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Homophobic Bigots Target Bookstore in Atlanta

By Douglas Hartley  Posted by Matthew Cardinale (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink

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This article courtesy of Atlanta Progressive News.

(APN) ATLANTA -- Anti-homosexual religious protestors have targeted Outwrite Bookstore in Midtown Atlanta on three consecutive weekends since mid-June, Atlanta Progressive News has learned.

"We've never had protestors in the 12 and a half years we've been here," Philip Rafshoon, Outwrite Bookstore Owner said in an interview. "We're very proud of that."

The protestors appeared the Saturday before Gay Pride carrying signs, video cameras, and a bullhorn, Rafshoon said. He believes their appearance was timed to Atlanta Gay Pride and the prominence of homosexual issues in the news, including the homosexual marriage ballot issue which the Georgia Supreme Court ruled to be constitutional last week.

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From statements made by the protestors, Rafshoon believes they intend to continue through the primary election cycle to the mid-term elections in November. It is possible, though, they may think their work is done, since the recent court ruling has occurred.

"Our customers are very supportive, but very upset the protestors are allowed to be here," he said.

"Atlanta Police Department officials have told Rafshoon the protesters have a right to free speech," Dyana Bagby, News Editor of Southern Voice Magazine, an Atlanta glbt publication, wrote on her blog. "Rafshoon said he is also seeking the help of the Atlanta City Council for some kind of recourse," Bagby said.

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When the protestors first appeared, Outwrite customers and community members immediately mounted an anti-protest campaign by standing among the anti-homosexual protestors with signs including "Jesus loves all" and "Honk if you are gay and proud," according to an email obtained by Atlanta Progressive News.

One photo which appeared in Southern Voice after Pride Weekend, showed a bigoted protester with a sign that read, "Homo Sex is... (presumably: evil)," but a glbt supporter held a sign over the last word which said, "Great!"

"Our customers will take the lead," Rafshoon said, when asked how the store will respond to the protests. "The best and most effective way to deal with the protestors is to tell them to get out of our community."

Rafshoon believes the protestors are from a church in north Georgia.

One Outwrite employee told Atlanta Progressive News he wanted to give the protesters a hug. Other employees confided they think the protesters seemed probably homosexual themselves and are projecting their self-hatred on to others.

Atlanta Progressive News has fact-checked some of the Biblical passages cited by the protestors.

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One protester's sign read: "Men with men, and women with women; it is an abomination," citing Leviticus 18:22 and Romans 1:18-32.

There is NO such quote appearing in either of those texts, and so, the protestor's sign, is, at best, misleading. But is it an accurate paraphrasing?

"The first part of this verse [Leviticus 18:22] is literally translated as "And with a male you shall not lay lyings of a woman"," according to religioustolerance.org.

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Matthew Cardinale is Editor of Atlanta Progressive News. He has written previously for the Sun-Sentinel Newspaper, Shelterforce Magazine, The Advocate Magazine, The San Francisco Bay View, and the Berkeley Daily Planet Newspaper. He has also (more...)

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