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COMMENTARY: Enough of "maid in America" for African-American actresses

When Viola Davis lost the Oscar for Best Actress portraying an African-American maid in Katherine Stockett’s "The Help" to Meryl Streep portraying former Britain Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady" at the 84th Academy Awards ceremony, there was a collective sigh of relief from many of us African-American sisters.

Tulane University professor Melissa Harris-Perry, the author of an upcoming book on racial stereotypes, summed up my feelings best when she told MSNBC that "what killed me was that in 2011, Viola Davis was reduced to playing a maid."

LETTER TO COMMUNITY: Love Honor Cherish remains unwavering in its urgent pursuit of marriage equality

We have come so far. To think of the change that has happened in our nation in February alone is mind-boggling. Every day, we move closer towards marriage equality nationwide.

It’s thanks to supporters like you who continue to stand with us with your unwavering support, who continue to tell friends, family and co-workers about the importance of marriage equality, and who refuse to accept second-class citizenship, whether it’s for yourself or your LGBT loved ones.

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COMMENTARY: Speaking about Jeremy Lin - Stop the racial "Linsanity"

With two weeks of fairy tale play this February, New York Knicks basketball player Jeremy Lin went from unknown NBA draft reject to the underdog sports hero who sparked “Linsanity.”

Along the way, media outlets and fans have commented about his academic prowess (a Harvard degree!) and unfurled a barrage of Lin puns (“Linning!” and “Lincredible!”). Perhaps all too predictably, Lin’s rise has come with observations about his race – sparking pride among Asian-Americans, but also debate about racism in sports and America.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Why Bradley Manning's identity shall remain private

For 18 months, an Army soldier had been held as a political prisoner by the U.S. government with no trial. This soldier is accused of sharing classified information with the world media through the website Wikileaks. There is much about this story that is not well-known, including the guilt or innocence of Pvt. Bradley Manning.

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COMMENTARY: My vagina’s pissed and I’m not taking it any more!

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COMMENTARY: Perhaps the most dangerous African-American gay man in America

Cleo Manago is despised by some in the LGBTQ community. Descriptors like “homo demagogue,” contrarian, separatist and anti-white are just a few that can be expressed in polite company.

But to a nationwide community of same-gender loving (SGL), bisexual, transgender and progressive heterosexual African-American men, Manago is the MAN!, seen as a visionary, game changer and “social architect” focusing on advocating for and healing a group of men that continues to be maligned and marginalized — brothers.

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COMMENTARY: Our groups need more color in their rainbow

The rainbow flag, the very the symbol of gay pride, represents both our aspirations and the diversity of our population. Yet the top of the gay community’s rainbow — the leadership tier of LGBT non-profit organizations — is more awash in white than any other color.

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COMMENTARY: The Prop 8 battle is about more than marriage equality

(This story was originally published on HuffPost Gay Voices, a content partner of SDGLN.)

It's been more than three years since Prop 8 -- dubbed California's "Marriage Protection Act" -- passed by a narrow 52% in a vote that instantly categorized the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) community as a group of second-class citizens.

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COMMENTARY: Ninth Circuit decision keeps focus on California

In a long-awaited decision, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that stripped the right to marry from same-sex couples in California, is unconstitutional. Judge Stephen R. Reinhardt authored the majority decision, which was joined by Judge Michael Daly Hawkins. The third judge, N. Randy Smith, dissented.

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COMMENTARY: I pray you are not pregnant

Last week, a person I admire wrote, “I hate people.” Without missing a beat, I emailed back, “I love that you wrote that.” And that gave me pause. Earlier in the week, I had read a chapter from Maythee Rojas’ Women of Color and Feminism. Rojas wrote about love’s being the fuel of feminist activism, a force for social change.