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Top local news of 2012: Atlanta backs marriage

Alex Wan and Kasim Reed

Whether it was the threat of the end of the world or just plain old fashioned holiday spirit — or most likely political timing — the month of December brought Atlanta officials together in a cornucopia of outspoken support for LGBT equality. 

First, on Dec. 3, the Atlanta City Council passed a resolution 11-2 stating its support for same-sex marriage. The resolution was introduced by Alex Wan, the only openly gay council member, after months of discussion with his colleagues about the difference between civil unions and marriage equality.

Wan, who represents District 6, said he pushed for the resolution because it was “the right thing to do.”

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Former Outwrite owner speaks out on new gig with AJC Decatur Book Fest

Philip Rafshoon

Philip Rafshoon, the former owner of the now shuttered Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse, has been named the new program director for the AJC Decatur Book Festival.

“I'm studying right now and trying to figure out what exactly has been done at the festival in the previous years and talking to people about what they want to see changed and what will work,” Rafshoon told GA Voice today. “I'm celebrating right now that I have this great position but the work begins right away.”

Rafshoon will officially take up the position Jan. 1 and will replace outgoing program director Terra Elan McVoy.

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It’s up to all of us to decide whether we still deserve to be the gay capital of the South

Outwrite is closed. YouthPride is teetering on the brink. Atlanta Pride will have a new leader for the first time since 2008, and it will be the first year since 1999 that James Parker Sheffield has not been involved.

Only a month into 2012, the year has already brought tremendous change to three iconic institutions in LGBT Atlanta. Outwrite was the city’s highest profile LGBT business. YouthPride is one of our city’s most important and beloved LGBT organizations. And Atlanta Pride is by far our city’s largest and most visible LGBT event.

What all of these changes mean for Atlanta will take months or even years to determine, but one thing is certain: How we respond to them will define whether we deserve to keep our reputation as the gay capital of the South.