Potty bust revisited: Day Two

imageEd Wall's legal troubles are getting a re-airing this week thanks to his new role advising Clayton County on its finances.

Wall was busted in a restroom at the Atlanta airport in March 2007 and was charged with pubic indecency over allegations that he was nabbed having oral sex with another man. Police also say Wall was masturbating while watching an officer urinate. Wall, then the board chair MARTA, stepped aside from that spot but retains his MARTA board seat.

Earlier this week, the investment banker was formerly tapped by Clayton commissioners for his advice on finances, something Wall has done on and off since 1988.

There's more after the jump.    READ MORE »

Ex-MARTA chief surfaces in Clayton

There is life after a Larry Craig-like bust for potty problems.

Ed Wall, the former MARTA board chair, was hired Tuesday to provide financial advice to Clayton County. Wall stepped aside as MARTA chair, though he remains on the board, after his arrest last year on allegations that he had sex with another man in a bathroom stall at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Hall has pleaded not guilty and the case is pending, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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Soulforce on the way to Atlanta

imageSoulforce's Equality Ride hits Atlanta later this week, bringing its youth-organized bus tour to Morehouse College on Thursday and Spellman College on Friday.

The ride to faith-based colleges opened Oct. 1 with a stop at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., before making its way to Columbia, S.C. and Columbia International University on Monday.

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Trans woman reacts to court ruling

imageMichelle Bruce, the transgender woman at the center of a lawsuit that reached the Georgia Supreme Court, spoke out today about the case.

On Monday, the court ruled in favor of Bruce in a lawsuit that alleged she misled voters because she is transgendered. She reacted to the decision today in a statement issued by Georgia Equality, the statewide gay rights group.

See what Bruce has to say after the jump.    READ MORE »

Court rules for trans Ga. official

imageThe Georgia Supreme Court today ruled in favor of Michelle Bruce, a transgendered former member of the Riverdale City Council who faced a lawsuit over allegations that she misled constituents.

The Georgia Supreme Court's unanimous ruling on Monday found that the two political opponents who filed the lawsuit failed to produce evidence of fraud, misconduct or illegal action after claiming that Michelle Bruce bamboozled voters by identifying herself as female.

"This is a great victory for me and anyone who believes in equality," Bruce said in a statement. "It gives me hope that the Georgia Supreme Court did what was right and did not buy into hate-based politics."


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Pride announces late June festival

Sometimes in news, the first information isn't always the best.

That's the case with the announcement today that the Atlanta Pride Festival will be held in late June 2009.

Yesterday, Project Q Atlanta reported that the festival was set for June 19-21, based on information posted on the Atlanta Pride Committee's web site. But apparently, those dates were released prematurely and Pride officials retracted them this morning.

In a release issued earlier today, Pride formally announced the dates -- this time, for real -- June 26-28. Those dates return the festival to its traditional late June home and put it on the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the event pointed to as the beginning of the modern gay civil rights era.

Read the full story from Project Q Atlanta.    READ MORE »

Pride 2009 goes to Central Park

The Atlanta Pride Festival shifts to Central Park next year, taking advantage of indoor space from the Atlanta Civic Center and the outdoor venues that festival-goers seems to enjoy so much.

The decision came this morning as Pride officials huddled with organizers of other large-scale festivals that were all booted from Piedmont Park this year over the city's drought-related restrictions.

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Lesbian player sues former school

imageA lesbian former basketball player at Southern Methodist University is suing the school for $2 million after she alleges it pulled her scholarship when she complained about the program's head coach.

Jennifer Colli says Coach Rhonda Rampola pursued gay players and monitored their relationships.

Watch a video clip about the lawsuit after the jump.    READ MORE »

Atlanta Pride ponders October date

Organizers of the Atlanta Pride Festival apparently struck a deal with officials from other large-scale outdoor events to move the three-day celebration to October to make room for all of them to return to Piedmont Park next year at different times.

But the details of the agreement, aired in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article today, were scuttled when city of Atlanta officials told them on Tuesday that five large events would be allowed into five city parks, meaning only one has a chance for a return to Piedmont. Southern Voice broke the story Tuesday that the city was relenting on its ban of large events from its park system.

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Park ban softens for Atlanta Pride

The City of Atlanta has made its next move in the simmering debate over where to host large-scale public events, including the Atlanta Pride Festival. The new option leaves open the chance that Pride may return to a city park -- even Piedmont Park -- in 2009.

Pride will be among five festivals that may choose from Piedmont, Grant Park, Mozely Park, Woodruff Park and Central Park near the Atlanta Civic Center where the gay festival was held lat July.    READ MORE »

Prop 8 opponents release first TV ad

No on Prop 8 has released its first television spot for the campaign against the anti-gay ballot measure.

