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Gay rabbi: Speaking at MLK Commemorative Service was ‘an honor,’ but ‘not easy’

Rabbi Joshua Lesser, who is gay, was among the speakers at today’s televised Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Service at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Lesser is a social justice activist and leader of Congregation Bet Haverim, a gay-founded Reconstructionist synagogue in Atlanta. He may be the first openly gay speaker at the Ebenezer service, according to friend Glen Paul Freedman, also a longtime gay activist in Atlanta.

Lesser gave a scriptural reading from the Biblical book of Isaiah.

"It’s a passage that basically says religious or political practice without embodying it is meaningless," Lesser said in an interview this afternoon. "More than ritual, what God wants is challenging oppression, not exploiting other people, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and standing for justice."

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Advocates urge calls to senators on behalf of DADT vote

Local activists are urging supporters of a repeal of the military’s anti-gay “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy to call local senators to plea for a “yes” vote on the 2011 Defense Authorization bill cloture vote tentatively scheduled for tonight.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) plans to bring a vote to the full Senate tonight, if time allows.

Here is a script, provided by one of our readers:

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Election: A look at candidates running for office

We take a look at where candidates stand on LGBT issues, including marriage, employment non-discrimination and hate crimes. Profiled are candidates running for Georgia Governor, one of Georgia's two U.S. Senate seats and candidates for Lieutenant Governor.

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Georgia Senate candidates sound off on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, Georgia Labor Commissioner Mike Thurmond and airline pilot Chuck Donovan participated in a debate Sunday sponsored by the Atlanta Press Club. All three are running for Isakson's U.S. Senate seat.

The debate, the first and only scheduled debate where all three candidates will appear, largely focused on health care and government spending but did address the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy after panelist Meredith Anderson, from Augusta news WRWD-TV, read a question submitted from one of her viewers regarding the policy.

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Senate to vote on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal today

Gay rights supporters are urged to call their senators this morning as the U.S. Senate is expected to vote today on an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill that would set in motion repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban on openly gay service members.

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DADT vote pushed back

The Senate rejected a motion to break a Republican-led filibuster against a defense spending bill that includes language aimed at ending "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell"