Florida Rep. Shevrin Jones endorsed by Equality Florida Action PAC for state Senate District 35

By : Jeremy Williams
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Equality Florida Action PAC announced July 25 that it would be endorsing Florida Rep. Shevrin Jones for the state’s District 35 Senate seat in the 2020 election.

Jones, who is openly gay, would become Florida’s first openly-LGBTQ state senator if elected.

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South Florida LGBTQ group SAVE terminates executive director

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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MIAMI | South Florida LGBTQ advocacy organization SAVE has fired former executive director Tony Lima after four men charged with hate crimes in an anti-LGBTQ attack attended the group’s gala June 14.

The decision follows the publication of “SAVE Gala Stunner: Accused Gay Bashers Celebrated,” an article by South Florida Gay News (SFGN). “On a night when SAVE celebrated their annual Champions of Equality,” they wrote, “the organization’s executive director also recognized four individuals who aren’t known for LGBT rights or justice.”

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Florida House Rep. Mike Hill caught on audio recording making homophobic remarks

By : Jeremy Williams
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In an audio recording release by Equality Florida May 31, Republican State Rep. Mike Hill can be heard laughing along during a public meeting at a constituent who suggested Hill file legislation requiring LGBTQ people be put to death.

The recording begins with Hill answering a question from a different constituent than the one who suggested killing LGBTQ people who asks why fellow Republican Rep. Alexander Andrade co-sponsored the Florida Competitive Workforce Act. Hill responds saying he cannot speak for Andrade but that “thank goodness that legislation didn’t go no where.”

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Planned Parenthood Florida begins providing transgender hormone therapy

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Members of a local Planned Parenthood march in an LGBTQ Pride parade. (Image from Wikimedia Commons)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) | Planned Parenthood is now offering hormone therapy and other services for transgender patients in Florida, starting with two health centers in Miami this week. It plans to expand statewide within the year.

The services could help a patient who, for example, was born as a female and still has female organs but identifies as male. Oral, topical and injectable hormones would address issues like facial hair, redistribution of fat and muscle and thicker vocal chords. The prescriptions are written after extensive medical and blood tests and are only available for patients 18 and older.

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Equality Florida urges lawmakers to pass FCWA ahead of SCOTUS decision on LGBTQ rights

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. | With the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS)poised to determine if federal law bars anti-LGBTQ discrimination, Equality Florida is urging lawmakers to pass the Florida Competitive Workforce Act (FCWA) to protect LGBTQ Floridians.

Equality Florida, the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s LGBTQ community, has long supported the FCWA. It would amend the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 to add sexual orientation and gender identity, extendingstatewide housing, employment and public accommodation protections to the LGBTQ community.

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Liberty Counsel files appeal for conversion therapy bans in Boca Raton and Palm Beach county

By : Lauren Lee
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Liberty Counsel, an Orlando-based Christian advocacy group, filed an appeal in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that conversion therapy bans in Boca Raton and Palm beach County are unconstitutional.

The ban and subsequent appeal is part of an ongoing national debate about conversion therapy, which aims to convert LGBTQ youth’s gender identity or sexual orientation and lessen their attraction to the same sex.

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Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union support 11-year-old son at Miami Pride

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Miami Heat shooting guard Dwayne Wade and actress Gabrielle Union-Wade showed their support for their son Zion, 11, during Miami Beach’s Pride Festival.

Zion, who is Wade’s son from a previous relationship, was accompanied to Miami Pride by his stepmother. Zion’s brother Zaire, 17, and his infant sister Kaavia, who is Wade and Union-Wade’s first child, also attended.

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‘Queer Miami’ exhibit looks at LGBTQ community past century

By : wire report
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MIAMI (AP) | The first thing you notice when walking into the new “Queer Miami” exhibit are voices. They echo in the background — and all around — and become clearer as you stroll deeper inside the HistoryMiami Museum in downtown Miami.

They are voices of transgender performers talking about their craft. They are the voices of gay Mariel refugees who carved a new life in Miami in 1980 after fleeing Fidel Castro’s Cuba. And they are voices of protestors of gay discrimination ordinances in the 1970s.

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Jane Castor poised to become Tampa’s first openly LGBTQ mayor

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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As Tampa highlights its diversity with the fifth annual Tampa Pride March 30, Jane Castor—the celebration’s two-time grand marshal and arguably one of the city’s most stalwart servants—will continue her journey to become Tampa’s first openly LGBTQ mayor.

Castor, who will face retired banker and philanthropist David Straz in Tampa’s runoff election April 23, is familiar with firsts. Ahead of her 31 years of service with the Tampa Police Department, which she began as a beat cop patrolling the city in 1983, she was elected the first female president of a Tampa Police Academy class.

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House bill threatening LGBTQ Floridians neutralized, Senate bill in play

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. | A bill in the Florida House threatening to repeal every local LGBTQ nondiscrimination ordinance and conversion therapy ban across the state has been neutralized, Equality Florida announced March 21.

The Florida House Commerce Committee voted to amend House Bill 3 (HB 3) to remove language threatening to repeal the ordinances and bans that day. The vote was a “clear sign that legislative leaders are listening to concerns about the unintended consequences of this sweeping legislation,” Equality Florida Senior Political Director Joe Saunders shared.

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Bill threatening every LGBTQ nondiscrimination ordinance in Florida moves forward

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. | The Florida House State Affairs Committee debated HB 3 on March 14, a bill threatening to repeal every local LGBTQ nondiscrimination ordinance and conversion therapy ban across Florida.

Equality Florida, the state’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, along with the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights advocacy group, condemned the bill at the state capitol March 12. The groups noted 13 million LGBTQ Floridians are protected by the ordinances being targeted.

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Surgeon denies posting homophobic comments on social media

By : wire report
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) | A prominent gender-reassignment surgeon resigned from a University of Miami clinic after he was accused of posting photos of patients’ genitalia with racist and homophobic comments on Instagram, but he denied making the comments and said March 14 that the account was hacked.

Dr. Christopher Salgado also told The Associated Press that he planned to continue his efforts to support transgender people and provide surgery for them.

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