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PETA: Atlanta Pride kickoff party ‘torture’ to aquarium animals

Atlanta Pride kickoff party

Not everyone who attended the Atlanta Pride kickoff party at the Georgia Aquarium came away with rave reviews. Dan Matthews, a senior vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, published an opinion piece on Huffington Post Tuesday calling the event “a celebration of freedom in a building that celebrates captivity.”

Matthews, who was in town to work at the organization's booth during the two-day festival, attended the event and is urging Atlanta Pride organizers to hold the party elsewhere in the future. At issue for Matthews and PETA, aside from the animals being held in captivity, was the music playing during the event which Matthews says “has further devastated the lives and psyches of these uniquely gifted animals.”

Matthews writes of a conversation he had with an aquarium volunteer in which the volunteer allegedly remarks that the animals in the tanks were irritated by the dance music, so much so in fact, that the beluga whales began to attack the seals kept inside the same tank.

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9 million LGBT people living in U.S. according to national report

There are roughly 9 million lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults living in the U.S. but more concrete data on the number of LGBT Americans is needed to help shape public policies, according a report released today by the Williams Institute.

The report, titled "How Many People Are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender?" finds that a good estimate of the number of LGBT Americans — adults — is about 9 million, or roughly the population of New Jersey. The approximate population of the U.S. is more than 311 million people (including children), according to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The report from the Williams Institute, a national think tank located at the UCLA School of Law,  also estimates that people who report "same-sex sexual behavior" in their lifetime is as high as 19 million Americans, or 8.2 percent — and this is about the population of Florida. Some 11 percent, or nearly 25.6 million Americans, say they "at least have some same-sex attraction" — or more than the population of Texas.