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North County LGBTQ Resource Center to launch youth programs this week

OCEANSIDE, Calif. -- Just over a month after opening its doors, the North County LGBTQ Resource Center has big plans for community programming, including supporting two programs geared toward youth.

The "Our Circle" social group and Project Youth Open Mic Night will both launch their 2012 programs this week to provide an outlet for LGBT and questioning youth to come together to express themselves, have fun, and meet others who share similar life experiences.

San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality to host membership meeting Tuesday

SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (SAME) will host its first meeting of the year on Tuesday, Jan. 10, at 6:30 pm.

The public is welcome to the meeting, which will include a number of organizational business and discussion items.

SAME was founded in 2008 following the passage of California's Proposition 8. The nonprofit organization is open and democratically-run, with its membership committed to fighting for LGBT rights and marriage equality.

Hillcrest Town Council to discuss community issues at Tuesday meeting

SAN DIEGO -- Hillcrest residents who are looking to get involved with their community this year are encouraged to attend the next meeting of the Hillcrest Town Council (HTC), to be held Tuesday, Jan. 10, at 6:30 pm.

Numerous community issues will be discussed at the open meeting, including a presentation from the Hillcrest History Guild on the fate of the historic Jones House at 4040 Fifth Ave. near Mercy Hospital.

aNoteToMyKid.com provides heartwarming messages of love for LGBT people

In searching for a way to give back to the LGBTQ community, Michael Volpatt and I created a aNoteToMyKid.com, a grassroots movement that gives everyone -- parents, family, and friends -- the opportunity to express unconditional love for the LGBTQ people in their lives. The nonprofit's purpose is to remind people that there is a lot of love out there, to bring family and friends closer together, and to give parents and others who may not know how to broach the subject of sexuality an opportunity to learn from example.

Iowa court orders state to provide accurate birth certificate to child born to two mothers

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Iowa District Court for Polk County on Wednesday, Jan. 4, ordered the state's Department of Public Health to issue a birth certificate for 2-year-old Mackenzie Gartner, a child born to a married same-sex couple in 2009, listing both spouses as Mackenzie's parents in reliance on their marriage and the spousal presumption of parentage it creates.

District Court Judge Eliza Ovrom wrote:

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San Diego exhibit to commemorate 100th anniversary of municipal ban on free speech

SAN DIEGO -- On Jan. 8, 1912, the San Diego City Council passed an ordinance that effectively banned free speech in much of downtown.

Section 1 of the ordinance, which was titled "An Ordinance Prohibiting Public Speaking or Singing Within Certain Boundaries," made it unlawful for any person to address any assemblage, meeting or gathering of persons, conduct a public meeting, or give a speech, lecture, sing a song, or take part in public discussion on any public street or alley in an area defined by the ordinance as the "Central Congested District."

Poignant Belarus video shows that love comes in all forms, straight and gay

MINSK, Belarus -- Video director Max Anatskaya has released the first-ever Belarusian LGBT video in support of equality.

The three-minute video tells the poignant love stories of two couples: one straight and one gay. It addresses the issues of love, warmth and tenderness without resorting to stereotypes or making judgments.

The video is now showing on gayby.net.

Year in review: A roundup on LGBT asylum and refugees

In May a Spanish academic estimated that 6000 LGBT Africans flee to Europe each year.

In the UK, authorities bureaucratically codified the landmark Supreme Court decision of 2010 ending the concept that refused asylum seekers could (and should) “go home and be discreet” or relocate to avoid repression. They also began to record sexuality-based asylum claims.

This “discretion” argument, widely employed to refuse asylum, was rejected by a U.S. Ninth Circuit court in March but used in cases elsewhere.

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San Diego Pride offers year-round volunteer opportunities in 2012

SAN DIEGO -- While it is widely known that an army of nearly 1,000 volunteers come together to produce the annual San Diego LGBT Pride festivities, many don't know that the organization operates a year round volunteer program called "Pride 365."

Those who wish to learn more about year-round volunteer opportunities with San Diego Pride are encouraged to attend the organization's next volunteer information session, to be held Saturday, Jan. 14, at 10 am.

San Diego Pride has put together a list of the many opportunities it has available:

Applications are available for Victory Fund's summer 2012 internship

WASHINGTON -- The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund hopes to help develop the next generation of openly LGBT public leaders through its Victory Congressional Internship Program, which is currently accepting applications.

The summer program will provide participants with leadership training and the opportunity to intern with an LGBT-friendly member of Congress.

The internship was launched last summer to provide young people with a chance to witness the impact LGBT members of Congress are making each day, while learning about the barriers they have overcome along the way.