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East Cobb Middle School scrubs Tanya Ditty from website (sort of)

Tanya Ditty and Rick Santorum

Officials from the Cobb County School District are staying mum on the recent controversy caused by one of its employees, Tanya Ditty.

Ditty, the state head of Concerned Women for America, spoke before a subcommittee of the Ga. House Judiciary Committee on House Bill 630 (State Fair Employment Practices Act) earlier this week and made national headlines when she compared gays and lesbians to pedophiles, necrophiliacs and zoophiliacs. Ditty almost instantly became the new poster-child of anti-gay bigotry. You can see Ms. Ditty's testimony, as well as a thoughtful and humorous response from State Rep. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates), here.

HB 630 (State Fair Employment Practices Act) would prohibit the state from firing its workers over their sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation.

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Lawyer of victim in anti-gay videotaped beating speaks out against those defending alleged attackers

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Gay activists with Change Atlanta met with the mother of a suspect accused of brutally attacking a gay man in southwest Atlanta and are now planning a town hall meeting with her and the suspect's attorney. The lawyer representing the victim, however, believes their approach is not helpful to the case that is being investigated as a federal hate crime.

Brandon White, 20, who is gay, was brutally attacked Feb. 4 by three male gang members who repeatedly called  him "faggot."  The assailants then uploaded a video of the attack on a hip hop website where it went viral. The three suspects — Christopher Cain, Dorian Moragne and Darael Demare Williams — have all been arrested.

CBS Atlanta was invited to the meeting with Change Atlanta and Dorian Moragne's  mother and reported on the meeting Wednesday, Feb. 22.

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YouthPride sued for $40,000 in unpaid rent and fees, told to leave premises

YouthPride has not paid rent since June 2011 and is being sued for back rent and late fees totaling more than $40,000, according to court documents filed Feb. 17 with the Fulton County Magistrate Court. The metro-Atlanta agency will also soon be given an official eviction notice from the Fulton Sheriff's Department.

The complaint was filed on Friday, Feb. 17, said Peter Morgan, the attorney representing Inman Park United Methodist Church, YouthPride’s landlord. The agency that serves lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth ages 13-24 is located on Edgewood Avenue in a space on the church's property.

Included in the complaint is a notice that is to be taped to the door of YouthPride by Fulton County Sheriff's officers mandating a representative or attorney of YouthPride appear at the Magistrate Court to answer the writ of possession — the eviction notice — in writing or orally within seven days of it being served.

“If YouthPride receives any formal notification related to what you have identified, YouthPride will act accordingly,” YouthPride Executive Director Terence McPhaul said, when asked by GA Voice about the agency's plan in light of the court filing.

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[Video] LGBT workplace protections bill tabled by Ga. House subcommittee

By a 3-2 vote on Tuesday, Georgia House Judiciary subcommittee tabled a bill that would provide workplace protections to all state employees, including gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender workers.

Voting against the bill were Reps. Stephen Allison (R-Blairsville), Billy Maddox (R-Zebulon) and Randy Nix (R-LaGrange). Voting to oppose the tabling of the bill were Reps. Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur) and Pam Stephenson (D-Decatur).

"Tabling it is not as not as bad as beating it. But tabling it means they killed it," said state Rep. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates) immediately following the hearing.  Last year, Drenner drafted House Bill 630, which included protection for gay and transgender state employees. The bill was introduced with 70 sponsors and co-sponsors, including 12 Republicans and one Independent. It would cover Georgia’s 174,000 state employees.

"It could come back, but that is unlikely," Drenner said.

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Interim services for YouthPride programs outlined after task force considers LGBT agency closed

A volunteer task force formed to come up with a contingency plan for those utilizing YouthPride's services should the LGBT organization close released a detail plan Monday, Feb. 20, after members issued a statement saying they now consider the agency closed after it received no response from Board President Jordan Myers about his directive from last week to dissolve the agency on Friday, Feb. 17.

YouthPride Executive Director Terence McPhaul, however, told the GA Voice the agency remains open.

For youth seeking counseling services, information on support groups and HIV testing, these options have been made available from the task force:

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[UPDATE] Independent task forces consider YouthPride closed; ED says LGBT youth agency is still open

Volunteer task forces says they now consider YouthPride closed and are implementing a contingency plan devised to relocate programming and services to other agencies. YouthPride is metro-Atlanta nonprofit organization serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth ages 13-24.

"The task forces are now treating YouthPride as if it's non-operational," Charlie Stadtlander told the GA Voice. Statdlander, a gay teacher, organized a Jan. 25 meeting of LGBT leaders and allies that resulted in the formation of two volunteer task forces to look at the financial and legal viability of the agency as well as how to deal with programming should YouthPride shut down.

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‘Pray away the gay’ is a sham, say protesters at Exodus International ‘ex-gay’ conference

 

Through chants and signs that read "Gay by nature, proud by choice," some 50 people made sure those attending the Love Won Out Conference on Saturday heard their message of "you can't pray away the gay." Exodus International hosted the conference  at Midway Church in Villa Rica, Ga.

Timothy Elder, 21, a student at the University of West Georgia, is a devout Christian. But he struggled with his sexual orientation because he was told he would be condemned to hell.

"Before I got accepted to Christ, I was told constantly that God hates gays. And by being a Christian, I was setting myself up for failure," he said.

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Town hall meeting set for March 6 to weigh YouthPride’s options in face of financial crisis

More than $34,000 behind in rent and with no legal board of directors in place, the viability — as well as legality — of nonprofit YouthPride is being heavily questioned by a group of volunteers seeking ways to either save the organization or ensure its services are absorbed by other agencies should it close.

Two volunteer task forces  covering programming and viability met Feb. 8 at CHRIS Kids with the viability task force reporting that the nonprofit agency that serves lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth ages 13-24 is in “imminent” danger of losing its home in a space rented from Inman Park United Methodist Church due to past due rent.

The final task force reports will be released to the community on Feb. 24 and a town hall meeting is scheduled for March 6 at St. Mark United Methodist Church from 7-8:30 p.m.