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Election: Attorney General preview

The race to replace Attorney General Thurbert Baker, who is running for governor, is the only statewide race where both Georgia Equality and the Atlanta Stonewall Democrats issued endorsements.

Both LGBT political groups backed Rep. Rob Teilhet, a Democrat. As a member of the Georgia House, he voted against the 2004 state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

“He is with us the majority of the time,” said GE Executive Director Jeff Graham, noting that Teilhet supports “basic fairness issues in terms of employment protection, supporting basic rights and existing law as it relates to our families and relationships.”

None of the candidates returned the Georgia Voice survey.

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Jonathan Lerner, a founder of the Weather Underground, explores politics, sexuality in new book

Weather Underground member Jonathan Lerner

When two hijacked planes crashed into the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001, Atlanta writer Jonathan Lerner remembers thinking how he could identify with Mohamed Atta. Atta, a college-educated man who was raised by affluent parents in Egypt, was the hijacker-pilot who flew the first plane into the World Trade Center.

Lerner’s friend, sex columnist and blogger Michael Alvear, who is gay, told him he needed to put those thoughts down on paper.

So Lerner took a manuscript he had been trying to complete as a memoir about his days as a founding member of the Weather Underground and condensed it into 6,000 words for an essay published Feb. 24, 2002, in the Washington Post Magazine.

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Gay director at Stage Door Players tackles commitment issues in ‘Company’

Stage Door Players

Robert Egizio remembers hearing Elaine Strich’s version of “The Ladies Who Lunch” from the musical “Company” and buying the cast album almost immediately after. Since that time he has longed to be involved in a production of the musical, and next week he gets the chance at his Stage Door Players.

Egizio, the openly gay artistic director of the company, is directing the production. His version of “Company” hits almost 40 years after the original bowed on Broadway.

In the musical, openly gay Dustin Lewis stars as Robert, the main character who is celebrating his 35th birthday. Over the course of the show, we meet his married friends — all of whom are urging him to settle down and get married — as well as his three girlfriends. Robert has rejected the notion of making a commitment to any of them.

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Nothing beats barbecue for signature summer meals

Atlanta Barbecue

I’ll admit that I’m no BBQ OCD like some critics who rock back and forth muttering descriptions like char and bark. As a child in the Atlanta ‘burbs, I only knew the Old Hickory House, which we rarely went to at night since my mother didn’t eat barbecue in public because it was messy and would get her burgundy manicured nails dirty. Their barbecue beef omelet is still really good.

Today Atlanta has a ton of crave-worthy barbecue joints that embrace the imaginative, yet don’t lose sight of Southern traditions. At many, the sides can be as good and as creative as the meats.

Rolling Bones, located on Edgewood Avenue, made Bon Appetit’s 10 best barbecue places in the U.S. for 2009 and serves organic meats. Rolling Bones has that smoky, spicy complexity that signifies a real talented pit master, y’all.

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HRC’s ‘Gospel & Unity’ puts faith in equality

The Human Rights Campaign’s Gospel & Unity celebration is back and in full effect this year, organizers say.

The ninth annual event will take place Saturday, July 24, at the First Metropolitan Community Church from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

“We do the event to bring the community together and connect with LGBT partners,” says Ebonee Bradford, a member of the HRC Board of Governors for Diversity and Inclusion.

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Gay couple attacked in Piedmont Park

Robbery in Piedmont Park

Atlanta Police Department Officer Patricia Powell, the recently appointed LGBT liaison, said she is considering offering a safety course to gay Midtown residents after a gay couple was robbed at gunpoint in Piedmont Park.

“I don’t know if gay people are being targeted,” Powell said Tuesday.

But she noted the July 2 armed robbery of Rev. Joshua Noblitt of Saint Mark United Methodist Church and his partner, as well as reports of anti-gay epithets used during a series of fights and disturbances by young people at the June 3 Screen on the Green in the park.

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Election: Secretary of State rundown

Georgia Equality chose to sit out the race for Secretary of State, as the job does not deal directly with LGBT-specific issues. Atlanta Stonewall Democrats endorsed Michael Mills, although Gail Buckner and Gary Horlacher also applied.

Mills was the only candidate to return the Georgia Voice survey. He said he would publicly support a broad range of LGBT issues, but stopped short of full marriage rights, backing civil unions for gay couples instead.

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Joining Heart’s pool party makes a ‘Splash,’ raises funds for HIV/AIDS organizations

DJ Mike Pope

Hundreds of hot men (and some women) will pack the Piedmont Park pool July 24 for Joining Hearts 23, the annual fundraiser that helps provide housing for people with HIV.

“Joining Hearts has always been one of the highlights of the gay community each summer,” says Kerry Loftis, director of events for Joining Hearts, an all-volunteer, non-profit charity. “We get people who come here from all over the country for this event. They plan their vacations around it. People consider it like a big family reunion.”
DJ Roland Belmares, an Atlanta favorite from Austin, Texas, returns to spin for this year’s event, dubbed “Splash.”

“People like his style of playing really upbeat, fun music,” Loftis says. “He has a big following here because we all love the way that he makes it a really fun, good party. He mixes music that everyone just loves.”