Our first TV ad from No On 8. Sam and Julia Thoron offer a heartfelt message about their daughter, Liz, whose right to marry the person she loves will be eliminated if Prop 8 passes.


Watch the video after the jump.    READ MORE »

Georgia’s colleges vary on gay issues

imageSouthern Voice provides an interesting look this week into how colleges and universities in the state approach a variety of gay and lesbian issues. The report comes as the gay religious group Soulforce prepares to stop at two local schools during its upcoming Equality Ride.

The paper's comparison also provides some insight into the atmosphere on college campuses in Georgia as a recent report from the Human Rights Campaign recently rated businesses on how well they approach similar issues.

There's more after the jump.    READ MORE »

Piedmont finds drilling a tough go

Piedmont Park officials drill and drill. But they are having little success.

The Piedmont Park Conservancy, the non-profit caretakers of the crown jewel of Atlanta's park system, wants to drill to tap underground sources of water. That will, in turn, allow them to irrigate the park and skirt tough city restrictions on outdoor watering. Those rules meant large-scale events including the Atlanta Pride Festival were booted from city parks this year.

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Lesbian cop fights firing in Sandy Springs

A former police lieutenant in Sandy Springs, fired two months ago because she says she is female and gay, is fighting her dismissal.

Trudi Vaughn, 40, worked for the police department since 2006 before a 14-year stint with the Fulton County Police Department. She was fired in July after an investigation alleged she failed to poperly supervise officers at a training session and directed officers who were on-duty to fill part-time jobs, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

There's more after the jump.    READ MORE »

Rights museum heads to downtown

imageWhen the Center for Civil & Human Rights breaks ground next year, it will do so on a 2.5-acre parcel of land tucked between the World of Coke and the Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta.

When the doors of the $125-million facility open in 2011, key moments in Atlanta's gay history will be included, according to Doug Shipman, the center's executive director.

“There are a couple of different places that specific gay and lesbian issues come in,” Shipman says. “You have both a historical piece and a contemporary piece. You’ll see that in exhibitions and in programming. We have very specially outlined how we want to tackle the issues.”

Read the full story from Project Q Atlanta.    READ MORE »

Piedmont weathers first fest of ‘09

Piedmont Park survived its first festival of the year last weekend, thanks to small crowds that apparently did little to damage the turf in the vast park.

Atlanta’s commissioner of parks, recreation and cultural affairs, Dianne Harnell Cohen, said she didn’t see any damage from the two-day Atlanta Arts Festival held at the city’s most popular park.

“From what I observed the show was well attended, people were respectful of the park, and normal activities continued,” said Cohen, who attended the festival on Saturday and Sunday.


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‘HIIV POZ’ license plate OK’d in Calif.

Julien Pierre fought the California DMV and, surprisingly, won.

The HIV-positive software engineer will soon have the vanity plate he wanted -- "HIV POZ" -- for his Toyota Prius after pushing the issue with the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

An effort to sell an AIDS awareness license plate in Georgia stalled earlier this year.

Watch a news clip about Pierre's story after the jump.    READ MORE »

CNN’s live man-on-man action

Nothing like a little man-on-man kissing and nipple tweaking to perk up CNN's so serious "American Morning."

CNN reporter Allan Chernoff was stationed outside Lehman Brothers this morning to report on the firm's demise into bankruptcy. As his live report aired about 8 a.m., two men seemed to console one another within the live shot, then turned up the heat with more consolation of the mouth-on-mouth variety. They topped it off with some nipple licking. All the while, Chernoff continues his report.

Watch the video after the jump.    READ MORE »

Size matters for Piedmont Park

When it comes to size, the smaller the better for Piedmont Park.

Several thousand people are expected in the park this weekend for the second annual Atlanta Arts Festival. But not so many that the festival got booted from the park, like its larger cousins including the Atlanta Pride Festival. That's because the city of Atlanta's drought-related restrictions, put in place in January, banned festivals that draw more than 50,000 people. The Atlanta Arts Festival is expected to attract fewer than 20,000 people.

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Site for human rights center to be unveiled Monday

The site for the new Center for Civil and Human Rights may be unveiled as soon as Monday.

Officials involved in the proposed Center for Civil and Human Rights plan to announce Monday where they will build the $125 million facility.

Signs point to 2.5 acres that Coca-Cola owns just north of Centennial Olympic Park, near the World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium. Monday’s announcement will be held at Pemberton Place, located between World of Coca-Cola and the aquarium.


Construction of the site is scheduled to begin next year. Preliminary projections show the center drawing 650,000 visitors a year. Drafts of recommended content for the site include moments from the area's rich gay history.
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