Vote! Choose the winners of the 2015 WAVE Awards

By : Jamie Hyman
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This is it gang – the finalist round for Watermark’s 2015 WAVE Awards. The most votes from this round will be the winners of the 2015 WAVES.

As always, one ballot per reader and you must vote in a minimum of 15 categories for your ballot to count. Find ballots for Orlando and Tampa Bay WAVE Awards after the jump:

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Orlando: 2015 WAVES Finalist Round

By : Watermark Staff
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Tampa Bay: 2015 WAVES Finalist Round

By : Watermark Staff
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Screened Out – Wild

By : Stephen Miller
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Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Thomas Sadoski

In the first scene of Wild – halfway through her 1100-mile hike – Cheryl Strayed pauses to peel off her hiking boots and pull her detached toenail from her big purple toe. Then, one of her boots slides down a cliff. In frustration, she throws the other shoe after it while releasing a primal scream.

Don’t let that make you think everything is hopeless. Strayed is portrayed by Reese Witherspoon, the plucky heroine of Election, the Legally Blonde films, and Walk the Line. So, we already know with rock-solid certainty that she will be fine.

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Victory in Virginia lesbian couple birth certificate case

By : Wire Report
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Richmond, Va. (AP) – A Virginia lesbian couple has won a legal fight to have both of their names listed on their twins’ birth certificates.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that a Richmond judge recently ordered the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Vital Records to amend the birth certificates to show that Maria Hayman and her wife, Joanie Hayman, are the children’s parents.

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Push for gay protections in Idaho stirs emotional debate

By : Wire Report
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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Bishop Brian Thom stood quietly in front of Idaho lawmakers, hastily collecting his thoughts before responding to a question in a room packed with supporters of religious freedom and hundreds of gay rights advocates.

“Can you tell me where gay people come from?” asked Democratic Rep. John McCrostie of Boise — Idaho’s only openly gay state lawmaker — as the crowded room let out a small laugh.

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Randy Ross arrested for insurance fraud

By : Jamie Hyman
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[UPDATE: Previously, the last line of this story stated that Ross “was tapped” to host a political talk show. The wording has been adjusted for accuracy. -Editor]

Orlando – Community activist Randy Ross was arrested and put in jail Jan. 23 on insurance fraud charges, according to the Orange County Jail website.

Ross, 49, made bail the same night he was booked. The specifics of his charges are unclear, but according to court documents, Ross is accused of four felonies and a misdemeanor.

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Two weddings will benefit Sarasota Film Festival

By : Krista DiTucci
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Sarasota – Just in time for Valentine’s Day, locals can show support for both independent film and recent marriage equality wins by attending “The Perfect Wedding.”

The themed fundraiser is a partnership between The Sarasota Film Festival and Equality Florida and features two weddings—one on screen and one in person.

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Send someone you love a FREE Valentine in Watermark!

By : Watermark Staff
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Couple behind Ala. same-sex marriage case grateful for ruling

By : Wire Report
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – The couple whose lawsuit toppled Alabama’s gay marriage ban said they are grateful, overjoyed and still a little a bit in disbelief.

“We are still trying to take it all in. It’s overwhelming. We’re very grateful. Wow. It happened,” Kim McKeand said.

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Same-sex marriage case may affect discrimination, religion bills

By : Wire Report
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Gov. Rick Snyder hopes to resuscitate legislation that would protect gay and transgender residents from discrimination, while LGBT advocates explore asking voters to pass the bill since it’s unlikely to clear the GOP-led Legislature.

In his State of the State speech, the Republican governor called for continued discussion over amending Michigan’s civil rights law to prohibit discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents in employment, housing and places open to the public.

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GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

By : Wire Report
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ATLANTA (AP) – A Texas lawmaker would strip the salaries from government officials who honor same-sex marriage licenses.

Other states would protect government officials who opt out of performing gay nuptials.

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