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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Gay Cuban couple among Miami bridge collapse victims

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Alberto Arias and Osvaldo ‘Ozzy’ González. Photo courtesy Facebook.

A gay couple who was originally from Cuba are among the six people who died on March 15 when a pedestrian bridge collapsed onto a Miami thoroughfare.

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Dean Trantalis becomes Fort Lauderdale’s first openly gay mayor

By : Jeremy Williams
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Wilton Manors attorney Dean Trantalis defeated former police chief and current vice mayor Bruce Roberts with 64 percent of the vote March 13 to become Fort Lauderdale’s first openly gay mayor.

Trantalis was also Fort Lauderdale’s first openly gay city commissioner. Trantalis was elected to the city’s District 2 seat in 2003 and served until 2006. Trantalis was re-elected to the seat in a 2013 special election and served up until his mayoral win.

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GOP candidate who called teen ‘skinhead lesbian’ quits race

By : wire report
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SABATTUS, Maine (AP) — A Republican Maine House candidate who called a Florida high school shooting survivor a “skinhead lesbian” and called another a “bald-faced liar” is quitting the race.

Leslie Gibson was widely criticized for insulting the survivors of last month’s shooting, which killed 17 people. The Portland Press Herald reports Gibson said Friday he’s walking away with his “head held high.”

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LGBT advocates joining next week’s March For Our Lives in D.C.

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Emma Gonzalez of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has become one of the faces of the new gun reform movement.

The Human Rights Campaign and the National LGBTQ Task Force are among a large number of LGBT advocacy organizations and LGBT activists expected to participate in a March 24 demonstration in the nation’s capital against gun violence.

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Students walk out of class to protest gun violence

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Thousands of students participated in the National Student Walkout march and rally against gun violence at the U.S. Capitol on March 14, 2018. Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers.

Thousands of students who walked out of class on Wednesday in protest of gun violence marched from the White House to the U.S. Capitol.

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GOP candidate calls Parkland student ‘skinhead lesbian’

By : wire report
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LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — A Republican Maine House candidate has used Twitter to attack two students who survived a shooting at a Florida high school, calling one of them a “skinhead lesbian” and the other a “bald-faced liar.”

Leslie Gibson is the only declared candidate for the 57th District and told the Sun Journal it was “not appropriate to single out the Parkland students.” But he says he stands firm in his defense of “our constitutional rights.” He says he served in the military and took an oath “to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

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LGBTQ issues, guns emerge at debate as March 13 election looms

By : Damon Scott of the South Florida Gay News
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ABOVEFort Lauderdale Candidates Forum – Mayor and Commission Seats. Photo from Carolyn Burns Facebook.

Whether the city-owned War Memorial Auditorium should allow guns shows to continue and an LGBTQ-related fundraiser in Miami were two of many issues raised at a mayoral and District 2 commissioner candidate forum Feb. 26 in Fort Lauderdale.

Dean Trantalis and Bruce Roberts are on the ballot to be the next mayor of Fort Lauderdale. The two joined Steve Glassman and Tim Smith, who are vying to be the next District 2 commissioner, at a debate in front of a full room at ArtServe.

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House Dems step up efforts against new anti-LGBT division within HHS

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: House Dems led by Rep. Charlie Crist are stepping up efforts to combat the anti-LGBT division at HHS. Photo public domain.

Amid the widespread view a new conscience division at the Department of Health & Human Services would enable medical practitioners to refuse treatment to women seeking abortions and LGBT people, House Democrats are stepping up efforts against the office.

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