Oklahoma leaders hope to push for more LGBTQ rights in 2020

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Freedom Oklahoma marches for LGBTQ rights. Photo by  Stephanie Montelongo via Freedom Oklahoma’s Facebook page.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) | Leaders in conservative Oklahoma say they are looking for more legislative progress for LGBTQ people this year after notable strides in 2019.

Tulsa and Oklahoma City updated their personnel policies to ban discrimination against city employees based on gender identity or expression, The Oklahoman reported. Norman, meanwhile, went further and became the first city in the state to amend its civil rights ordinance to ban discrimination against LGBTQ people in housing, employment or public accommodations.

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Warren pledges a Cabinet half-filled with women and non-binary people

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, photo via Warren’s Facebook page.

With weeks remaining before the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3, Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren has come out with a pledge to fill half of her Cabinet as president with women and non-binary people.

Warren made the pledge within a Medium post on Tuesday titled, “Restoring Integrity & Competence to Government After Trump,” which says Trump will “leave behind a government that has been infected by corruption and incompetence” upon his presumed exit from the White House after the 2020 election and outlines her plans.

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Self-help guru Marianne Williamson drops presidential bid

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Marianne Williamson, photo via Williamson’s Facebook page.

Spiritualist and self-help guru Marianne Williamson has dropped her bid for the presidency, ending the campaign of an idiosyncratic Democratic candidate who once helped gay men dying of HIV/AIDS at the height of the epidemic.

Williamson announced she had ended her campaign Friday in a message on her website, saying she didn’t want her candidacy to make it tougher for progressives to win.

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01.09.20 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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In “Star Trek: First Contact,” the finest film in the popular franchise’s more than 50-year history, the eternal Patrick Stewart’s Captain Picard beams into theaters to lead the U.S.S. Enterprise into battle against the sci-fi staple’s deadliest threat. No, not reboots – the Borg.

The Borg are chilling, cybernetic aliens linked to a hive mind known as “The Collective.” They forcibly transform individuals into zombie-like drones through the process of assimilation, linking their victims to a collective consciousness and erasing all traces of their individuality in the process.

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Julian Castro drops 2020 presidential bid

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Julian Castro, Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key.

Faced with continued difficulties in getting his campaign off the ground, Democratic candidate Julian Castro, the only Hispanic contender in the 2020 crowd, announced Thursday he has suspended his presidential bid.

“It’s with profound gratitude to all of our supporters that I suspend my campaign for president today,” Castro wrote on Twitter.  “I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished together. I’m going to keep fighting for an America where everyone counts — I hope you’ll join me in that fight.”

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Watermark’s 2020 WAVEs nomination round – VOTE NOW

By : Watermark Staff
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We are Watermark, your local LGBTQ news source, and this is 2020! We are settling into the new decade quite nicely and have lots of fun things to share with you as the year goes on. First thing we want to share with you is the first round of voting for our annual WAVEs!

The Watermark Awards for Variety and Excellence, or the WAVEs as we call them, recognize the best in Central Florida and Tampa Bay’s LGBTQ community in the areas of activism, service, entertainment and more.

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Watermark’s WAVEs 2020 — Let your fans know to vote for you!

By : Watermark Staff
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The Watermark Awards for Variety and Excellence, or the WAVEs for short, recognize the best in Central Florida and Tampa Bay’s LGBTQ community in the areas of activism, service, entertainment and more.

There are 50 categories to vote in. In each category, we ask our readers to write in who best represents the values of the LGBTQ community in your area. It can be any person, group or business that falls anywhere in our alphabet soup — including allies — as long as they have demonstrated their support for the community.

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The Other Side Of Life: American Boxing Day

By : Jason Leclerc
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Christmas, in 2019 America, is as much a secular holiday as it is a religious one. It caps the annual era of good feelings that starts with Thanksgiving and lasts until 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 25.

We’ve often taken the interstice between Christmas and New Years as a celebratory dead zone, a time to recover and prepare for the seeing-out of the old year. History has proven that Dec. 26 has been a date with ups and downs, ranging from the revolutionary to the mundane.

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Supreme Court could deliver bad news for LGBTQ teachers at religious schools

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Advocates gather for LGBTQ rights. Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key.

Cases the Supreme Court has recently agreed to take up on the right for religious non-profits to hire and fire employees consistent with their faith could have major implications for LGBTQ workers at those institutions, LGBTQ legal advocates are warning.

Last week, the Supreme Court announced it had a granted a writ of certiorari, or agreed to hear, the two cases now consolidated as one: Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, Agnes and St. James School v. Darryl Biel.

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McCrory won’t run for NC governor; will consider Senate bid

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Pat McCrory, photo via McCrory’s Facebook page.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) | Former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory announced Dec. 19 that he won’t try to recapture his old office in 2020, but will continue to consider a U.S. Senate bid in 2022.

The Republican revealed his decision on his morning radio program in Charlotte, where he served as mayor for a record 14 years.

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Watermark Giveaway: A pair of tickets to Enzian’s Great Gatsby New Year’s Eve Party

By : Watermark Staff
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Watermark wants to help you ring in New Year 2020 by sending you and a friend back in time to the 1920s for Enzian’s Great Gatsby New Year’s Eve Party.

Come swing your way into the 20s at Enzian Theater in Orlando with signature NYE cocktails, an open bar, light hors d’oeuvres, a live DJ and 1920s costume contest. Plus confetti cannon and ball drop at midnight.

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Buttigieg says nation ‘absolutely’ ready for gay president

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Mayor Pete Buttigieg, photo courtesy Buttigieg’s Facebook page.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg pushed back Friday on the idea a gay candidate couldn’t win election as president, saying the nation was “absolutely” ready.

Buttigieg, whom many polls show is the front-runner in Iowa and New Hampshire, made the remarks during a forum hosted by national political reporter Robert Costa at the Washington Post headquarters.

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