Wife of Pulse shooter may be charged with aiding and abetting

By : Billy Manes
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Seven months and four days ago, the worst gun massacre on American soil happened in our own backyard. The shooter – who we don’t like to name here – took the lives of 49 (later 50) people, injuring dozens of others. Today, the New York Times is reporting that authorities have arrested the shooter’s wife, Noor Salman, who has since relocated to San Francisco. “A person familiar with details of the arrest said Ms. Salman was charged with obstruction,” the Times reports. Local news outlet WESH-2 News reported that she assisted the shooter by driving him around to assist him in committing the crime. There is a court date in San Francisco scheduled for tomorrow. More when we know it.

The reasons why Jennifer Holliday pulled out of the Trump inauguration

By : Wire Report
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PASADENA, Calif. (AP) Broadway star Jennifer Holliday has backed out as a performer at next week’s presidential inaugural following protests from her gay and black fans, further dimming the event’s already low celebrity wattage.

Holliday, best known for her Tony-winning role in Broadway’s “Dreamgirls,” said in an interview Saturday she hadn’t considered that singing at a Thursday concert by Washington’s Lincoln Memorial would be judged a statement of support for President-elect Donald Trump.

She decided to withdraw at 3 a.m. after reading commentary about how her participation was being seen. She apologized for a lack of judgment.

“It just really hit home for me,” she said. “The gay community has been a big part of my life and my career. I feel there really wouldn’t be a Jennifer Holliday or a `Dreamgirls’ in the 21st Century without them. I needed to at least hear them out and learn why it would be such a great disappointment for them.”

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156 LGBTQ elected officials just sent a letter to Donald Trump. It’s pretty strong.

By : Billy Manes
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Thanks to our friends at Logo and NewNowNext, this came across our transom this Friday afternoon. Following a week of bizarre behavior from the President-elect, golden showers included, it’s nice to read that some people take their jobs as elected representatives seriously. Among those cosigning the letter are Florida Reps. David Richardson and Carlos Smith. Well done. Read the whole thing after the jump.

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Pride. Prejudice. Protest.: Preserving Orlando’s GLBT Community History in a Digital Age event Saturday

By : Billy Manes
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In what is being called a “history harvest,” the UCF History Department, the GLBT History Museum, and UCF’s RICHES Project, a digital platform for historic documents and photos, will be at Orlando’s GLBT Center from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14, hoping to collect any bits of LGBTQ historical value – yes, they are giving them back to you after they are scanned – for an ambitious project meant to create a comprehensive online hub of perpetual posterity. Any old news articles, bits of memory, photos from formative Pride parades and filigree are welcome. You can also record an interview for an oral history video that is being developed. In times like these, it’s important to remember where we came from and how far we have come. Donors will also receive free digital copies.

St. Petersburg and Orlando are very, very queer according to the Advocate

By : Billy Manes
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Though it may just be clickbait fodder for the nation’s beloved LGBTQ glossy the Advocate, we can’t help but take pride in the fact that both St. Pete and Orlando clipped into the highest of echelons in the Advocate‘s annual list of places where gays play the best.

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Gay teacher sues over firing from North Carolina high school

By : Wire Report
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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP)  A gay teacher sued a Roman Catholic school on Wednesday for firing him after he announced his wedding to a man, the latest in a series of legal fights over antidiscrimination protections for LGBT people.

The lawsuit argues Charlotte Catholic High School violated federal employment law by firing Lonnie Billard from a substitute teaching role in 2014 after a Facebook post about his wedding. While the lawsuit doesn’t invoke state law, it comes amid protracted litigation over a North Carolina law limiting protections for LGBT people.

Billard taught English and drama full time at the school for more than a decade, earning its Teacher of the Year award in 2012. He then transitioned to a role as a regular substitute teacher, typically working more than a dozen weeks per year, according to the lawsuit.

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Trump’s pick for top diplomat breaks from him in many ways

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP)  Rex Tillerson’s foreign policy isn’t sounding much like Donald Trump’s.

At his confirmation hearing Wednesday, the former Exxon Mobil CEO selected by Trump for secretary of state called Russia a “danger” and vowed to protect America’s European allies. He rejected the idea of an immigration ban on Muslims. He treaded softly on the human rights records of key U.S. partners like Saudi Arabia.

In the words of Sen. Bob Corker, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s GOP chairman, Tillerson “demonstrated that he’s very much in the mainstream of foreign policy thinking.” But doing so forced Tillerson to break with several of the president-elect’s most iconoclastic statements on diplomacy and international security.

Again and again, Tillerson hewed more closely to long-standing, bipartisan positions on America’s role in the world, and who are its friends and foes.

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: Safety last

By : Staff Report
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Everybody already knows about Sen. Marco Rubio’s absence of affinity for the LGBTQ community, his general towing of the party line, his teeter-totter take on immigration and his (alleged) past of defrauding taxpayers via his party when he was in the Florida Legislature. Everybody also already knows that he ran for president this one time and he lost. He also was noticeably absent from many votes in his previous senatorial stint. It’s easy to get bored when your laundry list gets long, but Rubio remains a bit of a bore, regardless of any of those terms. Somebody shake him and wake him up!

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Orlando’s Overheard: Outloud Not Out

By : Staff Report
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After the passing of David Jeremiah Zedonek, also known as Justice to many of his friends/fans, the future of the WPRK radio and podcast show he created Outloud Orlando: The Homo Happy Hour was uncertain.
A pet project for many years, David brought an attempt to be a shock-jock frat-boy to the local radio show. It was recently announced on the Facebook page there would be “The NEW Outloud Orlando.” The show will continue on WPRK 91.5 FM starting in late January on Tuesdays from 4-5 p.m., streaming live on gayradioshow.com.

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Better Together: Sarasota’s LGBTQ community unites for Sarasota OUT

By : Krista DiTucci
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People in the Sarasota area looking for LGBT-friendly resources now have a one-stop shop for their needs thanks to Sarasota OUT, Sarasota’s new LGBT directory of events and businesses.
“I think Sarasota OUT could be the driving force to help make the LGBT community come together,” Sarasota OUT manager Josh Beadle says.
Beadle says he and Al Ferguson, owner of Al and Chuck Travel, have discussed the issue of unification within the Sarasota LGBTQ community. Beadle says he and Ferguson noticed that several LGBT organizations were going in separate directions and no one was coming together to support each other.
“I wanted to give us the one place to go to see what’s going on in Sarasota,” Beadle says. “And Al (Ferguson) lit the candle under my ass to do that.”

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Wedding Bells: Eduardo Di Castro and Terence Jay Fines

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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“I think it’s rare to find gentlemen, and he’s a gentleman for me,” Eduardo says about Terence. “That’s what I most love about him, and he’s super cute too.”
Eduardo Di Castro, who is a photographer and videographer, and Terence Jay Fines, who works in the IT field, met through a dating app. Eduardo says that the two spoke for more than a month before they met up. They finally agreed to meet for sushi at a Japanese restaurant.
“I was actually really intimidated to meet him as well,” Terence says. “I think that had to contribute to the delay because I just felt that maybe I was way out of his league or something, because just from his profile he was very handsome. I didn’t feel like that he would be interested when we met.”
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Issue 24.01: Eli Sellers

By : Jake Stevens
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Zebra Coalition graduate and trans champion Eli Sellers makes us all proud, Orlando activists propose assault weapons ban, Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber’s Diamond Awards returns, local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events and much, much more!

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