Supreme Court won’t stop gay marriages in Florida

By : Patrick O'Connor
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MIAMI (AP) – Same-sex weddings may soon begin in Florida after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block them.

The court said Friday it wouldn’t block the marriages. A federal judge previously declared Florida’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional and said same-sex marriage licenses could start being issued in the state after Jan. 5 unless the Supreme Court intervened.

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A new setback in efforts to cure AIDS

By : Wire Report
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Researchers are reporting another disappointment for efforts to cure infection with the AIDS virus. Six patients given blood-cell transplants similar to one that cured a man known as “the Berlin patient” have failed, and all six patients died.

So far, Timothy Ray Brown, a U.S. man treated in Germany, remains the only person thought to have been cured of infection with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

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Hawaii’s Supreme Court taking on marriage equality

By : Wire Report
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Honolulu (AP) – Hawaii’s Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments in a state Republican representative’s lawsuit challenging the gay marriage law.

While the Legislature was considering the bill last year, Rep. Bob McDermott tried to stop the state from issuing any marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The circuit court denied his motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. McDermott appealed.

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Screened Out – Into the Woods

By : Stephen Miller
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Meryl Streep, James Cordon, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Johnny Depp, Lilla Crawford, Daniel Huttlestone, Christine Baranski, Tracy Ulman, Lucy Punch, Tammy Blanchard, Mackenzie Mauzy, Billy Magnussen

If Stephen Sondheim’s famous, complex musical teaches anything, it’s to be careful what you wish for.

Sondheim fans have wanted a movie version of this show for a long time. Into the Woods gets the Disney treatment, with Chicago director Rob Marshall at the helm. It sounds like it could either be a fairy tale or a nightmare. It’s mostly successful – a charmer, with amazing performances, a lush score, rich lyrics, and a fantastical world. The actors seem to be having a blast, and many audiences will, too.

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ACLU fights to lift hold on marriage

By : Staff Report
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The American Civil Liberties Union is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a request by the state to keep same-sex marriage in Florida on hold.

On Dec. 16, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas requested that the plaintiffs respond to Florida attorney general Pam Bondi’s attempt to extend the stay on same-sex marriages that would otherwise expire end of day Jan. 5, 2015. Thomas set a deadline of 5 p.m. Dec. 18 for that response.

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Man sentenced to 30 years for killing local transgender woman

By : Staff Report
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Orlando – The man who murdered an Orlando transgender woman will spend 30 years in prison.

Kent Louis, the man responsible for the murder of Ashley Sinclair, was sentenced Dec. 18 to 30 years without parole. A jury found Louis guilty of manslaughter Dec. 12.

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ACLU files response in court case arguing Florida’s marriage ban

By : Staff Report
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The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a response to the state’s appeal of a federal court ruling that strikes down Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage.

To be clear – this is a separate filing than the legal wrangling over whether a stay on marriage will be extended or expires Jan. 5. The ACLU’s Dec. 17 brief is part of the core court cases that triggered the stay, at the 11th Circuit Court.

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Man found guilty of manslaughter of local transgender woman

By : Staff Report
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Orlando – The man responsible for the murder of Ashley Sinclair, a popular local performer, has been found guilty of manslaughter. A jury delivered Kent Louis’ verdict Dec. 12.

Sinclair,who was also known as Mohagany Shylanda Singleton, was shot and killed in April 2013.The 30-year-old transgender woman’s body was found in a wooded area off of Nimrod Lane early in the morningon April 4, 2013.

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Georgie’s Alibi on the market for $595,000

By : Aaron Alper
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St. Petersburg – If you are part of the LGBT community in St. Petersburg, you know Georgie’s Alibi and its history. The long island iced teas. The pride parties. The drag shows. Georgie’s is, without a doubt, a staple of the gay community.

It is also for sale.

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2014 Roundup of Top 5 Stories from Watermark

By : Staff Report
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What a year!

With marriage equality sweeping across the nation in various states, Watermark was hard at work keeping you up to date with the latest national, state and local LGBT news.

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Top 5 Nation & World Stories of 2014

By : Staff Report
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Marriage equality swells to 35 states
2014 was a banner year for marriage equality. At this writing, 35 states have full marriage rights for same-sex couples. In an additional 10 states, judges have issued rulings in favor of the freedom to marry. Those states on the pending list include Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, Michigan, Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, Ohio and Tennessee.

NYC Mayor sits out St. Patrick’s Day Parade
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasiobecame the first mayor in decades to sit out the nation’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parade, deciding to skip one of his city’s signature celebrations because the event organizers refuse to let participants carry pro-gay signs. “I will be participating in a number of other events to honor the Irish heritage of this city,” said de Blasio. “But I simply disagree with the organizers of that parade.”

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Top 5 Orlando Stories in 2014

By : Staff Report
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Changes at The Center
What didn’t change at The GLBT Center of Central Florida in 2014? In January, it shed the property next door that housed a Chinese restaurant and used the money to help pay debts. Over the summer, The Center saw some personnel changes, with the resignation of five-year executive director Randy Stephens. In September, new ED Terry DeCarlo started and then at a gala event in October, it was announced that a $200,000 renovation will update every portion of The Center’s headquarters, scheduled to be complete by the spring.

Still no GSA at CMS
The fight for a Gay Straight Alliance at Carver Middle School in Lee County kicked off way back in January of 2013, when a bisexual 8th grader fought for her right to a GSA. That student has moved onto high school, but other CMS students picked up the battle and the ACLU continued to push for their right to meet. A lawsuit moved forward in March and in August, attorneys asked for a judgment but as of press time, still no joy for CMS’ LGBT students and allies.

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