Authorities investigating juror in church’s gay beating case

By : Wire Report
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RUTHERFORDTON, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina authorities are investigating a juror who brought unauthorized documents to jury deliberations, causing a mistrial in the case of a minister charged with beating a gay congregant.

Rutherford County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Ricky McKinney told The Associated Press on Thursday his department and the prosecutor’s office are investigating the actions of 71-year-old Perry Shade Jr.

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Delaware cop accused of anti-gay abuse

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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A 65-year-old gay man has filed a complaint with the Lewes, Del., police department accusing an officer of causing him to suffer a serious head injury and severe pain in his arm and back by throwing him onto the floor in the emergency department at Beebe Healthcare, a hospital that serves Lewes and nearby Rehoboth Beach.

Lewes is considered a close second to Rehoboth Beach as a popular seaside destination for LGBT people in the mid-Atlantic region, including D.C. and Baltimore.

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Trump supporters assault D.C. gay man: report

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of National Gay Media Association
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A gay man told D.C. police he was repeatedly hit in the face and head by objects thrown by four men while he was walking his dog near Logan Circle on Feb. 1 and one of the attackers shouted, “This is what a Trump America looks like, faggot!”

A police report, which lists the incident as an anti-gay hate crime, says Logan Circle resident Robert Richard Brice Kohler told police the incident began about 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1 while he walked his dog in front of a large row house at 1334 Vermont Ave., N.W.

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Prosecutors seek maximum sentence for alleged cyber bully

By : Wire Report
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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP)- Dutch prosecutors on Thursday sought the maximum possible sentence- nearly 11 years- for a man charged with cyberbullying dozens of young girls and gay men and who is also wanted in Canada for his alleged involvement in a high-profile online abuse case.

In an emotional closing statement, prosecutor Annet Kramer urged judges at a court in Amsterdam to sentence the 38-year-old suspect, identified only as Aydin C., to 10 years and eight months in prison, saying he subjected some of his victims to years of emotional abuse.

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Panasonic a pioneer for LGBT rights in Japan

By : Wire Report
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TOKYO (AP) – For decades, Panasonic Corp. has shaped Japanese corporate tradition – be it morning exercise routines or lifetime employment. But don’t hold your breath waiting for other Asian businesses to emulate its latest policy announcement: Recognizing same-sex partnerships.

Much of Asia remains far behind the West in such attitudes. Panasonic’s move is rare, although bold, and seems unlikely to herald a sea change.

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Watermark endorses Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential primary

By : Billy Manes
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The bluster was all there in Orlando on Feb. 17, as it typically is at Democratic political events held in union offices. There was a violinist, there were stilt-walkers and there were numerous names and faces often associated with the local liberal machine. There was also a cheering squad of three shouting things like, “When I say madam, you say president!” It was all in the name of advancing Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in Florida, of course. Clinton has been opening offices throughout the state in the past weeks, eliciting hyperbolic statements of support. When statements like, “She’s a hard-nosed candidate who can get things done,” are thrown around by union leaders, it’s hard not to notice.

The battle is on.

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Gay migrants face violence, abuse as they escape turmoil in the Middle East

By : Wire Report
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Berlin (AP) – Alaa Ammar fled Syria to escape not just civil war but also the threat of persecution as a gay man. Yet when he arrived in The Netherlands last spring, he did not find the safe haven he craved.

He and four other gay travelers had to face newly arrived asylum seekers at a migrant center in the remote northern town of Ter Apel.

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Washington Senate upholds bathroom protections for transgender people

By : Wire Report
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Olympia, Wash. (AP) – Urged by lawmakers who said the Legislature must protect civil rights, Washington’s full Senate narrowly rejected a bill that would have repealed a new state rule allowing transgender people to use bathrooms and locker rooms in public buildings consistent with their gender identity.

Three Republicans, the chamber’s majority party, joined many Democrats in rejecting the measure on a 25-24 vote.

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Hawaii lawmakers have consider conversion therapy ban

By : Wire Report
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Honolulu (AP) – Hawaii lawmakers have introduced a bill banning a hotly disputed treatment that aims to turn gay teens heterosexual on the basis that being gay is an illness.

The proposed law, which was introduced in both the Senate and the House, says being gay is not a disorder. Supporters of the ban on gay-conversion therapy say it would protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teens from serious harm caused when parents force them into therapy to become heterosexual.

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Watermark’s 2016 Florida Legislative Tracker

By : Watermark Staff
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I’m just a bill, yes I’m only a bill, and I might just get poked with Rick Scott’s quill!

That’s right boys and girls, it’s that time of year again when Florida’s Congress will get together in Tallahassee to yell and scream and try to get some legislating done.

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Philanthropic organizations are rallying for more LGBT donations

By : Stephen Miller
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More fundraisers are seeking LGBT funds, and not just from and for our own community.

LGBT people keep coming out, getting involved, marrying and mainstreaming –growing more acceptable in the larger society. Because of this, many fundraisers are reaching out with targeted marketing. It’s a significant shift from once quietly refusing LGBT donations or disregarding us to ones that now actively court our community.

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Attacks on LGBT, reproductive rights cannot be separated

By : Carlos Smith
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Carlos Smith

Carlos Smith

The nature of reproductive freedom in America – and the movement that secured it – has always been about much more than a woman’s right to make her own personal medical decisions. It encompasses the broader right of all individuals to live their private lives free from intrusion or judgment by government and politicians. It’s a broader advocacy of sexual life free from reproductive function. That’s why support for reproductive rights and support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality go hand in hand.

It should shock no one that many of the same politicians seeking to control women’s bodies are also the ones trying to turn back the clock on LGBT equality. For decades, the usual right-wing agendas and organizations that have fought to limit and restrict reproductive choice, have also fought to pass laws that impose traditional definitions of gender, sexuality, family and marriage onto others. In Florida, these familiar intrusions into our private lives are about to be renewed. That’s why pro-choice and pro-equality coalitions must work together to stop our opponents from rolling back our progress.

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