Two more Florida counties sign on in support of marriage equality

By : Staff Report
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Two more Florida county commissions have voted to file an amicus brief in support of marriage equality in a Florida court case fighting for same-sex marriage.

On Nov. 17, the Alachua County Commissioners voted to sign onto the brief, making them the first North Florida county to do so.

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2nd annual Turnabout at Quench Lounge

By : Steve Blanchard
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Members of Quench Lounge’s bar staff and a few friends from the community switched gender roles for the night to raise money for Metro Wellness and Community Centers Nov. 20.

The 2nd Annual Turnabout was high-energy and packed the popular bar. The evening was hosted by Jaeda Fuentes and entertainers donated their tips to Metro. Raffle prizes were also donated by area businesses and helped raise additional money for charity.

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Transgender Day of Remembrance 2014 in St. Petersburg

By : Steve Blanchard
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Approximately 70 people turned out for the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance service held in downtown St. Petersburg Nov. 20.

The annual event memorializes transgender individuals who were killed by acts of transphobia in the United States and around the world.

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US Supreme Court refuses to block SC same-sex marriages

By : Wire Report
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 20 refused to block gay marriages in South Carolina but Attorney General Alan Wilson said the issue is still not settled.

The court denied Wilson’s request to prevent the marriages while he appeals last week’s decision by a federal judge tossing out the state constitutional ban on gay marriage.

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Montana same-sex couples exchange vows after ban tossed

By : Wire Report
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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – Gay couples have begun exchanging vows at county courthouses in Montana a day after a federal judge threw out the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Among the first were Randi Paul and Jill Houk of Billings. They wed Nov. 20 in a hallway at the Yellowstone County Courthouse just minutes after paying $53 for a marriage license.

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Arkansas Supreme Court takes up same-sex marriage case

By : Wire Report
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Lawyers for same-sex couples have asked the Arkansas Supreme Court to reject a ban on gay marriage.

During a 50-minute hearing before the court on Nov. 20, the lawyers said that while Arkansas can impose “reasonable regulations” on who can marry, it also must honor “fundamental rights” promised by the state constitution.

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Screened Out – The Theory of Everything

By : Stephen Miller
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Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox, Emily Watson

What an odd choice! Stephen Hawking is one of the great scientific thinkers of our time – a brilliant mind struck by Lou Gehrig’s disease, bound to a wheelchair, and speaking through a computer. He penned the truly world-changing book A Brief History of Time. Those of us who know more of his biography may marvel at his having three kids and a twenty-year marriage. This exceedingly romantic flick delves into his relationship with his wife, Jane Wilde.

This biopic’s concentration on love certainly humanizes Hawking. Unfortunately, Everything is also short on Hawking’s scientific ponderings, filled with schmaltzy moments, and oftentimes burdened with protracted scenes. What makes it a worthy film are small artistic touches by director James Marsh (Man on a Wire) and the extraordinarily strong performances by its leads, Jones (Spiderman 2) and especially Redmayne (Les Miserables, My Week with Marilyn).

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Artegon Marketplace grand opening

By : Danny Garcia
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Watermark strolled through the Artegon Marketplace – formerly Festival Village – for their grand opening Nov. 20.

In addition to larger stores, restaurants and entertainment, the Marketplace contains The Village at Artegon, a community of 165 artisanal shops and stores. Among those shops is Geesh, owned by well-known drag performer Sassy Devine.

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Screened Out – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

By : Stephen Miller
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Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Sam Claflin, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, Jeffrey Wright, Lily Rabe

After a couple successful films, The Hunger Games takes the Harry Potter/Twilight approach and stretches out their finale into two parts. Bad choice. Unfortunately, only about 45 minutes of this murky, listless 2-hour flick advances the plot. This feels more like a cash grab.

So far, The Hunger Games has succeeded as a tweener Brave New World. It’s buoyed a beloved book series with smart adaptation and Lawrence’s strong performance. This installment still explores dystopian themes by combining reality show tactics with classical themes of good versus evil. (Think Gladiator meets 1984.) We’re all ready for war. Instead, Part 1 is a slow, halting stumble . Most of this movie is stuck underground, in dark, dusty tunnels. Audiences have a long wait for the next flick – November 2015 – to see if they finally deliver some epic battles.

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LGBT-themed holiday shows are all over the state in December

By : Staff Report
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The holidays are square upon us, which means it’s time to get in the mood through theatrical performances put on by our fellow LGBTs. Here is a quick roundup of other holiday-themed shows you won’t want to miss this season. Of course, times are subject to change without notice, so check websites or call ahead beforehand.

See the full list after the jump: 

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A weekend of events put the focus on HIV/AIDS

By : Staff Report
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World AIDS Day falls on a Monday this year, meaning some events will happen the previous weekend. We’ve looked at local events and offer this roundup to help commemorate the annual day of remembrance, which is actually Dec. 1. The 2014 theme for World AIDS Day is “Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-free Generation.”

ORLANDO
World AIDS Day Orlando 2014
Sunday, Nov. 30
Walk departs from The Center at 6:30 p.m.
A candlelight walk and rally to remember those we have lost to HIV/AIDS, and to look towards the future for hope. WFTV Channel 9 anchor Jorge Estevez will be the grand marshal for the event.

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An Undetectable HIV status is good news, but still a step away from ‘cured’

By : Steve Blanchard
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“Undetectable” is appearing more often when a person describes his or her HIV status. Whether it’s in medical labs, in person or on social apps, “positive” and “negative” are no longer the only options when it comes to disclosing one’s HIV status.

According to the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), two recent, international studies spanning two years found that none of the positive participants with undetectable viral loads passed along the virus to their partners. The studies included both opposite-gender and gay male couples.

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