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Our top 5 videos of the year

Ga. Rep. Rashad Taylor: I'm a gay man

2011 was a busy year for LGBT coverage in Atlanta. We were on-hand, and filmed, press conferences, protests, parades, concerts and drag shows. Here are our choices for the top 5 videos of 2011:

LGBT activists rally for immigration reform

Early this year, the Georgia Legislature was putting the final touches on the state's new immigration legislation, modeled after the controversial Arizona law of national fame.

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Braves release anti-bullying PSA to public

Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones

The Atlanta Braves publicly released an anti-bullying video today that was previously available to view only at Turner Field on Braves' game days.

The video features prominent Braves players like Chipper Jones, Brian McCann, Tim Hudson and Jason Heyward speaking directly to those bullied, who witness bullying and to bullies themselves.

A Spanish version has also been released featuring infielder Martin Prado, according to the team.

The video will be distributed to more than 100 local area schools as part of the Anti-Defamation League's “No Place for Hate” campaign.

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Petition calls on Atlanta Braves to make ‘It Gets Better’ video

Atlanta Braves

The San Francisco Giants were the first professional sports team to participate in the “It Gets Better” campaign. Now, online activists are hoping other teams will follow in the Giants' footsteps.

Saturday, the Boston Red Sox announced that they would create a video for the popular anti-bullying campaign “It Gets Better” after 12-year-old Sam Maden's online petition to the team received tens of thousands of digital signatures in a matter of days.

The Chicago Cubs have committed to making a video, as well.

After Maden's success, has been flooded with petitions for professional sports teams, including the Atlanta Braves. Created late last night by Alan Thacker, the petition targeting the Braves calls for the organization to take a stand against homophobia in sports:

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Atlanta Braves ask Georgia Equality for plan of action to deal with homophobia, bullying

Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz sat down with Georgia Equality Executive Director Jeff Graham and representatives from PFLAG today to discuss ways the club could work to end bullying in schools and address homophobia in its ranks.

The meeting comes after Georgia Equality hand-delivered a letter to Schuerholz on April 28 following the news that pitching coach Roger McDowell allegedly shouted at fans on April 23 at San Francisco AT&T Park, "Are you a homo couple or a threesome?" and imitated a sex act with a baseball bat. McDowell was also accused of threatening a father who asked him to watch his language in front of children.

The meeting today between Schuerholz, Graham and Jeannie Senter, a member of the Georgia Safe Schools Coalition and PFLAG, lasted a full hour and Graham said he feels the club has a genuine concern about mending bridges with the LGBT community.

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[Video] Atlanta Braves coach to gay fans: ‘I would like to apologize’

Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell addressed a small group of reporters today at Turner Field on his first day back to the club after a two-week suspension handed down by Major League Baseball after McDowell allegedly using anti-gay slurs against San Francisco Giants fans last month.

McDowell was also accused of threatening Justin Quinn, a father of twin daughters, who asked him to watch his language in front of children at the April 23 game at San Francisco AT&T Park. Quinn made the allegations against McDowell in a press conference with high-profile attorney Gloria Allred.

McDowell did not use the word “gay” at any time during the press conference nor did he admit or deny the allegations. He did, however, apologize again for his actions and said that kind of behavior would not happen again.

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Braves coach Roger McDowell to talk publicly about anti-gay incident

Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell

Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell is expected to speak out today about the recent incident where he allegedly shouted anti-gay slurs at San Francisco Giants fans and threatened a father.

A press conference was slated for 2 p.m. today at Turner Stadium. McDowell returns to the team today as the Braves take on the Philadelphia Phillies after a two-week suspension from Major League Baseball. McDowell was suspended after he was accused of shouting, “Are you a homo couple or a threesome?” at Giants fans on April 23. McDowell also allegedly used a baseball bat to simulate a sex act.

When a father, Justin Quinn, asked McDowell to watch his language in front of children, McDowell allegedly patted a baseball bat in his palm and asked, “How much are your teeth worth?”

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AJC sports writer speaks out on Braves’ Roger McDowell anti-gay incident

Atlanta Journal-Constitution sportswriter Jeff Schultz

Jeff Schultz, sports writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, has covered the Atlanta Braves — and all other Atlanta sports teams — for years.

When news broke that Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell was accused of using anti-gay slurs against San Francisco Giants fans on April 23 at the San Francisco ballpark, Schultz wrote that the coach should be suspended at least 30 days.

“He needs to be hit with a suspension, and hit hard. The absolute minimum: 30 games without pay, a significant fine and court-mandated Saying Stupid Things Rehab. If even half what has been alleged is true, most of us would be fired,” Schultz wrote.

When McDowell was suspended by Major League Baseball for two weeks, Schultz said McDowell should consider himself "lucky."