Swimmers strip down to deliver pizza

imageThe next time the Atlanta Rainbow Trout is considering a fundraiser, the gay swim group might do well to go the route of the Penn State swim team.

A few swim jocks from the school joined others from the ice hockey team in a recent charity auction. To heat up the bidding, they stripped off their shirts. And to top it off, the five college athletes (photo) offered to deliver pizza sans shirts.

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Martin loses U.S. Senate bid Georgia

imageIt's finally over.

After a four-week runoff tacked on to a long election season, the U.S. Senate race in Georgia is over. It didn't quite end the way gay Democrats in the state -- or national Dems, for that matter -- had hoped, with gay-friendly challenger Jim Martin getting thumped by incumbent Saxby Chambliss in a nearly 15-point win. But it's done.

Also Tuesday, two candidates endorsed by statewide gay rights group Georgia Equality did win their runoff campaigns. Sara Doyle beat Mike Sheffield 51.8 percent to 48.2 percent in a Georgia Court of Appeals race. Tangela Barrie also defeated Johnny Mason for a Superior Court Judge slot in DeKalb County, 56 percent to 44 percent.

Jim Martin’s U.S. Senate bid down to today

imageJim Martin's got his gay creds in order.

He supports gay issues other than same-sex marriage, has the backing of the Human Rights Campaign and the National Stonewall Democrats, amassed an army of gay campaign volunteers, appears proudly at gay events and supported gay issues as a state lawmaker. (His opponent, Saxby Chambliss, received a failing score recently from HRC.)

But if you need more reasons to cast a vote today in favor of Martin, who is trying to prevent Chambliss from winning a second term as a U.S. Senator from Georgia, consider this: Patricia Mock.

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Clothes horse mayor in Birmingham busted

imageThe Birmingham mayor who is entangled in a lawsuit over his refusal to hang Pride banners now has bigger problems: He's charged in a 101-count indictment on federal charges that he took bribes to steer contracts to a friend.

Federal agents arrested Mayor Larry Langford on Monday, alleging that he used money from the bribes to pay a crushing debt for flashy clothes from exclusive men's stores, jewelry and Rolex watches.

"Mayor LaLa," as critics have dubbed him, was sued earlier this year by Central Alabama Pride for refusing to allow city workers to hang Gay Pride Week banners on city property during the festival in June. Earlier this month, the mayor asked the federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit.

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Social Tuesdays gets ‘Luckie’ downtown

imageSocial Tuesdays cruised into downtown Atlanta this week and got "Luckie."

That's "Luckie" as in the new Luckie Marietta District remaking a once blighted section of Marietta Street running from the CNN Center into West Midtown. It's now filling with condos, refurbished buildings and nightlife, including Wine Loft.

The upscale wine bar hosted the gay nightlife event on Nov. 25, offering more than 90 wines by the glass and 230 by the bottle. The venue opened recently and offers an upbeat and contemporary atmosphere. Even better when the weather allows is an expansive room that opens onto a large patio overlooking Marietta and the up-and-coming district.

There's more after the jump.


What could $60,329 buy for gay Georgians?

imageThe battle over Proposition 8 reached into the pocketbooks of some 308 Georgians. But could the money have been better spent?

The anti-gay marriage amendment California, which voters approved on Nov. 4, received nearly $72,000 in donations from supporters and opponents across Georgia, according to Southern Voice. The newspaper reviewed donations through a donor tracker from the Los Angeles Times that allows you to find out who gave donations of $35 or greater and find them based on name, city, zip code or state.

Of the $71,579 in donations from Georgia, $60,329 was from opponents of the measure, with $11,250 from those supporting. Both sides on the Prop. 8 battle raised a combined $75 million to fund their campaigns.

But could those thousands of dollars in donations be better spent in Georgia?

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Out & Equal launches Atlanta affiliate

imageOut & Equal Workplace Advocates launched its Atlanta affiliate last week with a packed event that called attention to longtime advocates and workplace activism.

The Atlanta group is the 13th affiliate of the organization, which provides resources for gay employees and companies to promote equality in the workplace. More than 500 people attended the event, held inside a ballroom of Twelve at Atlantic Station.

