National: Politics

Atlanta  |  politics

Stadtlander drops out of District 6 race

imageCharlie Stadtlander, one of three gay candidates vying for the District 6 post on the Atlanta City Council, has apparently dropped out of the race.

The DeKalb County school teacher withdrew from the race after Steve Brodie announced his campaign Thursday morning. Stadtlander tells Southern Voice he always intended to drop out if Brodie entered the race, though Stadtander never said so publicly when he announced his campaign in early January.

More after the jump.    READ MORE »

Atlanta  |  politics

Third gay candidate enters City Council race

imageThe race for the District 6 post on the Atlanta City Council – often regarded as the gay seat on the council for more than a decade – just got a little more competitive and a lot more gay.

Steve Brodie, a gay man who lost a 2005 campaign for the seat by a razor-thin margin of five votes, announced Thursday that he will try for a second time to unseat incumbent Anne Fauver.

More after the jump.    READ MORE »

Third gay candidate steps into District 6 City Council race

imageThe race for the District 6 post on the Atlanta City Council – often regarded as the gay seat on the council for more than a decade – just got a little more competitive and a lot more gay.

Steve Brodie, a gay man who lost a 2005 campaign for the seat by a razor-thin margin of five votes, announced Thursday that he will try for a second time to unseat incumbent Anne Fauver.

“It’s time to get somebody on City Council that understands business and knows what questions to ask,” Brodie says.

UPDATE | Stadtlander drops out of District 6 race    READ MORE »

Atlanta  |  politics

Sunday alcohol dies again under Gold Dome

Sunday sales of alcohol in Georgia is dead. Twice.

On Wednesday, the state Senate sponsor of legislation that would allow voters to say yes or no to Sunday sales at stores pulled his measure. He counted heads and didn't have the votes.

On Thursday, the state House sponsor of similar legislation said he'd stall his bill, too. It's the third consecutive year that the legislation has died.

More after the jump.    READ MORE »

Atlanta  |  politics

Sunday alcohol sales bill goes dry

Toast your Sunday liquor sales goodbye. Teetotalers have won their way again at the Gold Dome.

For the third consecutive year, legislation that would have allowed voters to say whether they wanted alcohol sales at stores on Sundays failed in the Georgia Legislature. State Sen. Seth Harp withdrew his bill when he realized he could not get it passed out of the Senate Regulated Industries Committee Wednesday.

The fate of the bill looked promising, though it also appeared to be a rallying cry for a weakened Christian lobby. Apparently they aren't so weak after all.    READ MORE »

Atlanta  |  politics

A rebuilding year for Christian conservatives

Karma can be a bitch. Just ask religious conservative groups at the Gold Dome.

Their power and influence on lawmakers at the State Capitol has waned -- and quite a bit -- since their heyday in 2004 when they pushed and won a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage when it was already illegal in Georgia anyway.

More after the jump.    READ MORE »

Atlanta  |  politics

Queers, condoms and the hand of God

imageAmong the tips one can offer in using a condom, this one seems pretty bland: Carefully open condom wrappers with your fingers -- don't use a sharp object.

But it's enough to get the Catholic League in New York riled up at the University of Georgia in Athens. It's continuing a mix of sex, public universities and a state budget crisis that is proving volatile this year under the Gold Dome in Atlanta.

More, including video, after the jump.    READ MORE »

Atlanta  |  politics

The ill-informed at Georgia’s Gold Dome

imageWhen it comes to oral sex and male prostitutes, some prudish Georgia lawmakers want to use their influence to stifle research. They are using the state's budget crisis as an excuse.

But more reasoned people are trying to prevail. Today, it's the editorial board at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which calls the campaign by Rep. Calvin Hill (R-Canton) and Rep. Charlice Byrd (R-Woodstock) (photo) "ill-informed and embarrassing."

More after the jump.    READ MORE »

Atlanta  |  politics

Karla Drenner wants your feedback—really

imageWhen lawmakers at the Gold Dome aren't fully occupied with instituting a poll tax on strippers or criticizing research on oral sex and male prostitutes, a few of the more responsible ones actually do something worthwhile -- they step out from the legislative bubble and meet with constituents.

That's exactly what state Rep. Karla Drenner, the Gold Dome's only openly gay lawmaker, is doing on Tuesday.

More after the jump.    READ MORE »

Atlanta  |  politics

State senator wants strip club surcharge

You'll be ponying up an extra $5 to step into Swinging Richards if Jack Murphy has his way.

The state senator, a Republican from Cummings, wants to charge strip club patrons $5 to go inside a club. He wants the money to help pay for services for sexually exploited children.

There's more after the jump.    READ MORE »

Atlanta  |  politics

Gay candidates heat up District 6 race

imageCharlie Stadtlander had last week to himself as he announced his campaign to unseat Anne Fauver from her District 6 post on the Atlanta City Council.

But Fauver (photo), a lesbian and two-term incumbent, came out swinging in a Southern Voice article today about the race, charging that her gay opponent "may not understand" the city's budget process after hearing the charges he leveled at her during his Jan. 7 campaign launch.

Also of note in the Southern Voice article is that Fauver has flip-flopped when it comes to bar hours in the city.

There's more after the jump.    READ MORE »

Atlanta  |  new

Gay activists focus on legislative session

imageGird your loins. The Georgia General Assembly returned to the State Capitol today.

This bastion of leadership -- the same folks that bring us legislation including Amendment 1, which banned same-sex unions in the state for the second time -- is back in session.

