Category Archives: Community

EVENT: Local #Orlando Vigil Scheduled for Tuesday 14 June

Via Press Release from Colgay Pride:

jeremy@colgaypride.org

706-580-6239

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE

COLUMBUS GEORGIA UNITED FOR ORLANDO REMEMBRANCE & CANDLELIGHT VIGIL

TUESDAY JUNE 14th

7 pm

COLUMBUS GOVERNMENT CENTER

 

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PRESS RELEASE:

COLUMBUS UNITED FOR ORLANDO

REMEMBRANCE & CANDLELIGHT VIGIL CEREMONY

TUESDAY JUNE 14th

7 PM

COLUMBUS GOVERNMENT CENTER

SPRINGER SIDE COURTYARD

 

Leaders throughout the Columbus Georgia Community united in solidarity will hold a United City Wide Vigil this Tuesday at 7 PM located at the Columbus Government Center Springer Side Courtyard in response to the horrific tragedy that took place in Orlando early Sunday Morning targeting the LGBT Community. Security will be present. People are encouraged to Bring flowers and pride colors to lay and candles if you got them. Speakers, a Moment of silence will be held, and a prayer. Come support Pride in the LGBT lives of all those affected by this monumental tragedy that shall be echoed throughout history when hate reached a new height in America. Everyone come and let’s stand united for Orlando and every person everywhere persecuted from hatred and violence.

Special Guest Speakers including Nichole Red Tanner LGBT Liaison to the NAACP, Kayla Brown Vigil Creator , Jeremy Hobbs Colgay Pride, Community Leader & Activist Patricia Lassiter  along with more to be scheduled as we speak. Prayer will be held by New Covenant Church of Columbus Georgia Pastor Colley Williams. Leaders of Faith, Members of Leadership and many others will share their thoughts and words.

EVERYONE IS WELCOME TO ATTEND & PARTICIPATE

This event is about all Columbus Citizens coming together and standing together as One Columbus United for Orlando.  We urge every citizen in Columbus to come out and Stand in Solidarity and Stand against the Worse Mass Shooting to ever occur in American History. Stand in Solidarity for Human Life. Stand United for Orlando!

If you would like to speak or have questions please call Jeremy Hobbs today 706-580-6239.
Your Presence will send a message around the world We Will Not Give into Terror in America and On Tuesday We Stand in Unity with Orlando!
On Tuesday We Will Stand Together United for Human Life.

We Truly Hope to See you there.

COLUMBUS UNITED FOR ORLANDO

Thank you for lending your voice, taking action to fight injustice and standing up for equality for all.”

Jeremy Scott Hobbs

COLGAY PRIDE Director

4411 Rosemont Drive

Columbus Georgia 31904

(706) 580-6239

www.colgaypride.org

https://www.facebook.com/COLGAYPRIDE

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EVENT April 28: Equality For All Candidate Forum

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Colgay Pride

Via Press Release:

YOU ARE HEREBY INVITED TO JOIN US FOR THE FIRST ANNUAL COLGAY PRIDE EQUALITY FOR ALL CANDIDATE FORUM on APRIL 28th at the Columbus Public Library (Auditorium) on Macon Road from 6 pm to 8 pm

This past year COLGAY Pride helped stopped SB 129 RFRA; Worked Non Stop to oppose and Garner a Veto from Republican Governor Nathan Deal on HB 757; Advocated and celebrated Nation Wide Marriage Equality, Created LGBT, Family & Friends Support Groups, Created Columbus first LGBT Prom, worked to Have June declared Columbus Georgia LGBT Pride Month through Proclamation from Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, hosted and organized Columbus Georgia LGBT Pride Festival and Columbus Equality for All Town Hall meetings and we are only just getting started.    We marched with Dothan.  We are fighting nonstop to oppose any legislation that is created to discriminate specifically towards our tax paying, hardworking, family building LGBT Citizens as well as others.  In just one year Colgay Pride took Columbus Georgia’s HRC Equality Index Score from a 20% to a 40% score.  That’s double improvement in just one years’ time.  But we know Columbus Georgia can and will do better.  The road to TOTAL EQUALITY is long and arduous but we are pushing forward and making real change happen here in Columbus and abroad.  However, we are only as strong as the leaders we elect to serve all of Columbus. It’s time for Columbus to Overcome Adversity, Fight to end Discrimination in any form and Say in One Voice We Shall Overcome Inequality.  The only way this can be possible is if we elect leaders who show true vision and give a clear and loud message that promotes diversity and service for All.   

