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Elizabeth Warren joins ‘It Gets Better’ project

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren might just be the poster child for liberal politicians this fall, and lucky for LGBT rights advocates, she’s on our side.

The wave of national attention gained from Warren’s bitter battle over her position at the Obama Administration's Bureau of Consumer Protection propelled her into public light. Warren has focused the attention into a bid for the U.S. Senate, and plans to run against Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) this fall. So far, polls have her favorably positioned against the incumbent.

Since her the announcement of her Senate bid, Warren has been the “it” candidate in the Democratic party.

Warren, a former Harvard Law School professor, is known mainly as a consumer advocate. She is also a gay rights advocate. No, not the “I have a personal objection to same-sex marriage,” kind of advocate. She's a full-on, support-us-until-we-win advocate.

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Why GA Voice will remain online on ‘SOPA Blackout’ day

Lamar Smith

Personally, I object to the proposed anti-piracy legislation known as the Stop Online Piracy Act. Professionally, I manage a content-driven newspaper website that cannot shut down in protest of the legislation.

I'll tell you why after two quick stories.

The first time my work was published under another person's name was when I wrote for a motorsport magazine and provided articles to the official website of the sanctioning body of a particular form of auto racing.

A competitor of ours decided to take the copy, unchanged, and post it directly to their website. With the help of a friend in the legal field, I sent the competitor a cease & desist letter asking them to pull the article from their site. My letter was never answered. Eventually, the article was moved to a “pay only” section of their website and without the financial means to pursue it any further, I had no choice but to let the theft go unchecked.

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From marriage to the ballot box, LGBT issues likely to be big news in the new year

Tammy Baldwin

Significant events are crowding the national calendar for 2012, and each promises considerable drama and suspense for the LGBT community. Here are the 10 most important to watch:

1. The fight for the White House

The difference for LGBT people between having President Barack Obama in the White House and President George W. Bush has been stark. So the consequences of November’s presidential election will also be profound.

Either Obama stays, and things continue to improve, in law and in society’s attitudes, or a new president is elected from a field of Republicans who seem, at times, to be vying for the mantle of most gay hostile candidate.

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Senate committee approves DOMA repeal

Sen. Patrick Lehay

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday (November 10) voted to recommend passage of a bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

The bill is the Respect for Marriage Act (S. 598). Thursday’s 10 to 8 vote along partisan lines had been originally scheduled for November 3 but was postponed a week at the request of Republicans on the committee.

Republican Charles Grassley criticized Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy for putting the bill on the committee’s agenda, saying the committee should, instead, be taking up “bills that can pass” and which address the country’s financial problems. Grassley said S. 598 “lacks the votes to pass the Senate” and that, even if it does pass the Senate, “it will not be taken up in the House,” which is controlled by Republicans.

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U.S. Senate confirms first openly gay federal judge

J. Paul OetkenThe United States Senate, for the first time, confirmed an openly gay man to serve as a federal judge. J. Paul Oetken was nominated by President Obama in January and was confirmed by a vote of 80 to 13 on July 18. A simple majority was needed for confirmation.

Oetken will sit on the bench of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who recommended Oetken to President Obama, praised Oetken on the floor of the Senate prior to the confirmation vote.

“Paul is not just an excellent candidate,” Schumer said. “As the first openly gay man to be confirmed as a federal judge and to serve on the federal bench, he will be a symbol of how much we have achieved as a country in just the last few decades.”