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COMMENTARY: Halloween is America's gay holiday

Halloween is America’s gay holiday.

In the words of the lesbian poet and scholar Judy Grahn, Halloween is "the great gay holiday."

And this weekend of lavish costumed theatricality will attract everyone, but especially lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) revelers.

VIDEO: HRC letter to NOM - Fess up about stolen photo

(Editor's note: The Human Rights Campaign sent this letter to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) calling out the group’s deceitful tactics in New Hampshire. NOM is using a photograph from an Obama campaign event in Ohio to mislead New Hampshire voters into believing they have more supporters than they actually do. The news was broken by Jeremy Hooper on his Good as You blog; Hooper is also a contributor to HRC’s NOM Exposed.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Why I support the SAFE California Act

We have an historic opportunity to make California a safer place by fixing the broken system that is California’s death penalty.

Californians are in the midst of tough times, now more than ever, we cannot afford to waste precious public resources.

In the last 33 years alone, California has spent $4 billion dollars to execute 13 people. Think of the potential if California harnesses the $184 million per year that the death penalty costs over that of sentencing inmates to life without parole.

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COMMENTARY: Meet the most homophobic woman in America

The field of contemptible anti-gay activists has long been overcrowded, like a room full of teenagers frenetically rushing a concert stage. In this cacophony of crazy it is quite a feat to rise above the din. Yet radio host and Mission America President Linda Harvey is making a name for herself by fast becoming the most homophobic woman in the nation.

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COMMENTARY: CSUSM president responds to hate with platitudes

On October 17, a group of Cal State University San Marcos (CSUSM) students, faculty and staff sent an unusual letter to CSUSM President Karen Haynes and the Cal State system board of trustees. The letter requested that Haynes and the trustees break their unproductive silence and take action to ameliorate the hostile educational and work environment created by The Koala, a private, for-profit hate tabloid distributed at CSUSM since January 2011.

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COMMENTARY: Presbyterian Church's ordination of gays is bittersweet

Before returning to New England for the second time, I served two African-American Presbyterian Churches. And during that time I never thought, two decades ago, that the entire church body would change its position on LGBTQ worshippers.

But a historic yet bittersweet moment happened on Oct. 8 in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

And the moment didn't happened without a long and arduous struggle against the church's ecclesiastical heterosexism.

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COMMENTARY: Stonewall Citizens' Patrol: What authority does security have?

I have been asked a few times about what authority that security guards and neighborhood-watch and citizens-patrol groups have.

The answer is not as complicated as you might think. Let's start with neighborhood-watch and citizens-patrol groups, including Stonewall Citizens' Patrol.

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COMMENTARY on domestic violence: The view from the other side of the wire

You’d think a survivor of an abusive relationship would lend one of the most empathic of ears to women incarcerated for charges related to domestic violence. Women who committed crimes because their abusers forced them to. Women who, without the resources to buy a get-out-of-jail-free card, were caught up when the men who terrorized them broke the law. Women who ultimately erupted in one excruciating moment of self-preservation, one violent demand for freedom, and killed their abusers.

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COMMENTARY: "Ex-gay" activist John Smid makes stunning admission

For decades, John Smid had been the leader of Love in Action, the infamous "ex-gay" ministry that took away the underwear of clients if the undergarments appeared too gay. The strict Memphis-based ministry also used an egg timer in the bathroom to make sure its clients would not masturbate while showering.

Of all the "ex-gay" ministries this was the most cult-like - with Smid keeping tight control over the social lives of his clients, who paid a pretty penny to live in the residential program.

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COMMENTARY: The past is never dead with the n-word

In a supposedly post-racial society one would think that the n-word was buried and long gone with it troubled eras of race relations in this country.

But as American novelist William Faulkner wrote in "Requiem For A Nun," his 1951 novel, "The past is never dead. It’s not even past."

As we all try to move from America’s ugly racial past, there are still rock solid vestiges of it.

At the entrance of a secluded 1,072-acre property in the West Texas town of Paint Creek is a rock painted in block letters with the word "N*****head."