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Atlanta May Get Its First Gay Black City Councilman

Jon jones web story

Jon Jones is seeking to make history is Atlanta, a city with a strong LGBT population of color, by becoming the first black gay man elected to the Atlanta City Council.  He's up against two other openly gay candidates--Matt Rinker, who's won the endorsement of the Log Cabin Republicans, and Christine Enterkin--in his campaign the for the District 5 seat on the Council, and as the GA Voice reports, Jones hopes to put more of the power in Atlanta in the hands of the people:

Jones said he wants to implement "direct democracy" into the Atlanta City Council — a way to allow residents to actually vote, through their computers or smart phones — on legislative issues.

"This is a way to allow technology to play a role in the decision making process," he said. "Under my plan of direct democracy, you choose for yourself. People log in anytime there is an initiative up for a vote and each person gets to vote," he said.

And what the majority decides is what Jones will vote for. This way, he said. it's not only one person representing thousands of people.

"Each person is getting an equal seat at the table," he said.

Jones also told the GA Voice that he would decline a raise that the city council members had given themselves and would instead redirect that money back to taxpayers.

Last December, the Atlanta City Council approved a resolution supporting marriage equality, although Mayor Kasim Reed declined to express his own support.

While Jones would be the first gay person of color on the council, he would not be its first out member. Alex Wan, who is running for reelection to the District 6 seat, and two past members, Cathy Woolard and Anne Fauver, are all gay.


NEWS: Turner Field, Drug Sentences, The Deficit, Clinton 2016, Musicians, and Superheroes

 Road President Obama has announced the leader of its new independent committee that will be investigating potential ethics violations by the nation's surveillance programs. At the head of the committee is James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence who has already previously misled Congress. Turnerfield

Road A Georgia man fell to his death last night at Atlanta's Turner Field during a match-up between the Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies. 

Road US Attorney General Eric Holder announced yesterday that he will work to cut mandatory minimum sentences for low-level drug offenses, stating that "too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long."

Road Current peace talks taking place between Israel and Palestine are facing potential problems as 26 long-term prisoners were moved by Israeli officials shortly before their release.

 Road North Dakota's U.S. attorney Timothy Purdon addressed a crowd of hundreds during a recent joint Pride Celebration hosted by Fargo and Moorhead, MN. During his impassioned speech, he told the state's LGBT citizens point-blank: "you have an ally". 

Road The U.S. Government announced yesterday that its budget deficit through July of next year will be 37.6 percent, and that the budget starting in September 2014 is on its way to having the smallest deficit in five years. 

Road Rihanna and Katy Perry recently reunited during a restaurant opening in NYC. No word yet as to whether there were any more "quasi-bi" antics this time around. 

Road Anthony Weiner, intentionally or not, teased a 2016 bid by Hillary Clinton for President of the United States, telling Buzzfeed that he "knows his wife's role" in the upcoming campaign. 

Road Adele is currently in talks to make a cameo appearance in Mathew Vaughn's upcoming film The Secret Service. If successful, she will be appearing in the film alongside David Beckham and Elton John. 

Road Those wishing to partake of fried food without the sting of racism can breathe a little easier

Road The Wanted released a new music video. Apparently, they also own the night. Who knew? Batman Wedding

Road Lady Gaga committed another possible fashion faux-pas in her quest to obtain even more "Applause". 

Road Meanwhile, Madonna was possibly channelling her uber-butch self a little too much during a recent paintball game. 

Road Breaking Bad continues with its ultra-violent final season.

Road Robert Downey, Jr continues to roll in it after new endorsement deals follow him after his successes with The Avengers and Iron Man 3

Road Torn between you love for your hubby and your love for Batman? Can't decide how to properly honor them both. Just do what these two guys did!


Georgia Pastor Gets Standing Ovation for Kicking Boy Scouts Out of Church: VIDEO

Easley

A Marietta, Georgia church kicked out Boy Scouts Troop 204 after the organization said they were accepting gay scouts and Roswell Street Baptist Church Senior Pastor Ernest Easley said he got a standing ovation from his congregation when he made the announcement, WSBTV reports:

Easley said his congregation gave him a standing ovation when he announced his decision to no longer sponsor the troop, which has been meeting at the church for 68 years. He said the stance the Boy Scouts has taken is not only contrary to the word of God, but it puts young people at risk.

