Vandalism of Orlando Equality Florida office raises questions about the new normal

By : Billy Manes
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On Thursday, when nobody was working in Equality Florida’s Orlando office, somebody threw something through (or at) a window at the front of the building, although no rock or brick was found, says Equality Florida development director Michael Thomas Farmer. Is this the new violence-against-gays licence Donald Trump seems to be trumpeting? The timing of the vandalism makes it that much more suspicious, Farmer agrees, but no investigation has yet been filed.

“EQFL staff member Michael Thomas Farmer is currently at our Orlando office after receiving a call that something had been thrown through one of our office windows,” EQFL wrote on its Facebook last night. “We are waiting for the police to arrive to receive further information. But know, if this was some kind of an attempt to scare us from doing the work that we do – it will not work. We will not be intimidated, and we will not back down from our fight to end hate and secure full equality for ALL.”

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Central Florida LGBTQ+ Alliance sends letter to Univision requesting Pulse reenactments be pulled

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO – The Central Florida LGBTQ+ Alliance sent a letter Feb. 24 to Isaac Lee, the Chief Content Officer for Univision Communications, asking for the media outlet to pull an episode of their documentary-style program Crónicas De Sábado which will feature reenactments of the Pulse massacre from June 12 of last year.

“We are reaching out, on behalf of the coalition of LGBTQ+ organizations of Central Florida, to ask for compassion and common-sense,” the letter begins. “We are requesting you cancel any airing of “Baño De Sangre” (translation “Blood Bath”) and not release any additional media content associated with this program.”

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TV reenactment of Pulse nightclub massacre planned

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A television reenactment of the horrific Pulse nightclub massacre is in the works at Univision, NBC News reports.

Univision’s weekly news show “Crónicas De Sábado” plans to air the episode using actors to reenact the night 49 people died and more than 50 people were injured. Interviews of the survivors will also be shown. The episode is titled “Baño De Sangre,” or “Blood Bath.”

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‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ accused of ‘pro-gay propaganda’

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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“The LEGO Batman Movie” is being accused of “pro-gay propaganda” by right-wing Christian bloggers.

In the film, Bruce Wayne adopts Dick Grayson, who becomes Robin. Dick seems to believe that he has been adopted by two dads because he doesn’t know that Bruce Wayne and Batman are the same person. Eventually, it’s revealed Dick knew Batman’s true identity all along but for some Christian writers, the joke was all part of a pro-gay agenda.

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Caitlyn Jenner calls Trump’s transgender policy ‘a disaster’

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Caitlyn Jenner responded to President Donald Trump’s decision to revoke federal guidelines to protect transgender students with a video posted on Instagram and Twitter.

In the video Jenner, who has been vocal about her Republican views, addressed transgender children and told them not to give up hope.

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The Academy Awards this year are #OscarsLessWhite

By : Brian T. Carney OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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This year’s Academy Award ceremony will certainly look a lot different than last year’s.

Last year, for the second year in a row, the entire slate of nominees in the four acting categories were white. This year, in a historic first, there are six African-American actors nominated in the four acting categories. Denzel Washington is nominated in the lead actor category for his grand-slam performance in August Wilson’s “Fences.” Ruth Negga is nominated in the lead actress category for her finely nuanced portrayal of reluctant civil rights pioneer Mildred Loving in “Loving.”

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U.K. duo Right Said Fred returns

By : Chris Gerard OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Richard Fairbrass, left, and brother Fred Fairbrass of Right Said Fred. (Above photo courtesy Far Music Ltd.)

It’s been 25 years since the novelty dance single “I’m Too Sexy” by British group Right Said Fred was riding high on the Hot 100 and oversaturating radio airwaves and dance clubs the world over.

The international smash spent three weeks at no. 1 in the U.S., through most of February 1992. Now a quarter-century after their campy and satirical takedown of elite attitudes in the fashion industry was at its very peak, Right Said Fred returns with a new album, “Exactly!”

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Gavin Grimm makes case to Supreme Court on using the boys’ room

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Oral arguments in Gavin Grimm’s case before the Supreme Court are more than one month away, but his lawyers shot their initial salvo Thursday making the case he should be allowed to use the restroom in his school consistent with his gender identity.

In its opening brief before the court, the American Civil Liberties Union makes seven key arguments for why Gloucester County Schools in Virginia should be required to allow Gavin to use the boys’ room. The argument are based on Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which bars schools from discriminating against students on the basis of sex.

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Arkansas Supreme Court strikes down pro-LGBT city ordinance

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a pro-LGBT ordinance enacted in the state’s third largest city as an act of defiance over a state law barring municipalities from passing such measures.

In the 10-page unanimous decision, Associate Justice Josephine Linker Hart determined the pro-LGBT ordinance enacted by Fayetteville “creates a nonuniform nondiscrimination law and obligation in the City of Fayetteville that does not exist under state law.”

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Nebraska panel considers bill to protect LGBT workers

By : Wire Report
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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Supporters of a bill that aims to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Nebraska residents from discrimination in the workplace packed a hearing room at the state Capitol Feb. 22 to urge a legislative committee to approve the measure.

It’s the fourth time in as many years that Nebraska lawmakers have considered adding sexual orientation and gender identity to protected classes that include race, age, religion and marital status. Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln said he intends to keep pushing the measure every year that he’s in the Legislature.

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Both sides of the debate speak out following transgender bathroom decision

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) – Transgender students lost federal protections that allowed them to use school bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identities Feb. 22, as the Trump administration came down on the side of states’ rights, lifting Obama-era federal guidelines that had been characterized by Republicans as an example of overreach.

Below, some of the comments about the Trump administration decision to rescind the federal guidelines.

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National oral history project to record Pulse stories

By : Wire Report
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – A national oral history project is coming to Orlando to record the stories of the Pulse nightclub massacre.

Producers with StoryCorps will spend five days in Orlando at the beginning of March preserving the stories of the massacre victims and also of Orlando residents who were changed by the tragedy. The story collection and conversation project is called Taking Your Pulse.

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