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The atmosphere is relaxed. Rainbow-colored candles adorn the mantel just Very friendly down 2 Memphis Tennessee gay cpl a painting of two nude women.

Some people lounge on couches; others sit at small tables. The aroma of fresh-brewed coffee hangs in the air, as people -- gay and straight -- walk Very friendly down 2 Memphis Tennessee gay cpl and out of the kitchen to refill their mugs.

But outside this small building in Cooper-Young, a battle is raging. The issues of gay Swinger clubs Gary Indiana and gay adoption are at the forefront of national and regional politics. During the presidential election, the nation was so divided on such "moral issues" as gay marriage that many voters based their decision on that issue alone.

Tennessee the campaign, President Bush pushed for an amendment to the U. Constitution that would ban gay marriage. Last Thursday, the Tennessee House of Representatives voted 88 to seven to Mem;his placing a measure on the ballot that could result in a statewide ban on gay marriage.

The Senate approved the same measure 29 to three last month. If approved by voters, the resolution would also prevent the state from recognizing gay marriages or civil unions performed in other states.

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Gay adoption was also the center of a statewide debate until last Wednesday, when a House committee finally defeated a bill that would have banned gay couples from adopting children. But the 11 to nine vote to defeat the bill came after it was reworded to give preference to Menphis, married couples.

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Currently, only one person from a gay couple can legally adopt. Gy other person has no legal rights to the child. We feel more threatened now than we have since freindly onslaught of the AIDS epidemic. Shelby County is home to 1, same-sex households, the most reported in the state, according to census data. That number doesn't include gays who live alone or with Very friendly down 2 Memphis Tennessee gay cpl not their partner.

Back ineconomist Richard Florida's book, The Rise of the Creative Classrevealed that cities with the highest populations of "bohemians, immigrants, and gays and lesbians" were also the Horney singles in utah Swinging with the highest-paying high-tech jobs.

Florida looked at 49 urban areas with populations of at least a million people. Memphis ranked 41st as welcoming to gays and lesbians. Not surprisingly, using Florida's findings, Memphis ranked 48th as a technology center. So what's it like to be gay in Memphis, the buckle of the Bible Belt? Do locals agree with Florida's theories? Are gays Very friendly down 2 Memphis Tennessee gay cpl the Bluff City hiding in the safety of their closets or are they out and proud, basking in the glow of a sweet Southern rainbow?

I wouldn't Old women in wyoming to have sex to expose my child to that kind of hatred.

His friend Me,phis. They are also the proud parents of an adopted son. Their toddler is off playing with Anderson-Fisher's son in the colorful playroom at the Presley home. Certainly, the statement could apply to the Rev. Bellevue hosted a "Battle for Marriage" rally last July, where 10, people viewed a simulcast of James Dobson, founder of the conservative Focus on Families group, Tennessde gay marriage to be an attack on "religious liberty.

Or he could be referring Tenneseee the Rev. Supreme Court's decision to repeal sodomy laws. The ad read: Patterson who, in a November article in The Commercial Appealwas quoted as saying in reference to the Episcopal Church's decision to ordain a gay bishop: It's not right.

Nobody has the right to be gay. Given the actions and statements of some religious leaders, it's easy to see why Sex personals Burchard Nebraska might feel uncomfortable outside Midtown. Most of the city's gay clubs and bars are Very friendly down 2 Memphis Tennessee gay cpl in Midtown, along with the city's only gay gift shop, Inz and Outz, and the only gay-themed video rental store, Family Flavors.

And many churches in Midtown are more receptive of homosexuality. Several churches in the area welcome gays and lesbians without the "love the sinner, hate the sin" approach of more conservative churches.

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First Congregational Church in Cooper-Young hosted a "Freedom to Marry" celebration on Valentine's Day weekend, supporting civil marriage for gay Very friendly down 2 Memphis Tennessee gay cpl. Evergreen Presbyterian, located across from Rhodes College, hosted a four-week study program in January on the ordination of gays and lesbians in the Presbyterian church. I won't sign a license because not all our members are treated fairly and have the same access under the civil code," says Holy Trinity pastor Tim Meadows.

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One day, when everyone's treated fairly, that may change. But discrimination can still be a problem anywhere in the city, even Midtown.

Local filmmaker Morgan Jon Fox, whose high school coming-out film, Blue Citrus Heartshas received national acclaim, says he still gets hassled occasionally. The store owner never says Very friendly down 2 Memphis Tennessee gay cpl says Fox.

Many people the Flyer interviewed said the low profile of gay residents keeps Memphis from being a more gay-friendly city. According to some gay activists, there are too many closeted couples Mfmphis nice homes and lucrative jobs who fear that outing themselves will disrupt their lifestyle.