Colgay Pride appreciates and applauds all our candidates for their courage and perseverance to become a leader of tomorrow for Columbus Georgia.  We humbly request your media presence at this Equality for All Candidate Forum.  Each candidate for City Council, School Board, Sheriff, Judges and Clerks will be allowed to speak and answer questions.  Each Candidate who confirms will be given the questions ahead of time so they can prepare their statement to each question.  Colgay Pride is working to show our leaders will work for ALL our citizens and work in solidarity to Strengthen Diversity and Equality in Columbus. 

MEDIA WELCOME AND WE HUMBLY REQUEST INTERVIEWS BEFORE EVENT TO PROMOTE IT TO PUBLIC AND ENSURE THEIR MESSAGES ARE HEARD BY OUR CITIZENS.  Please feel free to call me 706-580-6239 for more information. 

Thank You!

Jeremy Scott Hobbs

COLGAY PRIDE Director

CONFIRMED PARTICIPANTS AS OF 04/26/2016

  • SYLVIA HUDSON – CLERK MUNICIPAL COURT
  • ANN HARDMAN & LINDA PIERCE – CLERK OF SUPERIOR COURT
  • TEDDY REESE – CITY COUNCIL AT LARGE
  • MARQUESE AVERETT – CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 4
  • WALKER GARRETT & JONATHAN DAVIS – CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 8
  • STEVEN SMITH & CYNTHIA MAISANO – JUDGE MUNICIPAL COURT
  • JOANN THOMAS BROWN – SCHOOL BOARD DISTRICT 1
  • ATHAVIA SENIOR – SCHOOL BOARD DISTRICT 3
  • NORENE MARVETS & CATHY WILLIAMS – SCHOOL BOARD DISTRICT 7
  • MARK LAJOYE, JOHN DARR & DONNA TOMPKINS – SHERIFF
  • BERNARD SPICER CANDIDATE FOR MARSHALL

Candidates Unable to Attend: Robert Wadkins Jr. School Board 5, Vivian Creighton Bishop Clerk Municipal Court, Pat Hugley-Green School Board 3, Todd Robinson & Laurie McRae School Board 5, Greg Countryman Marshall.

Colgay Pride Director Jeremy Hobbs said… 
“I personally want to thank all the candidates who have confirmed. It truly shows times are changing for our great city. In order for our city to become a true destination for ALL and be looked at as a great place to live, work, play and raise a family we need better leadership who truly serves all Columbus citizens.
I think this forum shows that the LGBT community and its allies are growing their political sophistication and abilities. The fact that these candidates chose to participate shows a great deal about the strength of our community. It shows that candidates take our community and our issues seriously. Whether they are incumbents or challengers, it is important that we come to talk and allow the GSBA and the LGBT constituents they represent to get answers to the questions that matter most in our never ending quest for True Diversity and live in a city that works nonstop to ensure Equality is for All.”
Join us April 28th (Thursday) Columbus Public Library Macon Road Auditorium from 6 pm to 8 pm

BREAKING: Gov. Deal VETOES #HB757

Nathan_Deal,_official_110th_Congress_photoGeorgia Governor Nathan Deal announced in a press conference on Monday that he will veto House Bill 757, the legislation which would provide religious exemptions to religious owners of private establishments to regulate access to their public accommodations (FULL TRANSCRIPT HERE).

Gov. Deal stated that he saw no need for this legislation, stating “I find it ironic that some in the religious community look to government to secure religious rights.” He stated that “this shows how difficult it is to legislate an issue best left to the broad protections in our Constitution,” specifically citing the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as a broad-enough protection of religious liberties in the state.

Citing the evolution of the bill prior to the anti-LGBT monstrosity it became at the hands of Sen. Greg Kirk (R-13), Gov. Deal noted:

I had no objection to the “Pastor Protection Act” that was passed by the House of Representatives. The other versions of the bill, however, contained language that could give rise to state sanctioned discrimination. I did have problems with that and made my concerns known as did many other individuals and organizations, including some within the faith based community.

