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‘Out 2 Enroll’ resource to help LGBT people navigate ‘Obamacare’

An effort to educate and raise awareness among LGBT people about the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, begins in earnest next month when the law goes into effect.

A new program, Out 2 Enroll, will be unveiled Oct. 11 on National Coming Out Day ― which also  happens to be the weekend of Atlanta Pride ― via its website at www.out2enroll.org and will be a resource for LGBT seeking help in maneuvering the new law during open enrollment. The ACA sets up online marketplaces, also known as exchanges, for people to study and then buy insurance from.

Out 2 Enroll is a collaboration between the Sellers Dorsey Foundation, the Center for American Progress and the Federal Agencies Project and was discussed at a recent White House briefing where several Atlanta LGBT advocates were invited to attend to learn more about the Affordable Care Act.

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Married same-sex couples will be eligible for veterans benefits

In a letter to U.S. Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) dated Sept. 4, Attorney General Eric Holder informed the Republican House Speaker that President Obama's administration will extend veterans benefits for married same-sex couples.

This comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling that struck down a key portion of the Defense of Marriage Act, and the Internal Revenue Service's Aug. 29 decision to allow same-sex married couples to file federal taxes together and share Medicare benefits.

Based on the court ruling, the administration will no longer enforce policies that restrict veteran benefits to legally married opposite-sex couples.

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LGBT groups decry SCOTUS Voting Rights Acts ruling as ‘grave disservice’

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Tomorrow will be a historical day in the history of the fight for equality for all LGBT Americans when we learn what nine people in black robes think about our relationships.

Today we learned that a slim majority, 5-4, of the Supremes feel our country is enjoying a time of post racial progress and, to quote many others, gutted the Voting Rights Act and essentially erased the work of so many people during the civil rights movement.
  
Who voted how was not surprising: voting against the Voting Rights Act were Chief Justice John G. Roberts, who delivered the majority opinion. Joining Roberts were Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote a "fiery" dissent, and she was joined by Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

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[Video] President Barack Obama stops by — kind of — the LGBT Creating Change conference in Atlanta

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A pretty important person stopped by — well, kind of — the Creating Change conference in downtown Atlanta on Friday to give more than 3,000 LGBT activists and allies words of encouragement as well as a thank them for their work to ensure equality for all.

That man was President Barack Obama, who sent a videotaped message to conference attendees — the first time a sitting president has addressed Creating Change, the largest LGBT conference in the country. He also congratulated The Gay and Lesbian Task Force, which hosts the conference, on its 40th anniversary.

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Atlanta members ready to march with Lesbian & Gay Band Association in inaugural parade

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There's nothing like marching bands to celebrate a presidential inauguration. And nothing makes a parade a celebration like gay and lesbian musicians and color guards marching out and proud to the sound of their own drummers.

President Barack Obama's inauguration is set for Monday with a celebration to include a parade with 28 bands including the Lesbian and Gay Band Association and its seven members from Atlanta. The LGBA is the only LGBT band in the parade.

Marching with the LGBA in Monday's parade are Atlanta Freedom Bands members Eddie Young and Bob Derickson, piccolo; Karen Helbling, trumpet; John Peterson, trombone; Robert Corona, color guard; Danielle Steele, honor guard; and Cliff Norris, sousaphone. Young and Norris are section captains on the artistic leadership team for the weekend.

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[Updated] Ga. pastor pulls out of inauguration ceremonies over past anti-gay sermon

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Rev. Louie Giglio, pastor of Atlanta's Passion City Church, will no longer deliver the benediction at President Barack Obama's inauguration after news came out Wednesday the conservative pastor had preached an anti-gay sermon in the past, according to ABC News.

Thinkprogress reported Wednesday that Rev. Giglio in the mid-1990s preached against homosexuality as well as in favor of ex-gay conversion. You can listen to the sermon, titled  “In Search of a Standard – Christian Response to Homosexuality,” here.

During the sermon, Giglio  discusses an Entertainment Tonight episode that discusses a gay marriage on the TV show "Northern Exposure" as well as the famous same-sex kiss on the hit TV show, "Roseanne." Both shows were hits in the 1990s.

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In 3, 2, 1 … Christian preacher blames Hurricane Sandy on the gays

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Well, we knew it was coming, didn't we? Gay people are the reason for the Frankenstorm hitting the Northeast, at least according to a Pennsylvania preacher who just happens to be in the path of Hurricane Sandy.

Called the "perfect storm," Hurricane Sandy has forced New York and Washington, D.C., to close their public transit systems today, the New York Stock Exchange has closed physical trading and people in Manhattan and New Jersey have been told to evacuate to safer areas. It's going to be one major mess. You would think prayers for those in the path of the hurricane would be in order by people of God.

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Georgia receives $2.5 million grant for HIV prevention

The Georgia Department of Public Health has received a $2.5 million from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention to be used to help HIV-positive people not receiving medical treatment get the treatment they need.

"We're talking about people who may or may not know they're HIV-positive and for whatever reason are not in care." said J. Patrick O'Neal, director of DPH's division of health protection, in a statement. "Linking these patients with treatment is essential to reducing HIV transmission in Georgia."