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Gay congressman pushes marijuana legalization

Jared Polis

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) plans to introduce a measure that would legalize the production and sale of marijuana while creating a new federal tax in jurisdictions that have made the drug legal, according to the Associated Press.

U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) is also spearheading the effort, which has seen renewed interest in recent years. Polis is one of a handful of openly gay members of Congress and hails from a state that recently passed marijuana legalization.

The proposal would allow the government to treat marijuana similarly to how it deals with alcohol.

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Anti-gay boobs on the Hill, or DOMA defense renewed thanks to House Republicans

US House

Today marks the first official day of the 113th session of the United States Congress. With new appointments, incoming freshmen legislators and the drama of the fiscal cliff behind them, things are returning to what Washington considers “normal.”

One of the first acts of the Republican leadership in the House was to extend funding to continue the legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act in its court challenges.

The Supreme Court announced in December that it would hear a challenge to the 1996 law that forbids the federal government from recognizing same-sex unions. Lower court rulings have consistently found the law unconstitutional. The Department of Justice announced last year it would no longer defend DOMA in its many court challenges.

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‘Legitimate rape’ lawmaker attempts to thwart military gays

Todd Akin

I just looked outside. The sky is not falling. And if you don't subscribe to the notion that the Mayans predicted the end of the world on Dec. 21, things appear to be chugging right along as they always have.

But if you asked outgoing U.S. Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), the recent repeal of the military's “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy, in addition to recent marriage victories achieved in the last election, prove the world is surely in its last days.

You remember Akin. He's the guy that tried to justify his position on abortion by saying that women who are legitimately raped have a way of shutting down their body to prevent pregnancy. That statement caused him to lose any credibility in his race for U.S. Senate against incumbent Claire McCaskill.

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Brad Pitt throws starpower (and money) into marriage equality fight

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Hollywood heartthrob Brad Pitt has promised to match up to $100,000 in donations to the Human Rights Campaign, the LGBT advocacy organization announced today.

HRC says it will use the funds in marriage battleground states Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington state.

“Brad Pitt’s partnership with HRC in this closing week delivers vital resources into these campaigns and we’re proud to be working with him as we show that fundamental fairness will win at the ballot box,” HRC President Chad Griffin said today in a prepared statement. “With his commitment, Brad joins HRC in a tremendous coalition of religious leaders, business leaders, labor groups, civil rights organizations and everyday, fair-minded Americans supporting marriage for gay and lesbian couples.”

Pitt, in an email to HRC supporters, urged continued donations ahead of Tuesday's general election.

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[Video] Watch as Sally Field lets the world know how much she loves her gay son

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Oscar-winning actress Sally Field wowed the crowd gathered in Washington, D.C., for the national Human Rights Campaign gala and dinner on Saturday, Oct. 6, with a speech about her gay son.

Field, who was honored with the Ally for Equality Award, talked about he son, Sam, who came out as gay when he was 20.

"Sam was different and his journey to allow himself to be what nature intended him to be was not easy," she said.

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Romney VP pick Paul Ryan backed bans on gay marriage, adoption

GOP VP candidate Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s chosen running mate, supports amending the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage and has voted to stop gay couples in Washington, D.C., from adopting children.

Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and presumptive Republican presidential nominee, announced Ryan as his vice presidential nominee Aug. 11. The sparked criticism from LGBT political groups concerned about Ryan’s record as a U.S. congressman from Wisconsin.

The Romney-Ryan ticket “could roll back much of the progress we’ve seen toward full equality,” the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT political group, argued in a press release.

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Local historian recalls first Atlanta Pride march

First Atlanta Pride Parade

I recall reading about the Stonewall riot in the New York Times in June 1969, and thinking, “Cool. We finally fought back. It’s about time.”

I was deeply closeted at the time, working as a cub reporter for my hometown newspaper in New Hampshire, where there was (and is) no gay life visible to any kind of queer eye.

In September, I was heading back to George Washington University in Washington, D.C., the essence of urbanity. Our joke was motorists would drive into the heart of the campus and holler out, “Where’s George Washington University?!” There was nothing openly gay in all that concrete and clay, either.

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Entire AIDS Memorial Quilt heads to Washington, D.C., to be displayed on National Mall

AIDS Memorial Quilt

It will be a full day of packing and moving tomorrow as volunteers with the NAMES Project Foundation pack up the last remaining panels of the 54-ton AIDS Memorial Quilt to be trucked to Washington, D.C., to be displayed as part of two major programs.

"For weeks and months, volunteers have been prepping, sorting and packing the more than 47,000 panels, and this week the truck loading began. The final trucks arrive at The NAMES Project Foundation offices on 14th Street between 11 a.m. and noon on Thursday, will be loaded by the Quilt’s army of volunteers, and depart, headed for Washington, D.C., at approximately 3 p.m.," states a press release from the foundation.

As the keeper of the Quilt, the NAMES Project Foundation has been collecting all of the panels by asking those who have them on display at their colleges or museums or airports throughout the globe to return them to Atlanta.

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AIDS Memorial Quilt plans return to Washington, D.C.

AIDS Memorial Quilt

Those working at the Names Project Foundation, home of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, get asked the same question over and over, according to staff member Jim Marks: “When is the Quilt going back to Washington, D.C.?”

A benefit on Saturday, March 31, at Mixx will benefit “Quilt in the Capital 2012,” also coincides with the Quilt’s 25th anniversary.

The event is hosted by Ms. Patty Cakes and will include an appearance and performance by Bubba D. Licious, Marks’ alter-ego. It features a silent auction, personal quilt stories and a display of quilt panels.