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Religion blog: Smoke and mirrors

Rev. Eugene H. Peterson, who is a “Professor Emeritus” of Spiritual Theology at Regent College in Vancouver B.C. is the author of one of newer translations of the Bible called “The Message”, the Bible in contemporary language. In his introduction to the Old Testament book of Amos he writes:

“More people are exploited and abused in the cause of religion then in any other way.  Sex, money and power all take a back seat to religion as a source of evil. Religion is the most dangerous energy source known to humankind. The moment a person (or government or religion or organization) is convinced that god, is either ordering or sanctioning a cause or project, anything goes. The history worldwide of religion fueled hate, killing, and oppression is staggering.”

As most of my readers know, our fair city of Atlanta is about to get a visit from The National Organization for Marriage (NOM). Dr. Peterson could have very easily been talking about them.

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Atlanta LGBT groups finalize NOM counter-protest plans

The National Organization for Marriage protests in Indianapolis

The Queer Justice League of Atlanta, Georgia Equality and MEGA Family Project are finalizing plans for a counter-protest to an anti-gay marriage group’s planned demonstration in Atlanta.

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) will make its way to the Georgia Capitol on August 7th as part of a national “marriage tour.”

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Atlanta LGBT activists to counter National Organization for Marriage bus tour

National Organization for Marriage ad 'A Gathering Storm'

The National Organization for Marriage, the group that spearheaded the opposition to California’s Proposition 8 in 2008, will stop in Atlanta on Aug. 7 to hold a protest at the state capitol as part of a national bus tour.

The protest will take place from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Several Atlanta organizations, including the Queer Justice League of Atlanta, MEGA Family Project and Georgia Equality, denounced the planned visit today in a press release.

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Family blog: LGBT equality and retirement

Spending the Fourth of July weekend at my parents' retirement community has me reflecting on what my retirement will look like. Whether at their Florida retirement community or the North Carolina one (they change residences based on the temperature), I always find myself walking their neighborhoods looking at the different style houses and picking out the one I would get if I was in retirement. Of course, it is always something different from my parents’ house.

At Atlanta Pride every year, there are always a few queer retirement communities looking for prospective retirees to buy into their communities. I always thought it was cool for those retiring sometime soon, but I really thought it wouldn’t be needed by the time I retire. I am fairly optimistic about our future and had thought we would be far enough along the road to equality and acceptance that my wife and I would live in an integrated community of straights and queers.

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The marriage expectation

I started the MEGA Family Project over six years ago with the notion that LGBT couples should be afforded the right to marry our same-sex partners, and receive the same rights, benefits, and obligations that our straight counterparts receive through the institution of marriage. Living in a conservative state like Georgia, I have no illusion that marriage equality is coming here any time soon.

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GA Spotlight: MEGA Family Project

MEGA, or Marriage Equality Georgia, was founded in the wake of the 2004 state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The group evolved into the MEGA Family Project, offering a variety of proactive, positive educational and social events for LGBT families.