Lesbian radio personality Melissa Carter (photo) presided over the evening, which included a tribute for the National Transgender Day of Remembrance and an extensive program calling attention to advocates and efforts to promote workplace equality.

There's more, including a photo album, after the event.    READ MORE »

A call to turn activism into movement

imageJustin Ziegler, the president of the Atlanta Executive Network, called on the hundreds of people who took part in two rallies for gay equality earlier this month to harness that energy and turn it into a deeper mobilization for equality.

The call came in a guest column in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution highlighting the energy and enthusiasm he witnessed during the events at the State Capitol and in Midtown on Nov. 15. The rallies were part of a nationwide campaign that touched cities across the country.

Now, I issue a call to action — not to Congress, not to our new president and not to our local politicians, but to all of us living our daily lives within our own communities. It is time for us all to take this energy we created and do something positive. We cannot forget those who came before us.

Now, while we are still feeling that sense of pride and accomplishment from the protests, we must move forward and take the next step. I challenge the next set of activists to mobilize the troops, unite our community and let our voices be heard.


Black gay activists back Martin in race

imageA new coalition of black gay activists on Friday endorsed Jim Martin, the gay-friendly Democrat locked in a runoff for a U.S. Senate seat from Georgia.

The Atlanta Black LGBT Coalition, a new group that says it's committed to a social justice agenda, says Martin's long record of public service includes supporting workplace protections for gays, adoption rights for same-sex couples and increased funding for HIV prevention. The group also credits Martin for supporting a women's right to choose.

"The Atlanta Black LGBT Coalition believes that President-elect Barak Obama brings a new leadership to America and that Jim Martin can bring a new kind of leadership to Georgia,” says Rev. Dr. Kathi Martin, a founding member of the coalition.

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State’s high court looks at gay unions

imageYou can bet that when Leah Ward Sears, the progressive chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, planned a national summit on marriage, she didn't know it would coincide with a national uproar over same-sex unions in the wake of three more states approving gay marriage bans earlier this month.

Nevertheless, Sears held firm that the summit would include a discussion of the contentious issue when the court's Commission on Children, Marriage and Family Law held the two-day session this week.

Though the event included the Institute for American Values, whose president opposes same-sex unions, a panel discussion Wednesday also included a leading proponent of gay marriage, Jonathan Rauch, who wrote "Gay Marriage: Why it is God for Gays, Good for Straights and Good for America."

There's more after the jump.    READ MORE »

Thursday: Two sports to see

FLAG FOOTBALL: The National Flag Football League of Atlanta closes its fall season with its championship game at Mozley Park. Kick off is 7 p.m. To see what you've been missing, view the photo galleries here, and here.

HOOPS: Join the ladies of the Decatur Women's Sports League as their winter season continues. Games begin at 6 p.m. at the Decatur Recreation Center.    READ MORE »

Study: Lesbians more concerned about economy than gay men

imageThe economic malaise gripping the nation is making lesbians feel more vulnerable, though both lesbians and gay men say they are trimming their spending, according to a new poll.

Some three out of four lesbians say they feel the impact of the economic downturn will affect them and households like theirs more than others, compared to 60 percent of heterosexual women and 55 percent of gay men, according to an online Harris Interactive poll of 2,249 adults. Some 232 people in the study self-indentified as gay or lesbian.

When asked if they are reducing their spending for entertainment, 44 percent of lesbians said yes compared to 24 percent of gay men, according to the study.

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Daniel Craig comes out on top

imageDaniel Craig, to the delight of many of his gay fans, comes out on top again.

The "Quantum of Solace" star helped break a new record for the British super spy series over the weekend. The movie brought in $67.5 million in ticket sales for its opening weekend, a Bond record that even topped his 2006 debut in "Casino Royale" when he plucked $47.1 million from movie-goers.

And about those gay fans, enamored with Craig since he emerged from the water in a blue square cut in "Casino," the actor has this to say:

There's more after the jump.    READ MORE »

Gay chamber fetes ‘perfect’ firms

imageThe Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce held its Wow Wednesday last week to fete a handful of Atlanta-based companies that get it right when it comes to equality.

