Grand Rapids-area pastor denies Holy Communion to gay judge

By : wire report
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ABOVE: St. Stephen Church, photo via St. Stephen’s Facebook page.

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) | The Roman Catholic Church in western Michigan is defending a priest’s decision to deny Holy Communion to a popular judge in a same-sex marriage.

Judge Sara Smolenski said the Rev. Scott Nolan privately informed her on Nov. 23, about a week after last receiving Communion from him at St. Stephen Church in East Grand Rapids. It has been her lifelong parish – she gave $7,000 for a building project – although she said she hadn’t regularly attended the church for months.

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Free PrEP program unveiled under Trump’s HIV initiative

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In the same week World AIDS Day was recognized, the Trump administration has unveiled a new program to provide free PrEP as part of the initiative to beat the epidemic by 2030.

Secretary of Health & Human Services Alex Azar announced the plan, known as “Ready, Set, PrEP,” in a conference call Tuesday with reporters, calling the initiative “a major step forward in the president’s plan to end the HIV epidemic in America.”

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Southern Nights Orlando hosts 12th annual Broadway Christmas for The Trevor Project

By : Lora Korpar
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ABOVE: Southern Nights Orlando’s promotional art for the 12th annual Broadway Christmas performance (from Facebook)

ORLANDO | Central Florida LGBTQ nightclub Southern Nights will be hosting the 12th Annual Broadway Christmas cabaret with proceeds benefiting The Trevor Project.

Over 50 Central Florida entertainers will come together to perform comedy and music from some of Broadway’s most famous shows. The event is hosted by Kai’ja Adonis and Jose Marrero.

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Kamala Harris drops bid for 2020 presidential nomination

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has dropped her bid for the 2020 election. (Photo courtesy of CNN)

Sen. Kamala Harris, once on the trajectory to become front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, has dropped her bid to run for the White House in 2020.

The California Democrat made it official Dec. 3 with an email to supporters saying her campaign lacks the financial resources to continue.

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Florida Puerto Rican Parade announces newly formed LGBTQ+ Committee

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: (L-R) Vivian Rodriguez, Ralph Morales, Luis Martinez, Joel Morales, Jerick Mediavilla and Roxy Santiago after the LGBTQ+ Committee announcement at The Center in Orlando. (Photo by Jeremy Williams)

ORLANDO | The Florida Puerto Rican Parade and Festival has announced the formation of a new committee to help bring more LGBTQ+ representation and inclusion to its annual celebration.

The announcement, made during a press conference at The LGBT+ Center in Orlando Nov. 27, introduced the six-member committee who will be a part of the planning process of next year’s parade, festival and related events.

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Elton John blasts security guards with foul-mouthed rant over treatment of female fan

By : John Paul King of the washington blade, courtesy of the national LGBT media association
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Singer and LGBTQ icon Elton John lashed out verbally at security guards from the stage of his concert in Perth, Australia on Dec. 1, hurling expletives at them over their treatment of a woman in the audience.

The Grammy, Oscar, Tony and Golden Globe winner was in the middle of a performance at HBF Park Stadium when he exploded into a tirade full of four-letter words after spotting two concert security staffers attempting to remove the female fan from the stadium.

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Same-sex couple wins Denmark’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’

By : John Paul King of the washington blade, courtesy of the national LGBT media association
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ABOVE: Jakob Fauerby and Silas Holst on “Vild med dans.” (Photo by Henrik Ohsten/VildMedDans via Facebook)

In what seems to be fast becoming an international trend, Denmark’s version of “Dancing With the Stars” has made history by featuring a same-sex couple – and this time, they’re not only included, they’ve won the competition.

Jakob Fauerby, 42, and Silas Holst, 36, were paired together on the show – which is called “Vild med dans”- after Fauerby, an openly gay actor, decided he would ask to be paired with a man if he was selected for the show.

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Substitute teacher lectures Utah child over his 2 dads

By : Wire Report
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | A substitute teacher berated a Utah fifth grader after he said during a pre-Thanksgiving lesson that he was thankful he’s finally going to be adopted by his two dads, the parents said.

The boy’s classmates said the teacher told him, “that’s nothing to be thankful for” and lectured the 30 kids in the class about her views on homosexuality. She said that “two men living together is a sin” and “homosexuality is wrong.”

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After apology, Azealia Banks doubles down on homophobia

By : John Paul King of the washington blade, courtesy of the national LGBT media association
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ABOVE: Azealia Banks performing at Brixton Academy in London in 2012. (Photo by Tim Boddy, courtesy of Flickr)

In what might be described as a social media whirlwind over the last few days, controversial rapper Azealia Banks has apologized for one homophobic rant, before sending out a new one in a post that teased her retirement from music altogether.

It started in October, when the 28-year-old Banks posted a video on Instagram in which she called out queer singer Frank Ocean a “dumbass n****” for launching a club event called “PrEP+” and implied that gay men use the drug as an excuse for promiscuous behavior.

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Company manager Jose Solivan makes sure everything goes right for ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: “The Play That Goes Wrong” company manager Jose Solivan. (Photo by Aleksandar Antonijevic)

The company manager for a national Broadway tour has a lot of responsibility.

“I’m basically the producer’s and the general manager’s representative on the road,” says Jose Solivan. “I deal with payroll, with travel, the housing, a lot of the marketing and advertising and playbill edit. I’m essentially HR, accounting, Mom and Dad, a shoulder to cry on.”

Solivan is the company manger for the national tour of “The Play That Goes Wrong,” a hugely popular show in where a fictional college drama society is putting on a fictitious murder mystery play where everything goes completely and terribly wrong.

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Watermark is hiring! Tampa Bay Distribution Specialist needed

By : Watermark Staff
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Are you a motivated individual who thrives in an independent work environment and would like to make a little extra money?

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US ambassador to Zambia ‘horrified’ by gay couple’s 15-year prison sentence

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: U.S. Ambassador to Zambia Daniel Foote (Photo public domain)

The U.S. ambassador to Zambia has sharply criticized the sentencing of two men to 15 years in prison under the country’s colonial-era sodomy law.

“I was personally horrified to read yesterday about the sentencing of two men, who had a consensual relationship, which hurt absolutely no one, to 15 years imprisonment for ‘crimes against the order of nature’”, said Daniel Foote in a statement that Rights Africa published on its website on Nov. 29. “Meanwhile, government officials can steal millions of public dollars without prosecution, political cadres can beat innocent citizens for expressing their opinions with no consequences, or poachers/traffickers can kill numerous elephants, barbarically chainsaw and sell their tusks and face a maximum of only five years imprisonment in Zambia.”

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