Duke, NC State might host women’s tourney despite LGBTQ law

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NEW YORK (AP) – Duke and North Carolina State were among the top 16 projected seeds the NCAA revealed Feb. 6 for the women’s basketball tournament in March, making them potential hosts in a state that’s lost several sports events because of a divisive law.

The NCAA pulled seven championships from North Carolina in September, including the first two rounds of the 2017 men’s basketball tournament, because of the law that limits protections for LGBTQ people.

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Lady Gaga delivers a show big on flash and inclusiveness

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NEW YORK (AP)- Lady Gaga dropped from the top of Houston’s NRG Stadium to open her halftime show and dropped the mic at the end, offering a program that delivered high-energy hits and an inclusive theme.

With the nation on edge politically, the NFL had little taste for a show that would ruffle feathers, as Beyonce did in some circles last year with the Black Power messaging of “Formation.” Gaga plainly listened.

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Orlando City Soccer unveils the new stadium’s rainbow section dedicated to the Pulse victims

By : Jeremy Williams
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As construction on the new Orlando City Soccer stadium approaches completion, the section of seats dedicated to the victims of the Pulse shooting are being revealed.

In a video posted to their Facebook page, the Orlando City Soccer club uncovered the rainbow colored section of 49 seats that will be a permanent fixture of the new stadium.

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UFC’s Ronda Rousey loses to openly gay Amanda Nunes in under a minute

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Ronda Rousey’s UFC comeback didn’t even last a minute.

Rousey was stopped 48 seconds into her first fight in 13 months Dec. 30, losing to bantamweight champion and openly gay Amanda Nunes at UFC 207.

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Tampa Bay Lightning honor local trans student as Community Hero

By : Jeremy Williams
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The Tampa Bay Lightning honored transgender student Mary Jane Taylor as the 11th Lightning Community Hero of the 2016-17 season at the Amalie Arena during a game against the Washington Capitals Dec. 3.

Taylor serves as the founder and president of the Trans Support Group at Jefferson High School and was recently invited to speak to Hillsborough County School’s principals and assistant principals on safety and awareness for the transgender population.

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Michael Sam to give lecture at Clark University

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WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — The first openly gay player to be drafted by an NFL team is heading to Massachusetts to talk about his life.

Michael Sam is scheduled to deliver a lecture at Clark University in Worcester on Tuesday.

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Terry Flanagan stops Orlando Cruz from becoming first gay boxing champ

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CARDIFF, Wales — Orlando Cruz of Puerto Rico will have to wait to become the first openly gay boxer to win a world title after being stopped in the eighth round by WBO lightweight champion Terry Flanagan on Saturday.

Flanagan, a British fighter, improved his professional record to 32-0 with a successful fourth defense of the belt by knocking Cruz to the canvas twice in the same round in Cardiff.

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Ellen DeGeneres among those awarded top US civilian honor

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WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor to 21 groundbreaking actors, musicians, athletes and innovators who inspired him over the years and “helped make me who I am.”

“Everybody on this stage has touched me in a very powerful, personal way, in ways that they probably couldn’t imagine,” Obama said in concluding an hour-long ceremony Nov. 23 in the White House East Room.

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Tampa Bay Bucs WR Mike Evans will stand for anthem, not discrimination

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans says he will not continue to protest the election of Donald Trump as president by declining to stand for the national anthem before games.

The third-year pro apologized Nov. 16 to the military and anyone else “truly affected” by him not joining his teammates in standing on the sideline before last week’s game against the Chicago Bears.

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Ellen DeGeneres to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

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WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama is honoring performers Ellen DeGeneres, Robert DeNiro, Cicely Tyson and Tom Hanks with the nation’s highest civilian honor.

They are among 21 people Obama plans to recognize with the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House Nov. 22.

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Orlando Magic honor those killed at Pulse

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – There’s nothing that can give Mayra Alvear back what she lost, or ease her pain, or calm her anger. With one gesture, she at least felt some joy again.

Underneath a softly swaying banner displaying the number 49 – commemorating the number of lives lost – and as first responders unfurled and held a massive American flag for the national anthem, the Orlando Magic paid tribute Oct. 26 to the victims and survivors of the Pulse gay nightclub massacre with an emotional ceremony immediately before the team’s season-opener against the Miami Heat.

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NBA says moving All-Star Game back to Charlotte is a ‘high priority’

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Oct. 19 that returning the All-Star Game to Charlotte in 2019 is “a high priority,” provided there’s a resolution to a North Carolina law that restricts the rights of LGBT people.

The NBA recently decided to move the 2017 All-Star Game to New Orleans because it didn’t believe it could successfully host the All-Star Game and related events in Charlotte under the climate created by the law known as House Bill 2. Los Angeles hosts the game in 2018.

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