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YouthPride Executive Director Terence McPhaul seeks millions in string of lawsuits

YouthPride Executive Director Terence McPhaul is no stranger to lawsuits. Since becoming executive director of YouthPride in June 2009, he has personally filed three lawsuits handled in federal court — including one showing that he began searching for other jobs within months of taking the helm of the youth group.

Like McPhaul’s recent lawsuit in Fulton County against a car dealership, the federal lawsuits are all filed “pro se,” or with McPhaul representing himself instead of having an attorney. The lawsuits are filed on behalf of McPhaul as an individual, not as a representative of YouthPride. One remains pending.

Court records show McPhaul has filed six lawsuits handled by the federal court system since 1994, all representing himself without an attorney. Defendants include at least four of his previous employers, including three prominent Atlanta nonprofits: AID Atlanta, National AIDS Education & Services for Minorities, and St. Joseph’s Mercy Care.

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Out & Equal Atlanta offers training for LGBT allies in the workplace

Sibby Tansill from Out & Equal AtlantaMany people don’t realize you can be fired in Georgia for being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. But being on the forefront of accepting LGBT employees is a priority for some companies, and Out & Equal Atlanta can help them ensure their practices are culturally competent as well as good business.

“As part of Out & Equal Atlanta we are trying to deliver relevant and quality programming,” says Sibby Tansill of SyBIC Consulting and co-chair of the local chapter of the national Out & Equal nonprofit organization.

“We work with affinity groups and human resources groups … to show how to be more inclusive,” she adds.

Companies Out & Equal works with include Turner, Newell Rubbermaid and Coca-Cola — all major companies that have excellent records with the national Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.

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Kathleen Womack named to State Bar of Georgia’s board of governors

Kathleen WomackKathleen Womack, past president of the Stonewall Bar Association and former chair of Georgia Equality’s board of directors, has been appointed to the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Georgia.

The Board of Governors is a 160-member body that sets the policies of the State Bar.

Womack was appointed to the post by State Bar President-elect Robin Frazer Clark, according to a press release from the State Bar of Georgia.

Womack, who is openly gay, made an unsuccessful bid for Sandy Springs City Council in 2005 in the city’s first election after it incorporated. She was endorsed in this campaign by Georgia Equality and the national Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and also endorsed by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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Supreme Court rules in favor of Rev. Fred Phelps’ anti-gay protests

A Westboro Baptist Church protester in Atlanta

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this morning that the First Amendment protects anti-gay picketers Westboro Baptist Church from tort liability, according to the American Bar Association.

The decision was eight to one. Only Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. dissented.

Westboro Baptist Church, based in Topeka, Kansas, is led by Rev. Fred Phelps and his family members. The church frequently protest the funerals of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq with signs featuring messages like “God Hates Fags” and “Fags Doom Nations.” WBC has also protested Jewish groups, high schools and even the Catholic Church.