Perhaps to hedge against any perception of weakness, Gov. Deal also took a swipe at both activist critics of his motives as well as members of the business community who threatened to withdraw their business from the state over the signature of the bill, stating, “I do not respond well to insults or threats.”

He ended the press conference with an exhortation to an image of the state’s character:

As I’ve said before, I do not think we have to discriminate against anyone to protect the faith-based community in Georgia of which my family and I are a part of for all of our lives. Our actions on HB 757 are not just about protecting the faith-based community or providing a business-friendly climate for job growth in Georgia. This is about the character of our State and the character of its people. Georgia is a welcoming state filled with warm, friendly and loving people. Our cities and countryside are populated with people who worship God in a myriad of ways and in very diverse settings. Our people work side-by-side without regard to the color of our skin, or the religion we adhere to. We are working to make life better for our families and our communities. That is the character of Georgia. I intend to do my part to keep it that way.

For that reason, I will veto HB 757.

After the press conference, Deal left the press conference without taking any questions from the press.

Despite Deal’s veto of the bill, as Sen. Bill Heath (R-31) has threatened, GOP members have already threatened to call a special session to override it. However, as noted by the AJC, the bill failed to reach the necessary two-thirds majority in both the Senate (by one vote) and the House (by 16 votes, 10 of which were Republican) upon final passage to guarantee an override.

Reaction to the veto is forthcoming. Expect Sen. Josh McKoon, Columbus’ staunchest defender of the bill, to react to the veto as he usually does:

 

EVENT MARCH 18: “My Fair Lady” Screening at Forgiving Heart Church

From Candy O’Hara:

12832502_10204204563073611_7575548617851091633_nEaster® is almost upon us…..so bring on the hats! “My Fair Lady”…is the last LGBT Movie Night feature for March. (However, do Forgiving Heart Church will be having a Good Friday program March 25th.) A wonderful film full of songs and emotions…and a great way to practice your elocution. THIS FRIDAY!!! PLUS…find out what’s in store for APRIL’S LGBT Movie Nights!!!

Forgiving Heart Church is located at 2946 Grant Rd, Columbus, GA 31907. Call the church at (706) 681-5246 for more information. Film starts at 6:00pm. 

Sockpuppets and Creepiness: Nathan Smith’s Facebook Antics

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Nathan Smith

 

Nathan Smith, local activist and preacher, is quite a character.

In his Facebook and offline history, Smith called for the resignation of City Manager Isaiah Hugley in 2011 by setting up a page against Hugley, raged against SD 29 candidate Brian Roslund in 2014 in support of Republican incumbent Josh McKoon (even going so far as to controversially attempt outing Roslund as gay through Facebook messaging), and combatted the (ultimately-successful) SPLOST referendum in spring 2015.

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During the height of the 2014 General Assembly election, Smith feuded with SD 29 candidate Roslund and Roslund campaign volunteer (later state witness at Roslund’s indictment) Tracy Boyd Britton. This post was timestamped Thursday October 30, 2014 at 3:15pm.
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Smith, a McKoon supporter, *really* wanted to know Roslund’s position on marriage equality.

Smith also has a history of being accused of setting up multiple sock-puppet profiles on Facebook, such as “Penny Rooker” and “Ronald Howard”, to criticize his political opponents and congratulate himself. While he has protested to the contrary, the images used by both profiles were those of existing personalities:

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“Penny Rooker”, who “worked for Jesus” and studied at Columbus State, used the picture of Rabbi Alysa Stanton-Ogulnick, the first African-American woman rabbi and the first to lead a majority-white Jewish congregation; the picture is copyrighted to her alma mater, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. (Ironic?)
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“Ronald Howard”, who “worked” at Cold Stone Creamery and “studied” at Columbus Technical College, used the mugshot of Wayne Snowden, a man arrested in Pottstown, Pennsylvania in connection with the shooting of an 8-year-old.

This year, as he combats against the upcoming #ThawTheFreeze referendum and its supporters in political office, he is being accused of similar antics with “Lisa L Stone”. Stone, perhaps, is wise to use the picture of a fictional character’s cosplayer this time around.

