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Best Bets 12.9 – 12.23

Varla Jean Merman

ADD YOUR EVENT

There are two ways to add your events to our online and print calendars. Submit your  info to www.theGAVoice.com or e-mail details to editor@theGAVoice.com.

Visit our website for our extensive daily calendar, including nightlife schedules, sports, worship services and community organization meetings.

Friday, Dec. 9

Lesbian social group Fourth Tuesday hosts its December Happy Hour from 6-8 p.m. at Bellissima, 560 Amsterdam Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306, www.facebook.com/FourthTuesdayAtlanta.

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Occupy Atlanta moves in with lesbian couple facing foreclosure

Occupy Atlanta protesters in Woodruff Park

Activists with Atlanta's Occupy movement will occupy the Riverdale home of Brigitte Walker and her partner, Ajai Craig, the group announced this week.

Walker, an Iraq War veteran, is on 90 percent disability stemming from injuries she sustained while serving in the military and is facing foreclosure from her mortgage holder. Organizers say that her fixed income, along with her bank's refusal to negotiate new terms, have put her home “deep into the foreclosure process.”

Occupy Atlanta will host a press conference at Walker and Craig's home later today, organizers said.

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Atlanta gay ruggers do it in drag

Atlanta Bucks Rugby

The annual Atlanta Bucks Rugby Football Club's Miss Ruck & Maul Pageant will be at Jungle on Saturday beginning at 6:30 p.m. and promises to be a hoot with burly men and their mentors dressed in gaudy drag attire competing for the coveted title.

What's better — the event not only entertains but is also a fundraiser for the Bucks and this year also for the Atlanta Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence's new Saint and Lost Fund to help LGBT homeless youth. You can pay $10 at the door or make a donation online at here.

The hostesses for the Miss Ruck & Maul Pageant are Ruby Redd and Jenna Tellya — also known as rugby players Ray Matheson and Gary Durden.

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Outwrite announces $1,000 donation to save the LGBT bookstore

Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse announced Friday on its Facebook page that it received a $1,000 donation from the Lloyd E. Russell Foundation to start a "Save Outwrite Books" campaign.

We are thrilled to announce that we we received a donation from the Lloyd E. Russell Foundation to kick off the "Save Outwrite Books" campaign and have set up a fund to do it. Stay tuned to hear how you can get involved!

"Pamm [Burdett] came in about a week ago with a $1,000 check for a donation and said she wanted to get [your] campaign started," said Outwrite owner Philip Rafshoon. Burdett is the director of the Lloyd E. Russell Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides grants and contributions to various LGBT and leather community individuals, agencies and organizations.

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[Video] Federal appeals court offers hope in Ga. transgender woman’s job bias lawsuit

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Three judges sitting on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals today appeared to side with transgender woman Vandy Beth Glenn, who was fired from her job as a legislative editor for the Georgia General Assembly after she informed her boss she was transitioning full-time to a woman.

"We have direct evidence of intentional discrimination," said Judge Bill Pryor.

Richard Sheinis, representing the state, argued that if Glenn was to win this case, transgender people would become a "protected class."

"That's right," Pryor and Judge Rosemary Barkett answered, almost simultaneously.

Pryor told Sheinis if he wanted to change the outcome, he should "go talk to Congress."

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CNN’s ‘Growing old openly gay’ video features Atlanta resident

Atlanta resident Winston Johnson

Winston Johnson, a well-known Atlanta resident, is featured in a video by CNN titled "Growing old openly gay."

The first gay couple married in New York as well as a late-life lesbian are also featured in the short video clip.

Johnson and his partner, Leon Allen, are the namesakes for an Atlanta Human Rights Campaign community service award. Johnson speaks of Allen, who died in 2006, in the clip.

The couple became good friends with Coretta Scott King and encouraged her to use her high profile to advocate for LGBT equality.

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Augusta grad student goes before federal appeals court over anti-gay beliefs

An Augusta State University counseling student is appearing before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today asking not to be expelled from the school because she believes homosexuality is a sin, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Jennifer Keeton, who is studying to be a school counselor for students in grades K-12, filed a lawsuit against the university on July 21, 2010, in the United States District Court Southern Division in Augusta, claiming that the school threatened to expel her because of her Christian belief that being gay or transgender is immoral.

Keeton is represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, an organization dedicated to defending "traditional family values." In her lawsuit, Keeton claimed her First Amendment rights were violated by the university because it stated her biblical opposition to homosexuality — that she would state in class and to other students — went against the professional code for being an ethical counselor.

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Outspoken: John Waters, Shangela and more…

Cult film director John Waters

“I consider myself a lower-case gay, not screaming like my good friend [porn director and drag queen] Chi Chi LaRue. I love all my friends in the community, and if the moment came [for induction into the Hall Of Fame], it would be a tremendous moment, not just for the band and our fans, but for the whole LGBT community.”

Rob Halford, vocalist of heavy metal band Judas Priest, when asked whether his being gay may be why the band hasn’t been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  (Xtra!, Nov. 21)

“I’m for gay marriage. I don’t want to do it, but I certainly think people should be allowed to, and I wouldn’t vote for anybody that would be against it. But at the same time, why do we have to be good now? Why can’t we be villains in movies?”

— Gay cult film director John Waters (“Hairspray, “Cry-Baby”) on the mainstreaming of gay culture (Slate.com, Nov. 20)