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Symbolic resolution puts council ahead of Atlanta mayor on gay rights

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The Atlanta City Council voted 11-2 on Dec. 3 to pass a resolution supporting marriage equality. The vote puts the council ahead of Mayor Kasim Reed, who has stated publicly he does not support marriage rights for same-sex couples.

City Councilmember Alex Wan, who is gay, presented the resolution to the full City Council.

“Folks in the community have been asking and encouraging me to do something. And with Atlanta being the city it is and having such a large LGBT population, I really wanted us to be one of the leaders in the discussion on marriage equality,” Wan said. “This was also very important to me.”

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UPDATE: Atlanta City Council passes resolution supporting gay marriage

The Atlanta City Council voted 11-2 today to pass a resolution supporting marriage equality, said Alex Wan, the council's only openly gay member.

Wan presented the resolution to the full City Council. He told GA Voice the news but also posted to his Facebook page, "Proud to share with everyone that the Atlanta City Council just passed a resolution supporting marriage equality!!!"

The vote puts the council ahead of Mayor Kasim Reed, who has stated publicly he does not support marriage equality. He met with LGBT advocates in June to discuss his stance, but despite the pressure, was still was not willing to change his position even after President Barack Obama came out in support of gay marriage.

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Alpharetta teen makes first court appearance in LGBT-prom lawsuit

Reuben Lack, his father and attorney

Reuben Lack, the Alpharetta High School student suing his school over his forced removal from his student council position after introducing an LGBT-friendly prom resolution, went before a federal judge today in the first hearing seeking to have him reinstated as council president.

Lack gave testimony before United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia Judge Richard Story and was cross examined by the defense team for Fulton County Public Schools, Lack's attorney, James Radford, said today by phone. The defense also submitted some five affidavits from students and faculty of Alpharetta High School but did not call any witnesses.

“The judge is taking the case very seriously," Radford said. "He clearly understands the First Amendment implications of the case.”

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Surprise — Ga. Republicans block gay-friendly House resolution

Newly elected lesbian state Rep. Keisha Waites (D-Atlanta) has been keeping herself busy in the Republican-controlled General Assembly since taking office last month by introducing resolutions to recognize friends and supporters over the years. 

However, one resolution specifically wanting to recognize the Young Democrats at UGA as well as the university's gay-rights group Lambda Alliance and Ally Outreach was voted down — but not because it was pro-gay but rather because it was pro-Democrat, according to a Tuesday story by the Associated Press.

"Ceremonial resolutions are typically approved unanimously without debate. But this time, House Majority Leader Larry O'Neal, a Republican, successfully pressed to get the Democratic resolution removed from the pile. It was then rejected in a lopsided 32-104 vote," the AP reported.

"It's a political resolution that looks like the entire House is commending a particular political candidate and political philosophy," O'Neal told the AP. "We've got an election season coming up and I didn't want the other side running around with a resolution adopted by the entire House — Republicans and Democrats and independents — saying that we're commending and supporting Barack Obama, for instance, for president."