Strike Out for AIDS 2014

By : Steve Blanchard
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The 8th Annual Strike Out for AIDS, a fundraiser for Francis House, was held Aug. 16 at Pinchasers Midtown.

Francis House provides HIV support services in a safe environment designed to encourage and empower those affected to become self-sufficient members of the community.

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Mariela Castro casts first ‘no’ vote in Cuban parliament history

By : Wire Report
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HAVANA (AP) – Yet another revolutionary tradition has been broken in Cuba: A lawmaker voted “no” in parliament.

And it wasn’t just any lawmaker.

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Smithsonian adds LGBT history to museum collection

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON — Hundreds of photographs, papers and historical objects documenting the history of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are being added to the Smithsonian Institution’s collection Tuesday, including items from the popular TV show “Will and Grace.”

Show creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick along with NBC are donating objects to the National Museum of American History. The collection includes original scripts, casting ideas, political memorabilia surrounding the show and the series finale. The network agreed to donate props, including a pill bottle and flask, a sign from “Grace Adler Interior Design” and Will Truman’s framed college diploma.

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Marriage equality would mean big bucks for Florida

By : Staff Report
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Should same sex marriage be legalized, Florida stands to gain more than $182 million over the next three years. That economic boost would mean more than $12 million in tax revenue for the state.

That’s according to a new study from The Williams Institute.

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LGBTs figure in Orange County primaries

By : Staff Report
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Orlando – At least three primary races in Orange County have an LGBT bent to them this year, with candidates either being openly gay, LGBT affirming or on the other side of the spectrum.

In the Florida District 49 race, two Republicans will face off Aug. 26 in a bid to unseat Democrat Joe Saunders, who is one of only two openly gay elected officials in Tallahassee. Saunders won his seat in the newly redrawn district two years ago. The district, which runs from Semoran Boulevard to Lake Pickett, between the Seminole County line and Colonial line, also stretches south to Curry Ford Road. Rene Plasencia, 41, and Edward Rodriguez have both touted conservative values as a reason for their campaign. Rodriguez is a police detective who wants to expand Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law to allow someone to shoot “to prevent and or terminate” commission of crimes, including shooting someone who has just committed robbery and is running away. Plasencia is high school teacher and track coach with a platform focused on education. While neither have attacked Saunders for his sexuality, Rodriguez has already aired ads attacking the first-term incumbent.

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Some Tampa Bay primaries involve LGBTs and our issues

By : Staff Report
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Aug. 26 is Primary Election day, and while there is historically low voter turnout for primaries, especially in no-presidential election years, a number of local races have an LGBT element to them.

In Hillsborough County, Democrats Mark Nash and Patricia Kemp are vying for the countywide District 7 seat. Whoever wins the primary will no-doubt face Republican Al Higginbotham. Higginbotham, who currently represents District 4, will be forced out due to term limits and is seeking a new post.

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Iowa woman calls for lift of FDA donation ban

By : Wire Report
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa mom is speaking out against the Food and Drug Administration’s ban on donations of some tissue from gay men after her son died and some of his organs were rejected.

Sheryl Moore of Pleasant Hill was told that some of her son’s tissues wouldn’t be donated because his sexual history was unclear, The Des Moines Register reported.

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Screened Out – If I Stay

By : Stephen Miller
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Cloë Grace Moretz, Jamie Blackley, Mirella Enos, Joshua Leonard, Stacey Keach

If I Stay is existential treacle aimed at 14-year-olds. In that sense, it’s a solid, average film. When compared to other films that dare to try something new, If I Stay is rudimentary and manipulative.

It’s perfectly fine to get emotionally wrapped up in such stuff, to smile at the many cute lines (mostly from Gayle Foreman’s best-selling book) and to sniffle at the melodrama. That’s the greatness of film, how it can make us feel.

However, I keep thinking that there are so many more chances this movie could’ve taken, so many exciting options left for dead.

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WNBA players are engaged, and it’s adorable

By : Wire Report
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Phoenix (AP) – Women’s basketball stars Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson are engaged.

Griner proposed to Johnson and both posted it on social media, with Griner showing a photo of her on one knee with a ring in her hand in front of Johnson on her Instagram account. Griner plays for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and Johnson for the Tulsa Shock.

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Activists hope big gay wedding bash will show money lost by marriage ban

By : Wire Report
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Charleston, S.C. (AP) – Gay rights activists hope the buzz surrounding a “Big, Gay `I Do”’ wedding celebration in Charleston will show how much money South Carolina’s businesses are losing to the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

With federal courts overturning similar bans in other states, advocates in a city that’s already one of the nation’s top wedding locales decided to throw a party to protest South Carolina’s ban. Republican Attorney General Alan Wilson and Gov. Nikki Haley, meanwhile, have pledged to keep defending that ban.

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Screened Out – Are You Here?

By : Stephen Miller
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Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Poehler, Laura Ramsey

Here’s the single, solitary amazing thing about this film, which opens Friday, Aug. 22 – the breadth of its horribleness!

Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner lined up some credible actors. The score, art direction, and cinematography try to save a bad script. In the last few moments, Are You Here? almost becomes something resembling a watchable film.

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Cleveland give a warm reception to Gay Games 2014

By : Wire Report
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Cleveland (AP) – Nick Gill says he was warned by a teammate on his indoor volleyball team about what Cleveland might be like before they left Portland, Maine, for the Gay Games this week.

“He was telling us horror stories about growing up here,” Gill said Thursday while watching the beach volleyball tournament at a lakeside park just outside downtown Cleveland, which is staging the Games with nearby Akron.

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