The Nov. 12 event celebrated companies headquartered locally that scored a perfect 100 on the Human Rights Campaign's recent Corporate Equality Index, including Cox Enterprises/Cox Communications, ING North American Insurance, Newell Rubbermaid, SunTrust Banks and United Parcel Service. Other Georgia companies that scored a 100 include Alston & Bird, ChoicePoint, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Powell Goldstein, and Troutman Sanders. Read more about the report.

View the Project Q Atlanta photo album from the event. (Photos by Lynn McStatts/Personal Paparazzi ATL and courtesy AGLCC.)

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Weekend: Seven things to do

RUGBY: The Atlanta Bucks Rugby Football Club closes out its fall season with a day of events on Saturday called the Ruck-A-Buck Invitational. Teams from Phoenix and Minneapolis are in town for the event. Matches begin at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. at Walker Park with a "3rd Half" gathering after at Burkhart's. The Bucks also hold their monthly bar night at the Eagle beginning at 10 p.m.

RALLY: The furor over the passage of the gay marriage ban Proposition 8 is reaching Georgia on Saturday. At least five events are planned across the state, including two in Atlanta at 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. Read more about the events here.

BIRTHDAY BASH: Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse celebrates its 15th anniversary with an event beginning at 8 p.m. Read more about the store here.

OUTDOORS: The Women's Outdoor Network is hosting a hike on Saturday at the Elachee Nature Center and an indoor paintball session on Sunday.

SUNDAY BRUNCH: The folks behind the popular Social Tuesdays are offering a new event on Sunday — brunch. Salvation Sundays continues this week at Maxim Prime at the Glenn Hotel, the site of a Social Tuesdays event on Oct. 14. The theme? "80s Rewind." Brunch runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and specials include $5 Bloody Marys and $15 bottomless Mimosas.


Rallies in Atlanta set for Saturday

imageIt’s been four years since gay marriage was a contentious issue in Georgia, but the hot button affair becomes front and center again on Saturday.

At least two events are planned in Atlanta as part of a national day of action through Join the Impact, a grassroots group that formed in the wake of the passage of Proposition 8, a ban on same-sex unions that California voters approved Nov. 4.

A rally is set for 1:30 p.m. at the State Capitol followed by a candlelight vigil at the intersection of 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue at 5 p.m. There is also an event in Athens at 1:30 p.m.

There's more after the jump.    READ MORE »

Obama may benefit rights museum

The planned Center for Civil & Human Rights in downtown Atlanta might receive a boost from the election of the nation's first African-American president.

The gay-inclusive center, set to open in 2011 at Centennial Olympic Park, could benefit from Obama's election as it works to raise $125 million in private dollars for construction, center officials told the Atlanta Business Chronicle. The center's director, Doug Shipman, has said that the center will include gay and lesbian issues in "a couple of different places."

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HIV research at Emory gets boost

image An effort at Emory University to prevent or cure HIV infections by using a drug that's effective in battling a rodent-borne viral infection received a boost.

John Altman, a researcher at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center and the Emory Vaccine Center, received a $100,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, according to an item in the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Altman is one of 104 researchers and the only one at Emory to receive one of Grand Challenges Explorations grants, which seeks to help lower the barriers for testing innovative ideas in global health.

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Poll: Economy top concern for gays

Gay voters picked Sen. Barack Obama nearly three to one over Sen. John McCain on Tuesday, though they delivered as a block a smaller percentage of their votes to the Democrat candidate this year than in 2004.

What issue motivated gay voters at the polls centered on the economy, with nearly 60 percent of respondents to a Project Q Atlanta poll saying the economy mattered the most to them.

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Front Runners ponders locales for ‘09

imageThe group behind the annual Pride Run/Walk is considering where to hold the 2009 version of the event.

Front Runners Atlanta, which moved the 5K event from its traditional home of Grant Park to Ansley Square this year, is studying where to hold the popular event next year, according to Southern Voice. If the run remains tied to Ansley, the course may change.

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