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COMMENTARY: Avoid scams and con artists this holiday season

Giving to a charity each year is easy for most of us. We find ourselves drawn to a cause, a particular group, mission, etc. When you have that personal tie to an organization giving your hard-earned dollars is simple.

However, what happens when you don't have a charity and you are new to donating? Or maybe you want to support a cause aligned with a new interest you have.

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COMMENTARY: Remembering the Two-Spirits people this Thanksgiving

(Editor's note: Every year, the Rev. Irene Monroe submits this piece for Thanksgiving, because it captures, in her humble opinion, the best way she can express her outrage of the genocide of Native Americans that is summarily glossed over with a national celebration and an annual holiday of its occupiers.)

As I prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, I am reminded of the autumnal harvest time's spiritual significance. As a time of connectedness, I pause to acknowledge what I have to be thankful for. But I also reflect on the holiday as a time of remembrance - historical and familial.

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COMMENTARY: The horror of black homophobic horror flicks

Gays on television today is nothing new.

And we can thank Ellen DeGeneres’s watershed moment in April 1997 when she came out on her sitcom "Ellen."

Today’s openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) television personalities are Neil Patrick Harris, Jane Lynch, Rachel Maddow, and Rosie O’Donnell, to name just a few.

And these personalities have helped pave the way in terms of our acceptance in society and in terms of our civil rights issues.

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COMMENTARY: The Wall weeps for many

In honor of those who have served, Veterans Day, November 11, 2011

“When I first saw it at the dedication in 1982,” said the veteran of an undeclared war, “I thought it was a nice memorial to all the people who died.”

“But now,” and his blue eyes began to glisten faster than he could close them — to the memory of buddies and limbs lost; to the etched names of 58,272 dead warriors; to the clusters of their families, the tourists, the curious and awestruck and angry and guilt-ridden — “now I think there are too many names.”

COMMENTARY: The Center commends continued progress in San Diego school district's anti-bullying efforts

SAN DIEGO – The San Diego LGBT Community Center commends the San Diego Unified School District for its continued progress on the implementation of its district-wide anti-bullying policy.

Tuesday night, the SDUSD Board of Education unanimously approved the next step in its ongoing efforts to combat bullying within district schools.

In November 2010, the board established an innovative community-district task force/advisory board to develop and begin implementation plans for a district-wide effort to combat bullying and create safe schools for all students, including LGBT students.

COMMENTARY: Ignorance, arrogance and abuse, the stories of Herman Cain, Penn State and Brett Ratner

Ignorance is one of the many flaws of humans. Arrogance, too. Combining the two with people in a position of power and influence can create abusive monsters.

Reflecting this week on the separate scandals enveloping Herman Cain, Penn State University and the Academy Awards, it painfully reminds me of how far we have not come.

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COMMENTARY: LGBT Asylum Support Task Force can use your help

My name is Pastor Judy Hanlon and I am the co-founder of the LGBT Asylum Support Task Force that physically resides in Worcester, Mass, but helps anyone who contacts us.

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COMMENTARY: The fable of Brian Brown, or the Great Marriage Non Sequitur

(My thanks to Brian Brown and the National Organization for Marriage for providing the majority of this fable’s dialogue and a significant amount of the narrative — from the last four years of NOM emails, media releases and website content, for example, click here.)

COMMENTARY with VIDEOS: Why Does Michigan’s anti-bullying bill protect religious tormenters?

On Wednesday, the Republican-controlled state senate passed an anti-bullying bill that manages to protect school bullies instead of those they victimize. It accomplishes this impressive feat by allowing students, teachers, and other school employees to claim that “a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction” justifies their harassment.

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COMMENTARY: Transgender, victimized and black

It’s not easy for any person of African descent to be LGBTQ in our black communities, but our transgender brothers and sisters might feel the most discrimination.