Category:  News

Protest set for today in Piedmont Park

imageSame-sex marriage will again take center stage in Atlanta on Tuesday.

Gay marriage activists are organizing a rally set for 5:30 p.m. in Piedmont Park. When the event -- part of a national campaign called Day of Decision -- was announced, organizers from GLBTATL weren't sure if it would become a celebration of gay marriage once again being legal in California or a protest of the state's Supreme Court decision upholding Proposition 8. With the 6-1 decision now public, it's clear the event is shifting gears to become a protest.

And a noisy one at that. Organizers want people to bring whistles, their friends and even the candidates who want to become Atlanta's next mayor. (Project Q Atlanta will blog live from the event.)

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Gay marriage ban upheld by California court

An effort to once again make same-sex marriage legal in California suffered a setback Tuesday as the state's Supreme Court voted 6-1 to uphold Proposition 8.

The court's decision ended a long-shot effort by same-sex marriage activists that argued that the ban revised the California constitution's equal protection clause to such a dramatic degree that it first needed the Legislature's approval.

The decision is sparking protests across California and the nation as part of an organized effort called Day of Decision. The effort includes nearly 100 protests set for Tuesday afternoon and evening, including one in Atlanta at Piedmont Park.

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DeKalb report: ‘Gay’ means happy

imageA new report from the DeKalb County School System says that Jaheem Herrera, the 11-year-old bullycide victim, was not taunted and bullied at his elementary school, despite reports from his mother and the parents of classmates.

In fact, the report from retired judge Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore, hired by the school system to produce the report, also says that despite repeated use of the word "gay" at the school, students didn't use the word as a slur.

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Big Gay Supper Club back on the scene

imageThe Big Gay Supper Club got up a little early on Saturday and tried its hand at brunch.

The result was some tasty eats at Baraonda on Peachtree Street. They might just be onto something here.

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Jaheem Herrera’s family to sue over bullycide

The family of an 11-year-old bullycide victim in DeKalb County says they are planning to sue the county school system over the April 16 death of Jaheem Herrera.

The announcement came Saturday at a vigil for the boy, who committed suicide after continued anti-gay taunts and bullying from classmates. His death prompted an outcry that included gay clergy members holding a vigil and an ongoing investigation by the DeKalb District Attorney.

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HRC fetes equality advocates in gala dinner

imageHundreds of people filled a ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Downtown last Saturday for a black tie affair that drew a diverse gay audience and a host of elected officials.

The 22nd Annual Atlanta Human Rights Campaign Gala Dinner & Silent Auction unfolded over several hours of speeches, dinners and awards May 2, an annual tradition that draws a Who's Who of LGBT Atlanta. Actress Cybill Shepherd (photo) attended as the dinner's guest speaker and to receive the Ally for Equality Award. HRC President Joe Solmonese was also on hand.

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Oprah tackles DeKalb boy’s bullycide

imageTalk show queen Oprah Winfrey took on bullying in schools during her show Wednesday, coverage that included the mother of a DeKalb County boy who committed suicide last month.

The show included Masika Bermudez, the mother of 11-year-old Jaheem Herrera. The student killed himself April 16 after facing anti-gay taunts and bullying by classmates. His death prompted an outcry that included gay clergy members holding a vigil and an ongoing investigation by the DeKalb District Attorney.

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OutlantaCon weekend a hit for gay gamers

imageGay sci-fi and gaming fans enjoyed three days of reveling in their world last weekend during a convention in Atlanta.

Organizers say about 150 people attended OutlantaCon, which offered panels, gaming, vendors and well-known guests. Author Andy Mangels (photo), best known for his work in the "Star Trek" universe, actress Tucky Williams -- think zombie killer Vix in "Dead Moon Rising" -- and Eric Watts, who directs "Star Trek" programming for DragonCon, were just a few of the well-known personalities on hand.

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Purple Dress Run raises bucks for Bucks

imageIf you haven't seen a group of nearly 125 people -- mostly gay men -- adorned in purple dresses, you just can't fully appreciate an event that unfolded Saturday in and around four bars and restaurants in Midtown.

The Purple Dress Run, a fundraiser from the Atlanta Bucks Rugby Football Club in its third year, drew its largest crowd yet for the 5K run-walk.

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Clergy repond to Jaheem Herrera bullycide

imageContributing blogger Darian Aaron is an Alabama native who now calls Atlanta home. He’s the creator of Living Out Loud with Darian, a blog that offers his take on social, political and religious issues that impact the LGBT community.