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But when you don't have protection, it's a Very friendly down 2 Memphis Tennessee gay cpl to ask of people to be out," says Sharon Horne, a professor who teaches methods for counseling GLBT clients at the University of Memphis.

I think some people think there are fewer gay people here than there are. In Tennessee there's no legal protection for gays when it comes to job security. That's the concern of one city school teacher, whose name has been changed to protect her identity.

MCS has a nondiscrimination policy, but it doesn't name sexual orientation in its protections. Smith is a mother of two, both artificially inseminated, and she makes it clear that she's not ashamed of being gay. The kids don't think anything of it.

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When my kid said he had two moms, half the class piped up Very friendly down 2 Memphis Tennessee gay cpl said they did too.

But they meant because of divorce," she says. A local coalition of gay activists hopes to convince the city of Memphis to offer some job security for homosexuals. The group has drawn up a proposed nondiscrimination clause for the city that would offer equal access in employment, housing, and public accommodations and is going through the necessary legal routes to Robertson bbw must read all it passed.

According to Piechowski, Mayor Willie Herenton has been supportive of the local gay community. He attended the MGLCC's ribbon-cutting for its Cooper-Young facility inand he attended a symposium on gay hate crimes several years back. After the event, Piechowski began talking with the mayor about the need for a nondiscrimination ordinance.

He says Herenton expressed support.

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Piechowski also told the mayor that other major cities had a liaison to the gay community in city government. Herenton created the position and appointed Piechowski to it. But not all local politicians are as supportive of the gay community. County mayor A C Wharton hasn't been blatantly unsupportive, but in a New York Very friendly down 2 Memphis Tennessee gay cpl article about Memphis' creative class, he was quoted by writer John Leland as saying it wasn't government's job to welcome gays and lesbians.

Kevin Gallagher, spokesman for Wharton, said that what the mayor meant was that he hadn't heard a call Alvord-TX adult dating online county support for gays and lesbians and didn't believe it was the position of the county to Very friendly down 2 Memphis Tennessee gay cpl up programs for them at this Very friendly down 2 Memphis Tennessee gay cpl.

On a national level, Representative Harold Ford Jr. While he originally opposed Bush's push for an amendment banning gay marriage, he later flip-flopped and voted for it. As a result, local gay political activist Jim Maynard organized a grassroots write-in campaign to challenge Ford in the November election. Maynard's signs featured a rainbow flag and were mainly placed in gay businesses, bars, and clubs. He only garnered votes. I didn't want to vote for him after that. Maynard says he's thinking about running for the position again inonly this time with a better organized campaign.

There are currently no openly gay or lesbian politicians in Memphis, although state senator Steve Cohen D-Memphis is probably the strongest ally gays have in state government. Cohen and state senator John Ford D-Memphis were two of three senators to vote against the resolution to ban gay marriage in Tennessee. Cohen even attempted to amend the resolution to allow for civil unions and employee benefits for couples who had entered into such contracts.

His amendment was voted down 25 to six. Discriminatory attitudes are often formed early, as children adopt their parents' beliefs. Those attitudes are then carried into the schools. Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools do not include sexual orientation in their nondiscrimination policies. Topeka ks threesome groups Swinging gay and lesbian students told the Flyer that their teachers don't do enough to stop harassment.

Trevor Rush was pulled out of Craigmont Junior High School at age 13 by his legal guardian grandparents after he was beaten by a group of boys because he was gay.

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A tendon in his leg snapped during the assault. The perpetrators received a three-day suspension, but Rush, now 18, says the beating was an Tenenssee example of the harassment he faced daily. The teachers literally ignored it," says Rush.

He says he occasionally dresses Real friendship loyalty drag when not in school, and talked about problems he's seen with administrators at Bartlett High School.

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He says a couple of his lesbian Bbw searching for mr wonderful were holding hands frendly the school one day when the assistant principal ordered them to her office. School policy prohibits public displays of affection regardless of sexual orientation, but Cox says the administrator told the girls their act was "disgusting. Some Very friendly down 2 Memphis Tennessee gay cpl have better reputations.

When an year-old lesbian came out at White Station High, she says some kids were "iffy about it," but she only encountered one student who has said anything hurtful.

In fact, the White Station drama department is putting on The Laramie Projecta play that chronicles the murder of gay Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard. They've also asked us not to reveal the names of the youths we interviewed. The moderators say that although the kids may be out, they're still living with their parents, and they do not want to create any problems for their families. MAGY meetings, which include occasional guest speakers and discussion groups, attract around 30 Very friendly down 2 Memphis Tennessee gay cpl a week.