Eight arrests at Georgia demonstration over player’s gay rights armband

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Guram Kashia

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) – Eight people were arrested in Georgia during a far-right protest to demand a soccer player be kicked off the national team because he supported gay rights.

The nationalist Georgian March group wanted defender Guram Kashia punished for wearing a rainbow armband while captaining Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem earlier this month, as part of a broader initiative in the Netherlands for the country’s “Coming Out Day.”

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Georgia Rep. Price says HIV comments taken out of context

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ATLANTA (AP) – Georgia Rep. Betty Price says her comments on people with HIV that ignited a national firestorm were “taken completely out of context.”

Price, the wife of former U.S. Health Secretary Tom Price, was in a legislative committee meeting Tuesday when she asked a state health official whether people with HIV could legally be quarantined.

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Savannah’s first LGBT center opens doors with block party

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) – An advocacy group in Savannah has opened the first LGBT community center in Georgia’s oldest city.

The First City Network is a nonprofit organization serving Savannah’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents. The group opened the doors of its new community center to the public with a block party in the evening July 13.

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What other states could be problematic for NCAA?

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Now that North Carolina has lost its NCAA and Atlantic Coast Conference championship events for this year, some other states face potential challenges in the organization’s fight for discrimination-free environments.

The NCAA this week took the unprecedented step of pulling seven championship events from the state over its objection to a law that can allow discrimination against LGBT people. Two days later, the ACC did the same thing – relocating all 10 of its neutral-site championships from the state the conference has called home since its founding in 1953.

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LGBT rights group appeals denial of transgender name change

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ATLANTA (AP) – An LGBT rights group is asking an appeals court to step in after a Georgia judge declined a legal name change for a second transgender man.

Lambda Legal says it filed an appeal Sept. 8 of a June order by Columbia County Superior Court Judge J. David Roper rejecting a petition from the 21-year-old transgender man seeking to legally change his name to Andrew Baumert.

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FBI won’t pursue hate crime charges in scalding assault on gay couple

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ATLANTA (AP) – The FBI has decided not to pursue hate crime charges against a Georgia man found guilty of throwing scalding water on a sleeping gay couple.

Martin Blackwell was sentenced to 40 years in prison this week for aggravated assault and aggravated battery.

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Georgia man gets 40 years for pouring scalding water on gay couple

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ATLANTA (AP) – A judge sentenced a Georgia man to 40 years in prison Aug. 24 for throwing scalding water on a gay couple sleeping in an apartment, leaving them with severe burns that required surgery.

Jurors deliberated for about 90 minutes before finding Martin Blackwell, 48, guilty of eight counts of aggravated battery and two counts of aggravated assault in the February attack on Anthony Gooden and Marquez Tolbert.

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Obama’s transgender directive to schools goes to court

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Texas and 12 other states will ask a federal judge Aug. 12 to halt an Obama administration directive on bathroom rights for transgender students in U.S. public schools.

Here’s what you need to know:

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“Satan made gays & transgender’ sign defaced at church

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Buford, Ga. (AP) – Members of a metro Atlanta church say their sign outside proclaiming that “Satan made gays & transgender” has been covered in black paint by vandals.

Gwinnett County police Cpl. Michele Pihera said officers were called to the Back To The Bible Holiness Church in Buford after the paint was discovered June 20.

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Georgia superintendent: transgender guidance has no force

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Atlanta (AP) – Georgia’s top education official said May 20 that state school districts don’t have to comply with the Obama administration’s recent guidance that transgender students at public schools be allowed to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.

State Superintendent Richard Woods, a Republican, said the guidance, contained in a May 13 joint letter from the Departments of Education and Justice, “does not have the force of law.” But the directive from President Barack Obama’s administration says schools that refuse to comply could lose federal aid – nearly $2 billion statewide in Georgia for the coming year.

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Gay rights activists detained by Georgian Orthodox Church

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MOSCOW (AP) — Police in the former Soviet republic of Georgia say they have detained 10 gay rights activists who were painting graffiti on the fence of the Georgian Orthodox Patriarch’s office.

Despite its political and economic rapprochement with the West, Georgia remains a deeply conservative country when it comes to family and gender. The capital, Tbilisi, this year is hosting the conservative World Congress of Families.

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Disney, Fox threaten Georgia boycott if anti-gay bill is signed

By : Jamie Hyman
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UPDATE: More film and television studios have signed onto this boycott. They are: Time Warner (HBO, TBS), Viacom (MTV, Comedy Central, Paramount), The Weinstein Company, 21st Century Fox, Sony Pictures and the NFL, who threatened to pull Georgia from the running to host the Super Bowl in 2019.

A proposed anti-gay bill in Georgia could cost the state lucrative film making dollars.

Georgia is popular for film production because of the state’s generous tax incentives. But The Walt Disney Co. and subsidiary Marvel Studios announced they’ll take their business elsewhere if Gov. Nathan Deal signs The Free Exercise Protection Act, which would allow faith-based organizations and individuals to discriminate against same-sex couples. Deal has to sign or veto the legislation by May 3.

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