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The other race Virginians need to watch

| Sunday, August 25, 2013
Mark Obenshain
Given its off year elections, Virginia is attracting a good deal of attention among political observers. LGBT Virginians, women and minorities likewise ought to be paying close attention. Why? Because the Republican statewide ticket -- which was nominated at a convention dominated by far right religious extremists and Tea Party fanatics (who usually also identify as "conservative Christians") -- is the most extreme in Virginia's history.

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Lives mislabeled: Gay or straight, left or right, this or that…

| Sunday, August 11, 2013
human-labels
One problem I have with labeling ourselves as a this or a that, is that it usually stems from adoption of the values most familiar to us as we grow into young adults. Once adopted it can be very difficult to abandon those labels, particularly if the culture we live in seems to suggest that any alternatives are forbidden. While we might be subjected to psychological manipulation to think of ourselves as being one thing or another, philosophical alternatives, discussions and attitudes may be well and truly concealed from our consciousness; even to the point of them being actively denied as worthy investigations.

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Putin’s anti-gay Olympics – Should we participate and condone the hate?

| Saturday, August 10, 2013
Boycott-Olympics
Perhaps it’s because the United States is so divided on the issue of gay rights that, as a country, we are so divided on the Russian anti-gay, Olympic issue. We have states making laws that allow us to marry and states making laws that prevent us from getting married. We have Christians who hate us, and Christians who love us. We have politicians who work tirelessly to see that we have our constitutional rights, and politicians who use every ounce of their power to make sure that the Constitution was most certainly not written with the homosexual in mind. For me, the Olympics are a no-brainer...

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Mainstream LGBT rights groups have abandoned Bradley Manning

| Sunday, August 4, 2013
Manning-350x240
One of the interesting factors is that two of the largest and most well funded LGBT rights groups in the U.S. have stayed quiet about Bradley Manning, his reprehensible treatment in custody and his trial. Why has Manning, whose revelations about the U.S. Army's actions epitomize social justice in action, gotten the cold shoulder from the Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD? The silence of these groups has been deafening.

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Russia: This Berlin Wall of bigotry shall crumble too

| Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Putin-410x280
If Russia is eventually freed from Vladimir Putin’s tyranny, it will partially be a result of LGBT people fighting this rogue nation’s state-sponsored terror apparatus. Worldwide efforts are now underway to pressure this petro police state into abolishing its recently passed anti-gay laws. ... What is occurring in Russia is a psychotic pogrom against homosexuals. The goal is to terrorize and humiliate LGBT people and make their lives a living hell. Such ignorant bullying and cruel barbarism will not stand and Russia will pay a prohibitive price for its outrageous actions.

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How do we stop a modern-day Adolf Hitler?

| Sunday, July 28, 2013
LGBT activists in a recent protest of Russia's anti-gay laws.
We’ve all heard the quotes, right? There are reports of Russia beating up LGBT people — bad — and enacting percussion around them, stripping them of rights and sending them to detention camps. Now the Olympic Games are scheduled to take place in Russia next winter. What to do, what to do? Boycott the games? Boycott vodka?

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Should states’ rights decide gay rights? Or any rights?

| Sunday, July 21, 2013
ftm-states-410
The citizens of each state want what they want. The people with the money have the power, and they want to mold their cities and towns to their own little standards, with their own little rules, their own little prejudices, and their own little innuendos. Those who struggle to keep their heads above the water have no money which means they have no power and their voice is very rarely, if ever, heard. They are considered “the other,” and the laws are never structured to their benefit ... LGBTQ citizens fall into “the other” category.

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For Carlos Vigil, whose fate could have been my own… Rest in peace, my friend

| Thursday, July 18, 2013
Carlos Vigil
Initially I could not understand why Carlos Vigil's story had elicited such a strong emotional response from me. Perhaps it was our shared interest in government and public policy? Maybe it was the clear articulation of his frame of mind that day through a posting I had read on his Twitter account? Or perhaps it was my empathy for his family and what they must be going through during this harrowing moment in their lives? As I pondered these questions I quickly came to the realization that selfishly, my feelings had little to do with Carlos or his family. It was because of me...

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New studies: It’s not about gay parents, it’s whether a family is happy

| Monday, July 15, 2013
gay-family
My family, more by happenstance than by design, falls into the characteristics described in studies for healthy families. My sons were planned for years before they arrived. They have never been cared for by a parent who was disgruntled about the role in which he had to undertake and who resented the duties he was called upon to perform. Our home has always been vibrant and vital. Depression is not a factor. We did not need a study to tell us to be this way. None of the LGBT familes I know, and that number ranges in the dozens, have had to be told to be affirming...

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Gay country singer’s video portrays gay men as sad, predatory drunks

| Monday, July 8, 2013
Steve Grand
Gay men drink too much, feel sorry for themselves, and come on to straight dudes when their girlfriends aren’t around: that’s the message from the music video of newly-minted gay country singer Steve Grand. And gay media is too busy fawning over the young stud to notice...

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