South Florida LGBTQ groups receive Miami Dolphins Grant

By : Layla Ferris
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MIAMI | Two Miami-based LGBTQ organizations were among 11 recipients of the 2018 Football Unites Grant.

The grant was created in Nov. 2017 by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and Dolphins players, a team press release states. The grant aims to strengthen and expand the impact of groups in South Florida that focus on community engagement, education and justice reform.

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St. Augustine Transgender Woman Trains for 545-mile AIDS/LifeCycle Ride in California

By : Kathy Ruiz
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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. | Since 1993, LifeCycle raised more than $200 million and completed more than 42,000 trips on bikes down the coast of California. Last year, the 545-mile journey drew in over 2,000 cyclist and nearly 700 volunteers who raised $15.1 million for HIV/AIDS services.

After only a year of cycling, 60-year-old transgender woman and St. Augustine resident Tricia Russel will be joining the LifeCycle ride as a member of the Bank of America team. She is currently VP of Business Control Management with Bank of America, as well as a member of Equality Florida, the TransAction Florida Advisory Board, the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality and LGBT Pride Leadership Council of Bank of America.

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Ros-Lehtinen talks retirement, slams Trump’s military trans ban

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Letinen (R-Fla.) speaks with the Washington Blade at her office on Capitol Hill on May 21. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

Retiring U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) last week reiterated her criticism of President Trump over a host of issues that includes his effort to ban transgender people from the military.

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Gay-owned company brings Parkland shooter’s brother to Va.

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Zachary Cruz was arrested for trespassing at the school where his brother allegedly killed 17 people. Photo courtesy Broward County Police.

A Virginia-based company founded by a gay businessman last week arranged for the release from jail of the brother of the Parkland, Fla., shooting suspect who had been arrested in March for trespassing on the grounds of the school in which his brother allegedly killed 17 people.

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Hate crime charges filed in South Florida gay pride parade attack

By : Wire Report
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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Hate crime charges have been filed against four men accused of attacking two men and shouting anti-gay slurs following Miami Beach’s gay pride parade.

The enhanced hate crime charges mean the four could face as much as 30 years in prison if convicted, rather than only 15 years on previously filed aggravated battery charges. The Miami Herald reports that prosecutors brought the hate crime charges Thursday.

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MSNBC’s Reid says homophobic posts were result of hack

By : wire report
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NEW YORK (AP) — MSNBC’s Joy Reid insists that homophobic language in one of her old blog posts is the work of a computer hacker and her security expert said Wednesday they have a strong suspicion of who did it, although he would not name the suspect.

The bizarre tale involving the news network’s rising star is a technical who-dun-it that not everyone believes, given that Reid had admitted in December to similar anti-gay language in the same forum and had apologized for it. A gay rights organization has subsequently backed away from its plans to give an award to Reid, host of the “AM Joy” weekend shows on the cable news network.

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Senate confirms anti-LGBTQ Jim Bridenstine as NASA chief

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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President Trump’s pick to head NASA was confirmed on Thursday in the U.S. Senate despite opposition from lawmakers and LGBTQ groups who opposed him on the basis of his anti-LGBTQ record.

Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), who has served as a three-term member of Congress representing Oklahoma’s 1st congressional district in the U.S. House, was confirmed as administrator of the National Aeronautics & Space Administration by a party-line vote of 50-49.

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Suspected Miami Pride attackers released, could face hate crime charge

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Miami | The four men charged with aggravated assault for attacking two gay men during Miami Pride have been released from jail and may face additional charges of a hate crime.

Miami Beach ABC affiliate 10 News reports that the four men have been identified as Juan C. Lopez, Adonis Diaz, Pablo Reinaldo Romo-Figueroa and Luis Alonso-Piovet. The suspects surrendered to Miami Beach police on April 10 and face charges of felony aggravated assault for brutally attacking Dimitri Lugonov and Rene Chalarca during the annual event.

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Gainesville first north Florida city to ban conversion therapy

By : Jeremy Williams
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. | Gainesville became the first city in north Florida to ban conversion therapy for minors April 5 when the Gainesville City Commission unanimously voted to outlaw the practice.

The ordinance will “prohibit licensed professionals from engaging in counseling efforts, practices or treatments with the goal to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity.”

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Equality Florida highlights 2018’s statewide legislative battles

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida

Tallahassee, fla. | Equality Florida has released a highlight of the battles fought on behalf of the LGBTQ community during Florida’s 2018 legislative session.

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Parkland shooter flooded with fan mail from older men, teenage girls

By : Randa Griffin
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PARKLAND, Fla. | While in custody awaiting trial for the murder of 17 of his peers, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz has been receiving piles of fan mail, photographs and love letters from teenage girls, women and even some older men.

The Sun Sentinel reported a man from New York with a bushy, grey mustache sent Cruz a card with a cat on the front. The card also contained photos of himself behind the wheel of his white 1992 Nissan convertible.

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Gun control rallies take place in Florida, across U.S., around the world

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: A participant in a “March for Our Lives” rally in Tampa, Fla., on March 24, 2018, holds a sign in homage of Emma González, a bisexual student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., who has emerged as a vocal gun control advocate after a gunman killed 17 people inside her school last month. Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers.

TAMPA, Fla. — Hundreds of “March for Our Lives” gun control rallies, marches and protests took place across the U.S. and around the world on Saturday.

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