Florida’s Congressional Delegation sends powerful note to Gov. Rick Scott about doctoring HIV stats

By : Billy Manes
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UpRising_RickScottWell, it may be the end of work for the week, but at least the Democrats in Florida (or Congress) are still ready to raise a stink. You might recall that Gov. Rick Scott tried to redo the math on the state’s phenomenal increase in HIV/AIDS cases recently. Yesterday, a group of congressional folks called foul on the governor’s window display, saying, effectively, that doctoring the numbers hurts the cause. You can read the letter below, as provided by Democrat Kathy Castor’s office.

Stay safe.

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Have a Great Gay Weekend: April 29, 2016

By : Jamie Hyman & Jeremy Williams
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Whether bowling’s your game, you want to hear teen writers explore questions of gender or you really, really just can’t wait for Halloween, Watermark’s Have a Great Gay Weekend events round-up has you covered.

Hell, one of our weekend events doesn’t even happen till Monday. What can we say? We’re thorough. 

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Win tickets to RuPaul’s Drag Race: Battle of the Seasons!

By : Jamie Hyman
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Watermark is giving away TWO pairs of tickets to see RuPaul’s Drag Race: Battle of the Seasons 2016 Extravaganza Tour!

There will be one winner in for the Tampa show and one winner for the Orlando show. Find out how to enter after the jump:

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Transgender student solves bathroom access complaint in what ACLU calls “a model for other districts”

By : Wire Report
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Williamsville, Ill. (AP) – A transgender student at Williamsville High School in central Illinois who was born female but identifies as male will be able to use the men’s bathroom.

With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois and its lawyers from Chicago, Alex McCray, 18, recently resolved a complaint that he filed in October with the Illinois Department of Human Rights.

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Missouri religious objection bill fails in House legislative committee

By : Wire Report
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Jefferson City, Mo. (AP) – A Missouri religious objections proposal fails to get the approval of a key legislative committee in a setback for conservatives who hoped to add protections for those who cite their faith in denying services such as flowers or cakes for same-sex weddings.

Members of a House committee voted 6-6, with a tie vote not enough to advance the measure.

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Nebraska man faces two years in prison for burning rainbow flag

By : Wire Report
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identity-flagOmaha, Neb. (AP) – An Omaha man accused of stealing a gay pride rainbow flag and burning it has been found guilty.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that 24-year-old Cameron Mayfield was found guilty of arson. Prosecutors said that the charge was prosecuted as a felony, not a misdemeanor, because the incident was investigated as a hate crime.

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Bangladeshi LGBT community lives in fear after killings

By : Wire Report
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New Delhi (AP) – The killing of two gay rights activists in the Bangladeshi capital has driven the country’s already secretive and small gay community underground, wondering if they can trust a government that considers their status to be criminal, rights groups said.

Police detectives say they are working with evidence including a mobile phone, documents and witness testimony to solve the case, in which a gang of young men fatally stabbed a theater actor and the editor of Bangladesh’s only LGBT rights magazine, who also worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

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Caitlyn Jenner takes Donald Trump’s offer to use whichever restroom she wants

By : Wire Report
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New York (AP) – Caitlyn Jenner has taken up Donald Trump’s offer and used the women’s restroom at one of his luxury buildings.

The Republican presidential candidate said last week that he believes transgender people should be able to use whichever bathroom they choose. Trump said North Carolina’s so-called “bathroom law,” which directs transgender people to use the bathroom that matches the gender on their birth certificates, has caused unnecessary strife.

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Gay rights group sues Justice Department for access to Eisenhower’s discriminatory executive order

By : Intern
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Washington (AP) – A gay rights group is suing the Justice Department for failing to produce hundreds of pages of documents related to a 1953 order signed by President Dwight Eisenhower that empowered federal agencies to investigate and fire employees thought to be gay.

The suit in U.S. District Court accuses the government of conducting an inadequate search for the material and of groundlessly withholding some records on the basis of national security.

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Alabama chief justice fires back at those seeking his removal for blocking LGBT marriage

By : Wire Report
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Montgomery, Ala. (AP) – Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is lashing out at organizations seeking his removal from office and defending his actions seemingly aimed at blocking gays and lesbians from marrying in the state.

Moore, in an April 27 news conference at the state judicial building, defended his actions. Those include a January administrative order telling probate judges that a state court order to refuse same-sex marriage licenses remained “in full force and effect” despite last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision effectively legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.

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Marion County school board votes anti-transgender rules

By : Jamie Hyman
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In a 4-1 vote, the Marion County School Board approved a resolution that requires students and staff to use the restroom that matches their biological sex, regardless of gender identity.

The April 26 meeting was held before a packed room, with overflow attendees watching via a television screen outside. According to Gina Duncan, Equality Florida’s Transgender Inclusion Director, 47 people spoke on the proposal, and most were against it.

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Equality Florida takes a turn on the catwalk with the 2016 Greater St. Petersburg Gala

By : Jeremy Williams
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Equality Florida looks to go full fashionista as it returns to the Mahaffey Theater for the 2016 Greater St. Petersburg Gala May 7.

Famed designer Michael Vollbracht will be onboard crafting fashion and floral elements for the gala to bring the evening’s theme “Magic, Fantasy and Dreams” to life.

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