Florida marriage equality plaintiffs invited to White House Easter Egg Roll

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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2103-CoverFlorida marriage equality lawsuit plaintiffs – and former Watermark cover models – Melanie and Vanessa Alenier will be attending this year’s Annual White House Easter Egg Roll with their son.

The event, hosted by the First Family on April 21, has invited the couple to partake in the day’s activities, including live music, cooking stations, storytelling, sports courts and the Easter egg roll.

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Pembroke Pines moves toward domestic partner benefits

By : Staff Report
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The City of Pembroke Pines is moving toward providing domestic partner benefits to city employees.

On April 16, the City Council unanimously approved an ordinance the City Attorney draft an ordinance that would allow for the extension of employee benefits to qualifying domestic partners, the same way they’re texted to spouses of married employees.

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Anti-gay group joins fight against Lake County Schools District club policies

By : Jamie Hyman
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Mt. Dora – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is acquiring some strange bedfellows in their fight to allow a Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) at Carver Middle School.

In December 2013, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the Lake County School District on behalf of Hannah Faughnan, 12, a seventh-grader who is attempting to form a GSA at her school. The suit is fighting a policy written into the District’s club policy that forbids “non-curricular” clubs at middle schools. The District is relying on the policy to prevent Carver Middle School’s GSA from meeting.

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PFLAG, Rice, Aller named St. Pete Pride’s 2014 Grand Marshals

By : Steve Blanchard
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St. Petersburg – It was a packed house at Bert Smith Auto Group on April 17 as supporters of St. Pete Pride anxiously awaited the announcement of this year’s St. Pete Pride Grand Marshals. With more than 4,000 votes cast, the results are in.

St. Petersburg City Councilwoman Darden Rice, ASAP’s Jay Aller and PFLAG Tampa Bay will represent the state’s largest LGBT Pride celebration this year during its first-ever night parade.

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Attorney who fought for Prop 8 evolves on marriage equality

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) – The lawyer who argued before the Supreme Court in favor of upholding California’s ban on gay marriage learned while he was handling the case that one of his children is gay and now is helping her plan her wedding with another woman.

Attorney Charles Cooper says his view of same-sex marriage is evolving after having argued in court that gay unions could undermine marriages between a man and a woman.

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Watermark’s April Third Thursday social at Maitland Art Center

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Watermark readers braved the gray skies to mingle at the beautiful Maitland Art & History Center for the Third Thursday social, April 17.

The event raised $185, benefiting the venue.

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Ohio judge stays most of gay marriage ruling

By : Wire Report
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CINCINNATI (AP) – Ohio officials must immediately recognize the same-sex marriages of four couples who sued over the state’s gay marriage ban, a federal judge said April 16, while staying the broader effects of his ruling to avoid “premature celebration and confusion” in case it’s overturned on appeal.

Judge Timothy Black stayed his ruling ordering Ohio to recognize the marriages of gay couples who wed in other states pending appeal in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. The appeals process likely will take months.

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Anti-gay rally in Ethiopia is cancelled

By : Wire Report
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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) – A planned anti-gay rally that would have made Ethiopia the latest African country to demonize gays has been cancelled, officials said April 16.

In addition, plans by the legislature to add gay sex to a list of crimes not eligible for presidential pardons has been dropped, said Redwan Hussein, a government spokesman.

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North Carolina AG asks for delay in marriage equality lawsuit

By : Wire Report
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s attorney general is asking a judge to delay the most recent lawsuit over the state’s same-sex marriage ban, saying an order expected later this year in another case likely will resolve the situation.

The Charlotte Observer reported that Attorney General Roy Cooper last week asked that the courts delay a lawsuit by the ACLU and other groups. That lawsuit says three same-sex couples need a quick decision on the marriage ban because of health concerns.

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Broken Tusk to close, reopen as tea bar

By : Staff Report
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St. Petersburg – For a year-and-a-half, LGBTs, drag queens and their allies have partied, raised money and shared drinks at The Broken Tusk on 28th Street North. But come May 1, they’ll be sharing drinks of the non-alcoholic kind.

The owners announced the change on its Facebook page, saying that The Broken Tusk will sling its last alcoholic beverage on April 27 before reopening as Mad Hatters Ethnobotanical Tea Bar on May 1.

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Screened Out – The Lunchbox

By : Stephen J. Miller
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Irran Khan, Nimrat Kaur, Nawazuddin Siddiqui

So many of us pin our hopes and dreams on random acts and magical thinking. If you miss the cracks in a sidewalk, you’ll avoid breaking your mother’s back. Whistling a happy tune will allay fear. The Lunchbox is about a Mumbai woman (Kaur) who desperately clings to such mysticism, in hopes that it will save her stagnant marriage despite daily reminders to the contrary.

She tries to concoct delicious lunches for her husband, in hopes he will notice her affection. The delivery service she employs, though, accidentally gives her carefully prepared food to the wrong man – a bitter insurance adjuster (Khan from Life of Pi and Slumdog Millionaire) on the verge of retiring.

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Oklahoma marriage equality battle headed to federal court

By : Wire Report
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Lawyers for a couple challenging Oklahoma’s ban on gay marriage and the clerk who refused to grant them a license head to a federal appeals court with the rare opportunity to build on arguments the judges heard in a similar case just a week earlier.

Judges at the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver heard arguments last week about Utah’s gay-marriage ban, and on April 17 will take up the Oklahoma case with the same key issue: Did voters single out gay people for unfair treatment when they defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman?

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