article placeholder

Organizers seek to raise awareness of restaurant chain’s anti-gay giving

GetEqual and Queer Justice League Atlanta protested the Chick-fil-A Leadercast Conference

Four people — two dressed in cow costumes wearing sandwich boards that read “Moor equality” and “What’s your beef wif gay people?” — showed up at the corner of Centennial Park across from CNN on May 6 to protest the Chick-fil-A Leadercast taking place at the nearby Georgia World Congress Center.

While the protest was scheduled from noon to 3 p.m., it ended at 1 p.m. because organizers had to return to work.

The small group of Queer Justice League and GetEQUAL GA supporters handed out “coupons” to passersby stating, “Reserve your free Bigot-fil-A Deluxe” with a list of some of the Atlanta-based fast-food restaurant’s anti-gay donations, including $1,000 to the Family Research Council, $5,000 to the Alliance Defense Fund and $15,000 to Serving Marriages Inc. The money is donated through the WinShape Foundation, the charitable arm of Chick-fil-A founded by owner Truett Cathy and his wife, Jeannette, in 1984.

article placeholder

Anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church to protest in Savannah

Savannah gay activists are gearing up for a rally when the “God Hates Fags” church rolls into town on May 22 to hold a protest at several local churches with plans to return to Savannah on May 27 to protest high schools.

Act Out Savannah, an LGBT activist group, is already organizing a “Rally Against Hate” to be held May 22 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, one of the churches WBC will be protesting.

“A peaceful protest against bigotry, prejudice and violence will be held in direct response and defiance of the Westboro Baptist Church’s continued mission to bring pain, suffering and humiliation to others in the guise of religion,” states a press release from Act Out Savannah.

Another group, Savannah Unite, plans a candlelight vigil on Wednesday, May 27, to protest Westboro’s visit to Savannah. The vigil will be at Forsyth Park at the Orchestra Stage from 6-9 p.m.

article placeholder

The enemy of my enemy actually is my friend

Playwright and writer Topher PayneThe story was compelling: Westboro Baptist Church announced plans to protest the funeral of Marine Staff Sergeant Jason Rogers in my home state of Mississippi. Staff Sgt. Rogers was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan. The wackadoos from Westboro were demonstrating, as usual, because the death of American soldiers is the result of God’s persistent discontentment with the gays.

I don’t think their rationale gives God enough credit. I think if God was really so single-minded on an issue, He wouldn’t distract himself with churning up tsunamis, slaying soldiers, and bringing down the Twin Towers. Go back and read your Old Testament — if God gets the notion to punish you personally, he lets you know.

Anyhoo, an article detailing Westboro’s Mississippi protest plans ran in the Jackson paper, and folks back home were not pleased. They began making plans of their own.

article placeholder

Local gay activists plan protest of Chick-fil-A

The Chick-fil-A cows

Atlanta LGBT activists plan to cook up an old-fashioned protest at Chick-fil-A’s Leadercast Conference coming to the Georgia World Congress Center on May 6. Protesters plan to urge the Christian-based company to implement a workplace equality policy for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees.

Chick-fil-A has come under attack for its stance against gay marriage and donations to anti-gay institutions like Focus on the Family.

GetEQUAL GA and Atlanta’s Queer Justice League are joining forces to organize the protest at the World Congress Center. It will include protesters dressed in chicken costumes and sandwich boards — mocking the iconic chicken restaurant’s mascots — as well as passing out flyers to attendees noting that workplace equality is important for all major corporations.

Coca-Cola CEO and board chair Muhtar Kent is slated to be one of the Leadercast’s “Voices of Service” speakers. Paul Schappaugh of GetEQUAL GA said he plans to write Kent a letter informing him that Coca-Cola’s stance on equality for all employees clashes with Chick-fil-A’s philosophy.

article placeholder

LGBT activists protest inequality on tax day

Demonstrators protest inequality on tax day

As you undoubtedly know, today is tax day. For some procrastinators, this is one of the most dreaded days of the year.

For married LGBT taxpayers, filing taxes is just another reminder of the inequality same-sex couples face every other day of the year. Because the Defense of Marriage Act requires the federal government to recognize a marriage as "one man and one woman," same-sex couples must file their federal taxes separately, despite the fact that they may be legally married in their home state.

Demonstrators from national LGBT advocacy organization GetEqual, like the ones pictured above in Washington D.C., are taking to the streets to highlight the lack of rights afforded to LGBT couples versus their straight counterparts. According to GetEqual, similar demonstrations are taking place all across the country today.

article placeholder

NOM rally shows how we will win our fight for equality

Atlanta rally against NOM protest

We did it, Atlanta.

In August, hundreds of us braved soaring temperatures to stand across the street from the State Capitol, bearing witness against the National Organization for Marriage’s “Summer for Marriage” tour.

Of course, it was really a “Summer Against Gay Marriage” tour, complete with overwrought predictions of what would happen if (gasp) gay couples are legally allowed to say “I do.”

Alveda King — the niece of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and a disgrace to her uncle’s legacy of inclusion and civil rights — told the assembled crowd redefining marriage by allowing gay couples to legally wed amounts to “genocide” and will lead to the “extinction” of the human race.

Um, the assembled crowd of 35. And I generously counted their speakers, performers, volunteers and even the media who stood on their side of the street.

article placeholder

Interview: How Atlanta changed the heart of gay marriage opponent Louis Marinelli

Louis Marinelli, former NOM strategist, recently came out in favor of same-sex marriage

When the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage brought its “Summer of Marriage” tour to the Georgia Capitol in August 2010, more than 300 counter-protesters gathered across the street to show support for same-sex marriage.

The vibrant counter-protest was a stark contrast to the NOM rally, which drew only about 35 attendees, including the event’s organizers. Among them was Louis Marinelli, a self-described conservative Republican who spearheaded the tour.

On his website, Louis recently came out of his own closet with the revelation that he now supports civil marriage for gay couples.

article placeholder

Oglethorpe students band together to protest anti-gay lecturer

A silent protest greeted Dr. Matthew Franck, who opposes same-sex marriage, when he lectured Monday at Atlanta's Oglethorpe University. LGBT advocates who organized the protest said they wanted to make sure people understand the university is an open and welcoming place.

Franck, director of the William E. & Carol G. Simon Center on Religion & the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, N.J., spoke at Oglethorpe in a discussion titled, “Charging ‘Hate’ in the Same-Sex Marriage Debate: How to Stop an Argument You're Losing and Endanger Freedom While You're At It.”

He has argued that it is inaccurate to call opposition to gay marriage or other LGBT issues "hate," claiming that gay advocates use the term to close down debate.