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Gay readers respond (angrily) to Marietta columnist’s anti-gay op-ed

When syndicated conservative columnist Dick Yarbrough wrote an anti-gay rant last week in the Marietta Daily Journal mocking California's law requiring LGBT history be taught in schools,  gay readers decided to respond in kind.

Two things for sure — some don't like being called "Gay Blade" or take kindly to hoop skirts.

Yarbrough wrote in his July 13 column about a phone conversation he had with this fictional character he called "Gay Blade," a flaming liberal, who warned him that soon Georgia's public schools would have to teach kids about historical LGBT figures. Because, you see, California is now doing it. Of course, there's a group of social conservatives trying to get the law repealed.

Yarbrough retorted to his fictional "friend" this was ridiculous because the state's leaders have more important priorities.

"Besides, we have a lot of pride in Georgia's history and the last thing we need to know is that some guy we named a county for used to run around at night in hoop skirts," Yarbrough wrote.

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[Video] Kidz Bop’s Gaga cover misses the point

Unless you've got children of your own, I suspect you've never heard of Kidz Bop.

I can thank Perez Hilton for introducing me. Or not.

He posted a video of the family-friendly pre-teen pop group covering Lady Gaga's “Born this Way” earlier this week with the following disclaimer:

“Now before anyone raises any eyebrows or questions whether or not LGBT issues are too mature for little kids…This is an *edited* version. The LGBT verse has been taken out. So watch this video and be happy little kids can sing about loving themselves for just the way they are!”

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Phillip Rush Center plans first survey to gauge needs of LGBT Georgians

The Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative and Georgia Equality are asking members of Georgia's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities to fill out a short survey to help the organizations plan for the future of the Phillip Rush Center.

The survey takes just 10 minutes and "will likely be the most important thing you can do this week to help secure a fair and just Georgia," said Linda Ellis, executive director of ALHI.

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Atlanta police LGBT Advisory group sends letters to mayor, police chief

The Atlanta Police LGBT Advisory group sent letters today to Mayor Kasim Reed and Chief George Turner requesting meetings with each of them to discuss the punishments handed down so far in the Eagle raid.

The board announced at a July 13 community meeting it would do so and told people attending the forum that they hope to meet with each by July 27. Board members are also asking the mayor and chief to attend a future community town hall meeting in the future.

Chief Turner responded today to the board saying, "It would be my pleasure to meet with you all," and saying his assistant would set up dates for both meetings on Monday.

Mayor Reed also responded late Friday, saying he also would be "happy to meet with ... the members of the LGBT Advisory Board."

Here are what the letters sent to the mayor and the police chief stated:

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Georgia Rep. Simone Bell to speak at San Diego Pride event

simone bell web story on san diego pride

Georgia State Rep. Simone Bell (D-Atlanta) heads out west this weekend to speak at the San Diego Women's Pride Brunch before the parade steps off.

Bell, the first African-American out lesbian elected to a state legislature, speaks at the 11th annual brunch on Saturday, July 16.

“I ran for office so that I could bring together all of my passions toward social justice and human rights,” Bell said in an interview with the San Diego Gay and Lesbian News.

“I’ve worked in the LGBT community for many years. I also worked in health care for more than 10 years. I’ve been an organizer in my neighborhood around affordable housing, elder issues, youth empowerment, etc. I’ve also been out since I was 13 years old,” Bell said. “Running for public office was very organic to the journey I was on.”

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Atlanta police LGBT Advisory group member demands Eagle raid officers be fired

kasim reed web story body LGBT advisory board letter

A member of the Atlanta Police LGBT Advisory group is demanding fellow members ask Mayor Kasim Reed and Chief George Turner to fire officers involved in the raid on the Atlanta Eagle after the department was slammed in reports released last week.

Betty Couvertier, who also hosts and produces “Alternative Perspectives,” an LGBT radio show on WRFG 89.3 FM every Tuesday, sent a letter to other board members on Wednesday expressing her dismay with Reed's revelation that he was “shocked” when he read the reports from the APD's Office of Professional Standards and an independent report by high-profile law firm Greenberg Traurig. The reports state officers lied, destroyed evidence and also showed outright anti-gay prejudices related to the 2009 raid on the gay bar.

“I find it offensive and disturbing that the mayor would be shocked, after all the Civilian Review Board [Atlanta Citizen Review Board]  came to similar conclusions a year ago but they were rejected [by Chief Turner],” she said in a letter to the advisory group members Glen Paul Freedman, chair; Josh Noblitt; Tracee McDaniel; Ebonee Bradford Barnes, Tracy Elliott, Molly Simmons, Philip Rafshoon and Terence McPhaul.

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Diverse leaders, HIV activists to serve as Atlanta Pride 2011 grand marshals

After four weeks of open nominations, the Atlanta Pride Committee has announced six individuals and a "Group of Honor" of AIDS activists will lead the parade for the 41st annual fest.

Grand marshals for the Atlanta Pride parade set for Sunday, Oct. 9, range from a longtime member of the leather community, a transgender woman recently honored by the White House, a Latina queer immigration rights activist to a local playwright, actor and GA Voice columnist.

“It is going to be really exciting having such a diverse group of individuals representing the LGBT community at the Atlanta Pride Festival this year," said Atlanta Pride Executive Director JP Sheffield in a prepared statement.

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Queer Justice League meets July 5 to discuss investigations into Atlanta Eagle raid

Atlanta Eagle attorney Dan Grossman will be speaking at the Queer Justice League’s meeting on Tuesday, July 5.

The meeting begins at 8 p.m. and is being held at the Phillip Rush Center, 1530 DeKalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307.

Grossman will discuss the recent investigations of the Atlanta Police Department and its action in the Sept. 10, 2009, raid on the Eagle, a Midtown gay bar. He will also discuss the implementation of policies the APD is mandated to undertake as part of a $1.025 million settlement with Eagle plaintiffs.

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Atlanta LGBT activists speak out against HB 87 for Saturday’s ‘March for Justice’

A queer contingent participated in Saturday's March for Justice to protest Georgia's immigration law that went into effect July 1.

Before the march, several members of Atlanta's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities released statements saying why the oppose the law, HB 87 and titled the "Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011."

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Six LGBT Atlantans to attend White House Pride reception

xenos family going to white house

Daniele Xenos and her partner, Sherry Lambert, are going to make a vacation of their visit to the White House next week to rub elbows with other lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender leaders from around the country. Xenos, a volunteer with the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative, is one of several Atlanta activists invited to attend the White House's LGBT Pride Reception on June 29.

"I've only been to Washington, D.C., once. We're driving up the day before and we decided to make a vacation of it," she said. "I'm really excited."

Xenos and Lambert have two daughters, Elizabeth, 5, and Katherine, 7. In addition to volunteering with ALHI, Xenos works with the Courage Campaign, an online organizing network that fights for LGBT equality. She is also a women's study major at Emory University and said she hopes to go to law school.