"You've got boys in there in a tent that are sexually attractive to other boys, whose hormones are going off the wall. Something is going to happen," Easley said.

Another church, Unity North Atlanta Church in Marietta, has already offered the evicted scout troop a home.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Georgia Pastor Gets Standing Ovation for Kicking Boy Scouts Out of Church: VIDEO" »


Two Men Plead Guilty to Federal Hate Crime Against Gay Man Outside Atlanta Grocery Store

Wshh

Many of you will recall this brutal attack outside an Atlanta grocery story (video at the link) in which a man was beaten while another laughed and repeated, "No faggots in Jack City."

CainThe two men responsible, Christopher Cain (pictured), 19, and Dorian Moragne, 20, both of Atlanta, pleaded guilty yesterday to a federal hate crime, the FBI reports:

“Hate-fueled violence will not be condoned,” said Roy L. Austin Jr., Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will use all the tools in our law enforcement arsenal to investigate and prosecute hate crimes.”

“Using violence against another person because of his or her sexual orientation has no place in our civilized society. The Department of Justice is committed to aggressively enforcing the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act to prosecute acts motivated by hate,” said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.

Cain and Moragne admitted to violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which expanded federal jurisdiction to include certain assaults motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation. The federal hate crimes law criminalizes certain acts of violence motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, or gender identity. This case is the first in Georgia to charge a violation of the sexual orientation provision of this federal hate crimes law.


Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed Announces Support for Marriage Equality

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed came out for marriage equality yesterday with this statement:

Reed“Today marks an important day as I announce my support for marriage equality. It is well known that I have gone through a good bit of reflection on this issue, but listening to the stories of so many people that I know and care about has strengthened my belief that marriage is a fundamental right for everyone. Loving couples, regardless of their sexual orientation, should have the right to marry whomever they want. By signing this resolution, I pledge my support to marriage equality for same-sex couples, consistent with equal protection under the law provided under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution...I believe in tolerance and acceptance, regardless of a person’s race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. That creed has been a guiding force for me throughout my life, as reflected by my actions and votes as a lifelong Democrat and elected official in the state of Georgia for more than 14 years.”

The mayor had been under added pressure after the City Council, led by City Council member Alex Wan, passed a resolution last week in support of marriage equality.

A press release touted Reed's LGBT advocacy:

Today’s announcement follows years of Mayor Reed’s advocacy for equal rights for gays and lesbians. During his term in the Georgia House of Representatives, Mayor Reed sponsored the only hate crimes bill ever to pass the General Assembly and defended the LGBT community’s right to adopt children. As a co-sponsor for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, Mayor Reed proposed a measure that would prohibit discrimination in hiring and employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity by civilian and nonreligious employers. In 2004, Mayor Reed also voted against the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Georgia.

Said Freedom to Marry's Evan Wolfson: "Mayor Reed, like the more than 200 other Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, has his eye on the economic growth, prosperity, diversity, and opportunity that the families he serves cherish -- and knows that including same-sex couples and their contributions in the community and in marriage strengthens the city and our country. As we build toward more wins in 2013, we welcome Mayor Reed's support at this crucial time in the freedom to marry movement, and are excited to work with him to make the case for the freedom to marry both in Atlanta and across America."


Atlanta City Council Passes Resolution Supporting Marriage Equality While Mayor Refuses to Do the Same

The Atlanta City Council has passed a resolution supporting marriage equality, Project Q Atlanta reports:

WanGay Atlanta City Council member Alex Wan quietly introduced a resolution supporting gay marriage on Monday. It passed. Crack open the cheap wine! But don’t tell marriage equality wet blanket Mayor Kasim Reed.

Wan developed the resolution out of the public eye, consulting with Georgia Equality and other activists to develop it and present it to the council. But after the vote, Wan announced its passage on Facebook:

Proud to share with everyone that the Atlanta City Council just passed a resolution supporting marriage equality!!!

Reed refuses to publicly back marriage equality, though he will support the right of the Council to pass a resolution.

His office issued a brief statement to the GA Voice after the vote on Monday. “Mayor Reed respects the decision of the Atlanta City Council in passing a resolution supporting marriage equality.”


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