Michigan man in 1995 (Jenny Jones) murder case to be released from prison

By : Wire Report
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DETROIT (AP) – A Michigan man convicted in the 1995 murder of another man who expressed romantic interest in him on national television is expected to be released from prison.

Jonathan Schmitz was 24 years old when his acquaintance, 32-year-old Scott Amedure, revealed he was romantically interested in him during a taping of the Jenny Jones Show. Schmitz, who said he wasn’t gay, fatally shot Amedure in Lake Orion days after the taping.

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Watermark Third Thursday

By : Jake Stevens
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Watermark’s Third Thursday at Fairvilla. Funds go to Pug Rescue. Ad Pop award presented to Parliament House, received by Darcel Stevens. Performances by Phantasmagoria

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Defense team for Pulse shooter’s widow receives warning

By : Wire Report
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A federal judge has warned the legal team defending the widow of the Pulse nightclub shooter not to miss any more court deadlines.

U.S. District Court Judge Paul G. Byron decided Thursday not to sanction lawyers defending Noor Salman after they explained why they missed an Aug. 1 deadline to present expert witnesses.

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Transgender New Yorkers Have New Health Insurance Protection

By : Wire Report
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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Transgender individuals in New York state have new protections when it comes to health insurance coverage.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo says health insurers can’t deny coverage based on gender identity. A state Department of Financial Services letter Wednesday tells health insurers to take reasonable steps to determine if the insured is eligible for services before denying a claim.

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St. Pete Pride Executive Director Resigns

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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St. Pete Pride announced this week that the organization’s Executive Director, Eric Skains, has resigned to “pursue new opportunities.”

In a press release, Skains said that his five years with the organization“have been extremely fulfilling and always challenging,” noting that “retooling and strengthening [the] organization tested [him] in ways [he] never expected.”

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Orlando Youth Alliance gives $14,000 in scholarships

By : Anna M. Johnson
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The Audubon Park Exchange community room, hidden above East End Market, buzzed with conversations ranging from the political climate of Central Florida to the effectiveness of the lighting in a production of Les Miserables. The students leading those talks wouldn’t be able to study politics or theatre without the help of local LGBT group Orlando Youth Alliance.

OYA serves LGBTQ children and adults between the ages of 13 and 24 in their three Central Florida locations. OYA specifically focuses on offering a community with safe spaces for self-expression. They hosted their reception for their six scholarship winners on Wednesday night.

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Prison doctor sues state alleging LGBTQ discrimination

By : Wire Report
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SACRAMENTO, CALIF. (AP) – A psychologist at a California prison facility has alleged she was twice locked in a room with a dangerous inmate in retaliation for reporting mistreatment of LGBTQ inmates.

Lori Jespersen sued the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on Monday for violations of civil rights and whistleblower protection laws, as well as the Prison Rape Elimination Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPAA. Jespersen is an employee of the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, which provides health care for incarcerated men. Her lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court’s Eastern Division of California, also names several corrections employees as defendants.

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Trans of Thought: Transphobia

By : Melody Maia Monet
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Hello, I’m a transgender woman and I am mentally unstable. My well being is propped up on a razor’s edge by hormones, complicated and expensive medical procedures, as well as therapy.

I am a ticking time bomb and cannot be trusted around your children, women in the ladies’ room, or to do my job in combat situations. I suffer from a mental illness that deludes me into thinking I am a woman, but in actuality I am the sick byproduct of a patriarchy compelled to undermine female power and invade their spaces. I entrap straight men into committing unwitting homosexual acts and trick lesbians into sex with men. I am a deceiver and counterfeit with the intent of forcing the world to reject common sense views on gender and sexual identity. The only positive aspect of my existence is that I am part of a group so small that my rights as a human being can be conveniently disregarded by society based on the slimmest of suspicions, but without any basis in proven fact.

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Savoy Orlando’s Starlite Room gets into the theater game

By : Jeremy Williams
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Savoy has been the LGBTQ bar with a small town feel for more than a decade. In fact, it celebrates 13 years as Orlando’s small town gay bar this month.

In the last few years Savoy has undergone renovations and upgrades to its interior, and while the main bar has maintained its success with cool drinks and hot dancers, the other half has struggled to find its identity. Enter Orlando’s theater god Michael Wanzie.

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The Other Side of Life: All That Freedom, And a Bag of Chips (eh?)

By : Jason Leclerc
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“We don’t need two bags of chips,” I scowled, “but, I reckon they’ll keep.” Who was I to turn down a Publix BOGO sack of Ruffles. I expected full well that they’d be devoured in time for the next week’s grocery trip; all we had to do was pay full price for the first bag.

We started with the All-American Classics then scoured the shelf for the gimmicky “get-one.” Four curious eyes zeroed in on the maple leaf-decorated ‘All-Dressed’ flavor. Since our autumn visit to Toronto, we were open to things that our northern-nation neighbors had to offer. We joked, right there in the snack aisle, about poutines-as-fake-nachos. We laughed about how a kilometer was only two-thirds of a mile and how a loonie was only three-fourths of a dollar. Even their easy-on-the-eyes leader is a scaled-down version of our own odd, party-sized POTUS.

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Tampa Bay’s soulful singer Jennifer Real is ready to go global

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Watch out, J.Lo: Tampa Bay has a Jennifer of its own, and she knows a thing or two about being “Real.”

Jennifer Real’s commitment to her craft has ensured that her career has flourished in the St. Petersburg community. The sultry singer won last year’s “Favorite Local Performer – Musician” WAVE Award and performs regularly throughout Tampa Bay, including last year’s WAVE Award celebration and (you may have heard of it), St. Pete Pride.

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Central Florida and Tampa Bay softball leagues celebrate milestone anniversaries this season

By : Steve Blanchard
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For more than two decades, LGBTQs in Central Florida have enjoyed friendship and sportsmanship on the softball field. The area’s two largest leagues are celebrating milestones this fall season.

The Suncoast Softball League in Tampa celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and the Central Florida Softball League will mark its 20th year when the first pitches are thrown out this fall. Besides their incredible growth over the years, both leagues have plenty of reasons to celebrate their respective milestone anniversaries in 2017.

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