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‘Their blood shall be upon them’

There’s a lot of talk here recently over a proposed anti-gay death penalty law in Uganda. Activists and news organizations have linked the legislation’s Ugandan proponents to several high-profile American religious leaders and politicians.

The law, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009, would make gay sex a crime punishable by death. The legislation has been endorsed by Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa, a man invited to speak at Pastor Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church and “embraced warmly” by Warren and his wife.

Jeff Sharlet, author of an exposé on the secretive American group, “The Family,” has linked the Ugandan legislation’s mastermind, David Bahati, back to the ultra-conservative group.

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Charlotte: Queen City of LGBT invisibility?

For the past few weeks I’ve been on an activism-through-journalism swing over at my day job. In a two-part, pre- and post-election opinion column, I ranted and raved over the lack of LGBT equality and recognition in Charlotte, North Carolina’s largest city.

In the column prior to Election Day, I wrote:

I’ve lived in North Carolina my entire life and I’ve visited all of its largest cities. I’d been to Chapel Hill numerous times, but the IGLTA Fam Tour was the first time I’d experienced the town as an adult and outside of the university bubble. While there, I felt completely comfortable, warmly embraced and unconditionally welcomed and accepted. In Charlotte, I work for a gay-owned company and most of my time is spent traveling in LGBT political or social circles. Yet, the warm feeling I had in Chapel Hill is found rarely in the Queen City. Even in my primarily LGBT-involved life, a sense of coldness, rejection and conservative, anti-gay moralism invades my time in Charlotte.

The facts, unfortunately, support my experiences.

Elected officials in other cities across the state uniformly welcome and embrace their LGBT communities. Other cities offer domestic partner benefits. All major cities in North Carolina, excluding Charlotte, include at least sexual orientation in their employment non-discrimination policies and some include gender-identity.

The truth of the matter is that, while Charlotte leads the state in population and business, we’re dead last when it comes to diversity, inclusion and LGBT recognition.

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Hope in Virginia? Gay adoption upheld

Fears that the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution could be used to further LGBT equality have been the lynchpin of anti-gay advocates’ efforts to pass, first, statutory “Defense of Marriage” laws and, later, state constitutional amendments prohibiting relationship recognition for same-sex couples.

It seems LGBT advocates’ dreams and opponents’ fears have come true in Virginia.

Leonard Link, the blog of New York Law School Professor Arthur S. Leonard, reports the Virginia Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 24 in favor of a gay couple seeking to uphold an adoption originally decided upon by a court in Gaston County, N.C.

Although the entire sordid affair, with its twists and turns, is interesting in and of itself, it is the Virginia court’s decision that is most intriguing. Continue reading this post…

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Do what love requires

In a post at Bilerico.com, I write a bit on the current controversy bubbling out of the impending marriage equality vote by the Washington, D.C. City Council. The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., is threatening to pull its social services if the bill passes.

They say their religious freedoms and the freedoms of individuals and small businesses will be threatened by marriage equality.

It is clear we have to face religious issues and use them to our advantage in our next steps toward marriage equality.

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A special follow-up to our Jan. 6, 2009 exclusive, “OutGayLife website network allegedly stealing news content from gay pubs, blogs, mainstream press”

Update: See important update at bottom of post.

After coming under fire for republishing more than 300 Associated Press articles and dozens more from LGBT-focused blogs, news organizations, publications and other media, the OutGayLife.com network is again raising suspicions of more instances of copyright infringement and intellectual property theft.

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The anti-gay plan to undo hate crimes law

Both Queerty and Bilerico have commented on a WND story about a challenge next week to the new hate crimes legislation signed by Obama on Oct. 27. They say anti-gay activists are attempting to call for violence against LGBT people. I think the plan is much simpler and less sinister, but all the more susceptible to media spin.

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Along with following election results on county boards of election sites, news sites and TV, I’d also been following updates via twitter yesterday and through today. It got a little interesting this morn.

It seems I “butted in” to what others thought might have been a private conversation. The problem? They were chatting on twitter. Not exactly a place for a private chat, you know.

The complete back story and run-down after the jump…

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One church in Canton, N.C., “celebrated” Halloween in a special way this past weekend. You might have seen the reports about it in the AP or in hundreds of blogs.

Amazing Grace Baptist Church planned a book burning on Oct. 31. According to their website, the event was a success. Non-church members, including the media, were shut out of the event, which was held inside (how did that work, with all that fire?).

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