Members of Atlanta's faith community gathered Tuesday morning at Tabernacle Baptist Church for a press conference in response to the bullycide of 11-year-old student Jaheem Herrera. Herrera, a victim of anti-gay bullying by a group of his peers at Dunaire Elementary School in Dekalb County, ended his life by hanging nearly two weeks ago.

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Longtime gay activist Phillip Rush dies

imagePhillip Rush, a longtime gay activist in Atlanta, died early Tuesday of complications arising from a blood clot, according to friends.

The Nashville native and longtime Atlantan lived in Decatur. Until recently, he was a program officer for the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta where he assisted non-profit groups in applying for funding.

Funeral arrangements are still being made, friends said Tuesday morning.

More after the jump.

Midtown rally focuses on Atlanta crime

imageThe center of Atlanta's gayborhood hosted a rally Monday evening to increase awareness about crime and hate crimes legislation.

A few dozen protesters fanned out across the intersection of Piedmont Avenue and 10th Street for the event, the fourth rally organized by Atlantans Together Against Crime & Cutbacks. Kyle Keyser (photo), a gay Little Five Points resident, formed the group in the wake of the shooting death of a bartender at a Memorial Drive restaurant late last year.

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Rally planned for today; vigil set for Tuesday

imageIf you're itching to take action, there are a handful of opportunities coming your way.

There's a rally in Midtown today to call attention to crime and hate crimes legislation. On Tuesday, a press conference and vigil are scheduled to honor Jaheem Herrera, the 11-year-old DeKalb student who committed suicide earlier this month after facing anti-taunts and bullying from classmates.

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DeKalb boy commits suicide after gay taunts

imageAn 11-year-old DeKalb County student committed suicide last week after repeated harassment, including anti-gay bullying, from his classmates.

Jaheem Herrera's 10-year-old sister discovered him hanging in his bedroom Thursday after his mother, Masika Bermudez, sent him to his room to settle down after arriving home from Dunaire Elementary School hysterical.

Bermudez tells WSB TV that her son faced anti-gay taunts, among others, and the she complained to the school.

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Register now for OutlantaCon, save $5

imageAll of you gay sci-fi and gaming fans take note: Tomorrow is the last day to pre-register online for the upcoming OutatlantaCon convention.

The event, set for May 1-3, is offering a $35 registration fee through April 15. After that, you'll be stuck paying $5 more at the door during the convention.

The event includes a full slate of panels, gaming, film screenings and yes, a masquerade ball so you can dress up. There's even a planned session on erotic rope tying and a screening of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show."

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Harry Knox speaks out on White House post

imageTo say this week has been hectic for Harry Knox is, well, an understatement typical of the part-time Atlantan’s soft-spoken demeanor.

He spent the better part of two days this week inside the Eisenhower Executive Office Building near the White House for briefings with more than 60 religious leaders and Obama administration officials.

On Monday, he was named to the advisory council to the White House Office of Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships. Knox took a few minutes Wednesday to discuss with Project Q Atlanta his new role.

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Apparently, you can’t keep a good ‘ho down

We always enjoy when local gay establishments get a little recognition from the national gay press.

Take the Advocate, for example. The gay glossy weighed in recently with its list of "Top 10 Gay C&W Bars" in the country.

The geographically-diverse list stops in Dallas, Oklahoma City, Denver, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Chicago and Tampa.

It also had this to say about a place right here in Atlanta, which landed as the No. Two best country and western gay bar in the U.S.

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Beer pong, liplocks don’t mix at Agnes Scott

imageBeer pong and lesbians seem to be a touchy subject for some at Agnes Scott College.

The all-women school in Decatur is often the punchline for jokes that have to do with lesbians. It's something the campus confronted late last year when student Louisa Hill (photo) complained in a blog about Agnes Scott becoming "the cesspool for Hollywood's C-list sequels." Hill and other students were upset when the filming of "Road Trip II: Beer Pong" came to campus.

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Atlanta Pride announces slate of June events

imageYou might not even notice that the Atlanta Pride Festival is missing this June.

The event, shifted to late October to pave the way for a return to Piedmont Park, at first left a gap in the calendar for late June, which this year is the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York. The events are often credited with starting the modern day gay civil rights movement.

But the Atlanta Pride Committee is moving quickly to fill your calendar with a slate of events in late June.

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Pearl Day sets Sept. comeback for Six Flags

imageGird your loins, Six Flags Over Georgia patrons. The gays are coming.

Pearl Day, a laid-back effort aimed at packing the amusement park near Interstate 20 in Cobb County with LGBT fans, took a year off in 2008, but is planning a return this year. Organizers want 10,000 people to help take over the park Sept. 11 and take part in a weekend of activities.

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