Let's hope a projected $2 billion budget deficit will keep the Republican-controlled building away from the social issues it tends to favor. It's not an election year, so lawmakers might not be so inclined to show off for their conservative constituents.

But there is already jockeying among anti-gay elected officials on the GOP side of the 2010 governor's race. Those candidates include Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Karen Handel and state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine.

There's more after the jump.    READ MORE »

Atlanta  |  politics

Stadtlander launches Atlanta City Council bid

imageSo much for a break from politics and campaigns.

Charlie Stadtlander (photo left), a 28-year-old gay teacher, formally announced his bid for the District 6 post on the Atlanta City Council this week, a move he hopes will unseat Anne Fauver, a two-term incumbent and the council's only openly gay member.

Stadtlander made the announcement on Wednesday during an event at Cowtippers in Midtown, which sits inside the heavily-gay district he hopes to represent. The election is in November. Fauver has said she will seek a third term and the race may also include Steve Brodie, a gay man who lost a tight race to Fauver in 2005.

There's more, including photos from the announcement, after the jump.    READ MORE »

Atlanta  |  politics

Gay Atlanta City Council candidate apologizes for anti-trans comments


A gay man expected to formally announce his campaign for Atlanta City Council this week is apologizing for remarks he made three years ago when he said transgender people and drag queens were on the fringe of society and hurt the gay equality movement.

Charlie Stadtlander, a former Republican and leader of Log Cabin Republicans groups in Missouri and Atlanta, also said on Monday that his description of a drag show while a student at the University of Missouri-St. Louis as pornographic came at a time when he was lobbying for two gay rights measures from within a conservative GOP and was concerned the show might impact those efforts.

Stadtlander also said comments attributed to him as expressing disgust with consensual sex between two men were not his and part of a satirical piece that he disavows.

There's more after the jump.    READ MORE »

Atlanta  |  politics

Rick Warren coming to Atlanta for MLK Day

imageRick Warren is coming to Atlanta.

The conservative mega pastor is scheduled to keynote the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday festivities in Atlanta in January. Warren has been embroiled in a national controversy over his anti-gay views since he was selected earlier this month to deliver the invocation at President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration.

News of the Atlanta visit by the pastor of 22,000-member Saddleback Church in California broke on Monday, though King Center officials say they invited Warren to speak last May, well before the recent controversy erupted.

Warren’s Atlanta speech is already drawing interest from some gay activists who are considering whether to organize protests on Jan. 19, when the pastor is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at 10 a.m. during the Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Commemorative Service at Ebenezer Baptist Church. His stop in Atlanta comes a day before he’s expected to deliver the invocation at Obama’s swearing-in on Jan. 20.

There's more after the jump.    READ MORE »

Atlanta  |  politics

Obama-Warren flap includes Georgia twist

imageThe fallout over President-elect Barack Obama's pick of a highly popular, yet anti-gay pastor for inauguration day includes a Georgia connection.

Harry Know, a former executive director of Georgia Equality, was included in a report about the flap Thursday on NBC's "Nightly News with Brian Williams." Knox, now director of the religion and faith program for the Human Rights Campaign, has been in Georgia recently to work on Jim Martin's failed campaign for U.S. Senate.

In his typical straight-shooting style, Knox criticized Obama's choice of evangelical megapastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation next month at his swearing-in.

Watch the video and hear Knox's quote after the jump.    READ MORE »

Atlanta  |  politics

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.


Obama’s got his gays for transition team

Officials with President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team this week named at least seven openly gay people to transition panels assigned to review federal departments and agencies.

Three of the seven gays named to the transition panels — businessman Fred P. Hochberg, former San Francisco Supervisor Roberta Achtenberg, and labor attorney Elaine Kaplan — held high-level positions in the Clinton administration.    READ MORE »

Obama transition teams bans gay bias

The Obama-Biden transition team is telling prospective employees in the new administration it will not discriminate against LGBT workers.

“The Obama-Biden Transition Project does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or any other basis of discrimination prohibited by law,” the Transition team says on its official Web site.

Although the commitment pertains only to transition team workers, LGBT civil rights activists say they believe Obama will issue an Executive Order shortly after being sworn in to extend that throughout the administration.


The gay mafia that’s redefining politics

A few weeks before Virginia's legislative elections in 2005, a researcher working on behalf of a clandestine group of wealthy, gay political donors telephoned a Virginia legislator named Adam Ebbin. Then, as now, Ebbin was the only openly gay member of the state's general assembly. The researcher wanted Ebbin's advice on how the men he represented could spend their considerable funds to help defeat anti-gay Virginia politicians.

Ebbin, a Democrat who is now 44, was happy to oblige. (Full disclosure: in the mid-'90s, Ebbin and I knew each other briefly as colleagues; he sold ads for Washington City Paper, a weekly where I was a reporter.) Using Ebbin's expertise, the gay donors — none of whom live in Virginia — began contributing to certain candidates in the state. There were five benefactors: David Bohnett of Beverly Hills, Calif., who in 1999 sold the company he had co-founded, Geo-Cities, to Yahoo! in a deal worth $5 billion on the day it was announced; Timothy Gill of Denver, another tech multimillionaire; James Hormel of San Francisco, grandson of George, who founded the famous meat company; Jon Stryker of Kalamazoo, Mich., the billionaire grandson of the founder of medical-technology giant Stryker Corp.; and Henry van Ameringen, whose father Arnold Louis van Ameringen started a Manhattan-based import company that later became the mammoth International Flavors & Fragrances.    READ MORE »