LETTER TO THE EDITOR: HUD unveils LGBT equal access

In a powerful speech on Saturday, Jan. 28, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan made history when he unveiled HUD’s LGBT Equal Access policy—a new rule that will protect more than 5.5 million people across the country from discrimination in public housing and Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured mortgages.

LETTER TO COMMUNITY: How will YOU create change in 2012?

I had the privilege to attend the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's Creating Change conference in Baltimore, Md., as a Blogging Scholarship Winner for the Network for LGBT Health Equity.

The event was inspiring and full of life. I met some extraordinary people from all over the U.S., each creating their own change in their local LGBT communities.

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COMMENTARY: Was Robert Champion Jr.'s death a hazing or a hate crime?

"Um, who cares? Unless his sexual orientation was the reason why he was beaten to death, then it’s quite irrelevant. We had previously heard about him being gay, but we declined on reporting about it because if the police were told this when they characterized his death a result of hazing and didn’t connect the two to say this was a hate crime, then why throw it out there?

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Have the GOP candidates pissed you off yet?

Have you heard some of the shocking things the GOP candidates are saying when asked about LGBT rights during their campaign for their party's nomination?

Rick Santorum thinks gay couples don't live in every state, only in certain ones. There aren't any gay people in your state, right?

When asked by students in New Hampshire why he didn't support same-sex marriage, Santorum tried to turn the question back on the students: "So anyone can marry anybody else?" No. Never. How ridiculous!

Mitt Romney can't remember whether he stands for equality or not. How unfortunate.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: The Uptown Interim Height Ordinance should be extended

The current 24-year old Uptown Community Plan and related zoning allow for building heights of up to 150 feet and 200 feet along portions of Washington Street, University Avenue and 4th, 5th and 6th Avenues in Bankers Hill/Park West, Hillcrest and Mission Hills. However, Uptown is not Downtown, and such taller buildings would overwhelm these lower scale, profile and historic character of the Uptown neighborhoods.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Hillcrest could be so much more

I opened my store, Cathedral, in Hillcrest in March of 1995. I chose Hillcrest because of its unique character, diverse clientele, specialty retail and creative restaurants.

Over the past 17 years I have loved being a part of this community. I serve on the board of directors for the Hillcrest Business Association (HBA) and chair its Marketing Committee. I have enjoyed what Hillcrest has to offer.

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COMMENTARY: Reflecting on MLK Day about need for LGBTQ justice in the Black Church

Today's MLK Day.

I am proud to count myself among the many people working for social justice today who stand on the shoulders of Martin Luther King Jr.

Too many people think King's statements regarding justice are only about race and the African-American community -- thus excluding the LGBTQ community.

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COMMENTARY: "Pariah" is the story of a sister outsider rarely seen in film

Seldom do I see my image anywhere, especially portrayed in non-stereotypical and non-heterosexist ways on the silver screen. As a matter of fact, if you Google "black lesbians" or "black lesbians in film" you’ll get a plethora of porn sites to visit.

But writer-director Dee Rees’s semi-autobiographical coming-of-age drama "Pariah" gives me a glimpse of my younger self-growing up in Brooklyn.

COMMENTARY: Turning coal into diamonds

Those who think that the Salvation Army will never change its anti-marriage equality status might want to think again.

I recently agreed to attend a lunch meeting with my friend Johnathan Hale, Hale Media's publisher, about which I was quite nervous. We had agreed to meet with a woman who works in a senior staff position with the local chapter of the Salvation Army.

Why the nervous jitters?

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COMMENTARY: Roman Catholic Church ramps up its war against LGBT community

The Roman Catholic Church has been in the news quite a bit lately. At times, it seems like positive change is happening. We saw this recently when, under pressure, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago issued an apology for his comments comparing the LGBT community to the Ku Klux Klan. It was a small victory, and was prompted by a large outcry, but gave us a glimmer of hope that the Roman Catholic hierarchy may be slowly coming in line with the vast majority of Catholics who already support their LGBT friends and family.