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Atlanta mayor names gay attorney as his LGBT advisor

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Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed now has an official “advisor on LGBT issues” after appointing gay attorney Robin Shahar to the position Monday. In 2010, Reed told GA Voice he would not have a designated LGBT liaison for his mayoral office, preferring instead a policy of full inclusion that puts gay people in prominent positions based on merit.

The appointment was made public in a press release sent to media late Wednesday evening.

Shahar is also the Chief Counsel in the city of Atlanta's Department of Law and has worked in the city's law department since 1993.

“I am pleased that Robin Shahar will assume this vital role in my administration,” said Reed in a prepared statement.

“In addition to her keen legal mind, she is well-respected in the community and will be an effective ambassador. My administration and I are dedicated to eliminating barriers to equality, fighting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and engaging the LGBT community across the city," he added.

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Mayor Kasim Reed speaks out on marriage equality ahead of Supreme Court decision

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Several mayors from across the country participated in a conference call today sponsored by the Respect for Marriage Coalition to urge the Supreme Court to strike down DOMA.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who announced his support for marriage equality in December after struggling with the issue for some time, said today that while his city is progressive and offers domestic partnerships to city workers, Georgia overall is very conservative.

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YouthPride ED removed from Atlanta working group to reduce prostitution

The controversial leader of YouthPride has been removed from the city’s working group studying ways to end prostitution, but the mayor’s office and City Councilman Michael Bond disagree on who made the decision.

Terence McPhaul, executive director of YouthPride, an organization that serves LGBT youth, was informed Friday, March 22, that he was no longer on the group, Bond said. The decision was made days after the city announced those on the working group in a press release.

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LGBT advocates help put Atlanta’s ‘banishment ordinance’ on hold

Chief George Turner

Up to 15 people representing a cross section of Atlanta will be named to Atlanta’s “Working Group on Prostitution” to make recommendations to the city to find ways to curb illegal sex work.

At the Feb. 25 Atlanta City Council Public Safety Committee work session, the city’s Chief Operating Officer Duriya Farooqui made a request to put a hold on the proposed “banishment ordinance” so that she and Michael Julian Bond, chair of the Public Safety Committee, could appoint members to the working group.

The city’s backing off of the banishment ordinance, proposed by Atlanta Police Chief George Turner, came after stiff backlash from social justice activists, including many LGBTQ activists.