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Apparently, small-city politics can engulf the integrity of individuals. Numerous individuals, including one-time allies, have called him out over the years, even as local political alliances shift on an issue-by-issue basis. He has targeted many local offices, including the Mayor, City Councillors, and School Board members.

But what is Nathan Smith’s ideology or even his preferred set of techniques for political activism? Hatchet-man? Agent provocateur? Dare I say, ratfucking? Is this a hobby or a profession?

Whichever way he describes his style of confrontation, Smith has cultivated quite a list of individuals who expect this sort of behavior from him. But it is surprising that activists of whatever ideology or stance can take the local political scene so seriously that sockpuppeting is considered an acceptable activist technique.

But I can’t say that he is not passionate.

UPDATE: Other names by which Smith has created new profiles, according to local activist Tracy Boyd-Britton, publisher of Grumblebutt.com, and Debbie Eklund:

  • “Antony Zure”
  • “Mcsd Accountability” (formerly known as the aforementioned Ronald Howard)
  • “Christine Nall”
  • “Bernie G. Mason”
  • “The Spider”

Smith also runs “The Real Courier” page, likely a riff off of The Courier/Eco Latino Newspaper, a local African-American/Latino-targeted newspaper.

Boyd-Britton said: “While we are at it why don’t we name a few more troll accounts that Nathan and his cronies use: MCSD Accountability (formerly Ronald Howard, the profile pic they used was that of a child murderer), Christine Nall, Christopher Nall, Bernie G. Mason, The Spider and The Real Courier. It’s really sad when you watch Nathan use his troll accounts to tell himself how awesome he is. I guess no one else will do it.”

UPDATE II: I think I was just blocked by Smith (but I’m still friends with Mcsd Accountability) so I took a screencap of all of his posts beforehand because screencaps are forever. Also removed “Christopher Nall” because Eklund said that he’s a real person.

GALLERY: March 2016 Progressive Dinner at Caffe Amici’s

The “Progressive Dinner”, nearly two years in operation, has become a bit of an institution and forum for progressive, liberal and moderate voices in the Columbus community, attracting exiles from the Muscogee County Democratic Party Post Committee as well as a cross-section of the city’s regions and professions.

On Monday, the dinner experienced an overflow of people. Over 50 people from the Columbus community stopped by to listen to the Mayor of Columbus, Teresa Tomlinson, as well as candidates for local office such as Sylvia Hudson (running for Municipal Court Judge), Donna Tompkins (for Sheriff) and Pam Brown (for Sheriff), who was narrowly defeated by incumbent Sheriff John Darr in the 2012 election.

The mayor spoke on the upcoming tax thaw referendum, handing out materials to the audience.  In Q&A, however, most of the questions were concerned with the controversial ongoing lawsuit by Muscogee County Sheriff John Darr, who is among a party of incumbent politicians suing the city for more pay but using taxpayer money to subsidize the lawsuit.

In addition, the mayor gave particular recognition to David Smith, a Columbus High School senior and Democratic activist, for his voter registration efforts and for hosting the most recent debate between the Mayor and former State Senator Seth Harp.

Organized by liberal activist Patricia Lassiter and former MCDP chair Judy Brouillette, the Progressive Dinner happens at 6:00pm every 1st Monday at Caffe Amici on the corner of Airport Thruway and Whitesville Road. The restaurant serves authentic Italian cuisine.

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PHOTOS: February 2016 Unity Saturday Peace Walk on MLK Boulevard

The February 2016 Unity March took place at the MLK Shopping Center on MLK Boulevard.

Numerous individuals spoke at the pre-march rally at the MLK Shopping Center, including City Council candidate Marquese “Skinny” Averett, Muscogee County Sheriff candidate Robert Keith Smith, members of the NAACP Columbus Branch, and Stephen Muhammad, Leader of Muhammad Mosque #96 of the Nation of Islam, which, through their Fruit of Islam paramilitary, provided security in tandem with Columbus Police Department.

Two parents of young Black men killed under conflicting circumstances, including the mother of Marquis Brown, who died at the Outlaw Saloon in a brawl in early February, spoke at the rally as well.

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