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Washington becomes seventh state to recognize same-sex marriages

Washington State's Gov. Christine Gregoire

Washington became the seventh state to allow same-sex marriage today after Gov. Christine Gregoire signed into law a bill that will allow full marriage rights to same-sex couples. New Hampshire, Iowa, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Vermont and the District of Columbia also allow same-sex marriage.

Gregoire called the law's passage “historic.”

“I commend our House members and thank Rep. Jamie Pedersen for sponsoring this bill,” Gregoire said last week. “Our legislators showed courage, respect, and professionalism. I look forward to signing this piece of legislation, and putting into law an end to an era of discrimination.”

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Human Rights Campaign bus tour coming to Atlanta during Pride weekend

Human Rights Campaign national bus tour

The Human Rights Campaign will hit the road this Fall for a 12-week, 17 city bus tour that will see an Atlanta stop during Atlanta Pride October 7-9. The HRC are calling the tour “On the Road to Equality.”

The purpose of the tour, according to the HRC, is “educating the American public and empowering LGBT people to become advocates for themselves and their families.”

HRC's President Joe Solmonese said the time is right for the cross-country tour.

“We are in the midst of a cultural tipping point on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues and our job is to push the scale as far and as fast as we can toward fairness,” said Solmonese. “The tour will serve as a powerful visibility tool and support the work of creating real and lasting change in these communities.”

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Atlanta HRC Dinner tells ‘Our Stories’ to inspire fight for LGBT rights

Actress Mo'Nique was awarded the 'Ally for Equality' honor at the 2011 Atlanta Human Rights Campaign Gala Dinner

“Our Stories,” the theme for this year’s Atlanta Human Rights Campaign Gala Dinner, proved fitting May 14 as hundreds packed the ballroom at the Marriott Marquis for the annual black-tie fundraiser for the nation’s largest LGBT advocacy group.

From national award winners to local honorees and HRC members, personal stories wove a compelling narrative of the power of coming out and the need for full equality for LGBT Americans.

Filmmaker Lee Daniels, who is gay and an adoptive father, summed up the evening succinctly when he told the cheering audience, “I am not asking for special rights, I am not asking for civil rights, I just want my fucking rights — my human rights.”

Daniels directed “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire” and attended the Atlanta dinner to present HRC’s national Ally for Equality award to talk show host and actress Mo’Nique, who won an Academy Award for her role in the film.

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[Video] 2011 Atlanta Human Rights Campaign Gala Dinner

“Our Stories,” the theme for this year’s Atlanta Human Rights Campaign Gala Dinner, proved fitting May 14 as hundreds packed the ballroom at the Marriott Marquis for the annual black-tie fundraiser for the nation’s largest LGBT advocacy group.

From national award winners to local honorees and HRC members, personal stories wove a compelling narrative of the power of coming out and the need for full equality for LGBT Americans.