The Dogwood Festival called off plans for a public protest in hopes of striking a deal with members of the Atlanta City Council to allow large festivals, including Atlanta Pride, back into Piedmont Park.
The Dogwood Festival Board of Directors initially urged supporters to attend the Aug. 18 Atlanta City Council meeting, but called it off at the last moment. Executive Director Brian Hill said Dogwood supporters would have been competing with more than 30 speakers who addressed the city on other pressing issues, including the closing of Fire House No. 7 in West Atlanta and the firing of a city arborist.
“It might not have gone our way,” Hill said.
Instead, Dogwood organizers met with a city councilmember they said is sympathetic to the festival’s plight. He did not respond to interview requests to verify his position.
Hill said his board is working with the councilmember to draft legislation allowing all Class A events, including Pride, Dogwood, the Peachtree Road Race and the city’s Jazz Festival, back into Piedmont Park next year.
Councilmember Anne Fauver, whose district encompasses Piedmont Park, said the decision will be made in October, following a report that considers drought conditions and the state of Piedmont Park’s hybrid Bermuda grass turf.
For the full article from Southern Voice, go here. READ MORE »
One day in July, Gail Davis, 58, and her partner, Janyce Bender, 64, sat down at their computer to find an email from Olivia companies. They were already anticipating their upcoming Olivia cruise – but when they clicked to open the message, their excitement was overwhelming.
“Oh my gosh,” Davis said as she read the message in disbelief. Olivia, the lesbian-owned women’s travel company and record label, had finally come through with a decade-long promise: to open what may be the first large-scale lesbian housing development in the country.
Bender turned to her partner and said, “I absolutely want to do this.” Less than a week later they sent a $10,000 deposit and their registration was secured.
“Nobody really knew this was coming,” said Davis, “but then they send us this email that said ‘Hi, we’re ready to start taking reservations.’”
Olivia Communities will be a 334-unit resort-style living community in Tuscon, Ariz. Although anyone can purchase a home, the company is targeting lesbians.
“My whole vision of this has always been about creating community and creating a place where we can not only be free… but also the kind of community where you’re really connected with the people there and feel comfortable and happy in your environment,” said Judy Dlugacz, president and founder of Olivia Companies.
For the full story from 365gay.com, go here. READ MORE »
A former Superior Court administrator in Cobb County so enjoyed his job that he didn't want to leave -- at least for sex. That's the result of a report issued Tuesday
concerning allegations leveled at Howard Chesshire, who left his job in February after the allegations began surfacing.
Sex in a judge's chambers, trysts at local hotels during business hours, obscene phone calls to female workers and a desire to see lesbian sex are among the many accounts of what was going on with the top Superior Court official in Cobb County for the past two decades.
The report says Chessire denied all of the allegations. READ MORE »
The party platform that will be presented to delegates at the Democratic National Convention carefully never mentions the words gay, lesbian or transgendered, yet it’s the most positive LGBT platform in memory.
It calls for passage of expanded hate crime legislation and a comprehensive employment discrimination bill, while not specifically saying both pieces of legislation would directly affect LGBT people. It does, however, use the term gender identity.
The platform also calls for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the ban on LGBT people serving openly in the military, and for the first time it calls for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act used to bar gay and lesbian couples from receiving federal benefits.
The platform additionally calls for the full inclusion of same-sex couples and their families and for a national strategy to combat HIV/AIDS.
Meanwhile, a record number of LGBT delegates are expected to the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Over 350 LGBT participants are being sent to the convention.
For the full story from 365gay.com, go here. READ MORE »
The person who made history six years ago by becoming the first city employee to openly transition from male to female in the workplace has never found a burning cross outside her home.
The acts of bigotry and intolerance have been more subtle — but every bit as disheartening, said Camille Stephanie Hopkins.
Crude notes have been slipped under her office door. She hears giggles — sometimes sarcastic whistles — as she walks the halls. When elevator doors open, friendly chatter often turns into an icy hush.
“It hurts, because in some people’s eyes, I’m a freak,” she said.
Compounding her pain is Hopkins’ belief that the city has contributed to what she calls a climate of intolerance. City leaders have failed to provide enough sensitivity training and taken a dismissive attitude when she has raised concerns, Hopkins claimed. She was
even brought up on departmental charges for wearing a T-shirt that sported the phrase “fagbug,” a word the gay community considers a statement against hate crimes and homophobia.
“The city has allowed people to embrace their fears,” she said.
That’s why Hopkins has decided to call it quits. At the end of the month, she will end a City Hall career that began 21 years ago when Gregory Hopkins became a human resource planner.
For the full story from the Buffalo News, go here. READ MORE »