Gay lead singer of Neon Trees denounces Mormon Church

By : Wire Report
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Salt Lake City (AP) – Two years after coming out as gay and praising the Mormon church for offering support, the lead singer of a popular rock band is denouncing his faith in his latest music video.

Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees, a Provo, Utah-based band, released the video April 29 for a single titled “Trash,” in which he appears to be trashing the church. The video includes images related to the church and shows Glenn drinking alcohol.

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Image of gay couple in Russia wins World Press Photo

By : Wire Report
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AFP Photo/Mads Nissen

AFP Photo/Mads Nissen

AMSTERDAM (AP) – An atmospheric image of a gay couple in Russia by Danish photographer Mads Nissen was crowned the World Press Photo of the Year 2014 on Feb. 12.

The intimate image of Jon and Alex is part of a larger project by Nissen called “Homophobia in Russia” that highlights how life is increasingly difficult for sexual minorities in Russia.

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Watermark’s New Year’s Eve 2014 events roundup!

By : Staff Report
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What are you doing to ring in 2015? Watermark has you covered with a round-up of LGBT and LGBT-friendly options in both the Central Florida and Tampa Bay areas.

Feel free to leave a comment if you know about a great party we missed!

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Tell Watermark readers about your New Year’s Eve events!

By : Staff Report
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Is your organization or business doing something special for New Year’s Eve? Well, we want to know about it!

Watermark will be publishing a roundup of New Year’s Eve events happening in Central Florida and Tampa Bay.

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2014 Roundup of Top 5 Stories from Watermark

By : Staff Report
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What a year!

With marriage equality sweeping across the nation in various states, Watermark was hard at work keeping you up to date with the latest national, state and local LGBT news.

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Top 5 Nation & World Stories of 2014

By : Staff Report
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Marriage equality swells to 35 states
2014 was a banner year for marriage equality. At this writing, 35 states have full marriage rights for same-sex couples. In an additional 10 states, judges have issued rulings in favor of the freedom to marry. Those states on the pending list include Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, Michigan, Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, Ohio and Tennessee.

NYC Mayor sits out St. Patrick’s Day Parade
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasiobecame the first mayor in decades to sit out the nation’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parade, deciding to skip one of his city’s signature celebrations because the event organizers refuse to let participants carry pro-gay signs. “I will be participating in a number of other events to honor the Irish heritage of this city,” said de Blasio. “But I simply disagree with the organizers of that parade.”

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Top 5 Orlando Stories in 2014

By : Staff Report
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Changes at The Center
What didn’t change at The GLBT Center of Central Florida in 2014? In January, it shed the property next door that housed a Chinese restaurant and used the money to help pay debts. Over the summer, The Center saw some personnel changes, with the resignation of five-year executive director Randy Stephens. In September, new ED Terry DeCarlo started and then at a gala event in October, it was announced that a $200,000 renovation will update every portion of The Center’s headquarters, scheduled to be complete by the spring.

Still no GSA at CMS
The fight for a Gay Straight Alliance at Carver Middle School in Lee County kicked off way back in January of 2013, when a bisexual 8th grader fought for her right to a GSA. That student has moved onto high school, but other CMS students picked up the battle and the ACLU continued to push for their right to meet. A lawsuit moved forward in March and in August, attorneys asked for a judgment but as of press time, still no joy for CMS’ LGBT students and allies.

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Top 5 Tampa Bay and Sarasota Stories of 2014

By : Staff Report
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LGBT Welcome Center opens its doors
It has taken a full year, but Metro Wellness and Community Center opened its St. Petersburg LGBT Welcome Center at 2227 Central Ave. in 2014. With the official ribbon cutting Dec. 12, the year-long project was open and ready to welcome the LGBT community, special events and, probably most importantly, LGBT youth.

Hillsborough evolves on LGBT issues
This was a year of growth for Hillsborough County. The notoriously conservative county commission approved both a domestic partnership registry and an amendment to its human rights ordinance to protect gay and transgender residents. Gays and lesbians were protected from discrimination once before—in 1991—but a previous commission striped those protections in 1995. Even more shocking, yet extremely welcome, is both measures had the full support of the entire commission.

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Top 5 State Stories of 2014

By : Staff Report
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Lawsuits challenge marriage ban
Five lawsuits were filed in 2014 against the state, arguing against the constitutional amendment banning the recognition of same-sex marriages. In each case, judges have ruled the ban unconstitutional.

Pam Bondi’s ongoing appeals
Each time a judge ruled against Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi filed an appeal requesting a stay on the decision. Her latest request for an extended stay was filed Dec. 15.

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12.18.14 Editor’s Desk

By : Steve Blanchard
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SteveBlanchardHeadshot_137x185It’s not easy being gay. It sounds trite, but it’s true. And I’m assuming it’s just as difficult being lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

As we look back on 2014, we have a lot to celebrate. Marriage equality continued its sweep across the state, domestic partnership registries and human rights ordinances have finally protected some of our rights—even in the historically conservative counties—and more and more people holding elected offices have stepped out in support of their LGBT constituents.

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The ABCs of 2014

By : Kirk Hartlage
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Another year has wrapped, and that means it’s time to look back at what made 2014 memorable in the world of pop culture. So what were the ABCs of 2014?

Ass: Kim Kardashian got cheeky for Paper magazine, Charlie Hunnam’s backside went front and center on Sons of Anarchy, and Ben Affleck even flashed moviegoers in Gone Girl. But getting the most tail this year was everyone’s ears, thanks to Meghan Trainor (“All About That Bass”), Jennifer Lopez (“Booty”), and Nikki Minaj (“Anaconda”), who assaulted playlists with their ass-tastic songs.

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The 14 Most Remarkable People of 2014

By : Jamie Hyman
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Every year, Watermark chooses a couple of stand-outs from the LGBT community – individuals who made a mark in the past year, whether through activism, generosity or beating the odds.

For 2014, we decided to open it up. We took nominations from readers and then selected the 14 Most Remarkable People of 2014 – seven from the Central Florida area, and seven from Tampa Bay. See our selections and read their exceptional stories:

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