimes

More than 300 law enforcement and community organization representatives attended the inaugural Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act community conference at Georgia State University on May 18.

Hosted by the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office, the conference was designed to detail the new federal hate crimes act signed into law by President Obama on Oct. 28, 2009.