Pence breaks tie to confirm anti-LGBT Brownback nomination

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback was confirmed as U.S. ambassador at large for international religious freedom. Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers.

In his role as president of the U.S. Senate, Vice President Mike Pence had to break the tie Wednesday to confirm Sam Brownback as U.S. ambassador at-large for religious freedom.

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Gay former U.S. ambassador drops congressional bid

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A gay foreign policy expert who worked on international LGBT rights and served as U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security & Cooperation in Europe has dropped his short-lived bid for a congressional seat in Colorado.

Daniel Baer, who had sought the Democratic nomination to run in Colorado’s 7th congressional district, announced in a statement Thursday he’d suspend his campaign in the aftermath of incumbent Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) deciding to run for re-election.

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White House: Vote against UN death penalty resolution not about gays

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The Trump administration is pushing back against criticism over its vote at the United Nations against a resolution repudiating the death penalty, saying the move wasn’t about the application of the punishment to same-sex relationships.

A White House National Security Council spokesperson said Tuesday the vote against the measure is consistent with other U.S. votes at the United Nations against the death penalty resolution in previous administrations.

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Trump to nominate his first openly LGBTQ ambassador

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump intends to nominate a former diplomat and television commentator to be the United States’ ambassador to Germany.

The White House announced Friday that Trump would choose Richard Grenell for the post.

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Gay former U.S. ambassador launches congressional campaign

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A gay former U.S. ambassador who served under the Obama administration has launched a campaign to run for Congress, shifting his focus from tangling with representatives of Vladimir Putin overseas to President Trump at home.

Daniel Baer, who served in the Obama administration as U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security & Cooperation in Europe, announced on Tuesday his bid to succeed retiring Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) in representing Colorado’s 7th congressional district.

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Dining Out For Life supports Tampa Bay HIV/AIDS efforts

By : Felicia Roopchand
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TAMPA BAY – Dining Out For Life is a charity event both your stomach and your wallet can get behind. In cities all across the world on April 27, selected restaurants will be participating in the event by donating at least 25 percent of their proceeds from that day to the licensed HIV/AIDS service agency in their city. In exchange for their financial support, restaurants are listed in a citywide marketing campaign in an effort to increase customer traffic. The Tampa Bay area will be among the various cities included.

“You know, Gulfport kind of comes in with a vengeance. All the restaurants in Gulfport participate and we’ve got a couple of new restaurants coming on over towards the Tampa side. I think we’re going to have a really good year.” said Joy Winheim, executive director of Empath Partners in Care (EPIC).

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Vatican envoy who arranged meeting between Pope Francis and Kim Davis resigns

By : Wire Report
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VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of his ambassador to the United States who was behind Francis’ controversial meeting with Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who went to jail rather than comply with a court order to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, 75, had submitted his resignation in January after he reached the mandatory retirement age for bishops.

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Gay French ambassador switched from Holy See position to UNESCO

By : Wire Report
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Paris (AP) – France’s government has named a respected diplomat who is said to be gay as the country’s ambassador to UNESCO, several months after he was nominated as ambassador to the Vatican – a job he never started.

Laurent Stefanini was confirmed by France’s council of ministers as the country’s top diplomat at the Paris-based U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

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Watermark Year in Review: April 2015

By : Jamie Hyman, Billy Manes and Jeremy Williams
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watermark year in review april 2015

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Orlando photographer, artist and ambassador of beards Lee Vandergrift announces that his Beard Envy project will be coming to an end. As of April 1 (please say it’s an April Fool’s joke) Vandergrift had brushed out and photographed his last beard for the project. Beard Envy started out in 2014 as a fun way to capture pictures of great beards in the Central Florida area but gained a following that spawned into a Facebook fan page, a men with fabulous beards calendar and hopefully a soon to be released book.

After nine months of rolling, patting and marking with a D, Watermark’s digital director Jamie Hyman and her husband Matt Huertas welcomed a beautiful bouncing baby boy, Dexter, April 10. Since his birth Dexter has successfully maintained his supremacy of all of Watermark’s most adorable moments (sorry Billy).

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US envoy confident Australia will manage gay marriage debate

By : Wire Report
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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The first openly gay U.S. ambassador to Australia said on June 30 he was confident that the “great debate” among Australians on whether to allow gay marriages would result in the best outcome for the country.

Ambassador John Berry, 56, who has been a gay rights activist most of his life, told reporters that Australia had led the United States on providing rights to gays including equal rights in the military, employment, health care benefits and visitation rights in hospitals.

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US ambassador praises Australian gay rights progress

By : Wire Report
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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – The U.S. ambassador to Australia told Australian marriage equality supporters on Monday that although their nation continues to ban same-sex marriage, it remains more progressive than his own in protecting the rights of gay employees and sportsmen.

Ambassador John Berry, who married his male partner Curtis Lee in Washington in 2013, gave a luncheon speech at Parliament House, where lawmakers are bitterly divided over a draft bill that would allow gay marriage nationwide.

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Nebraska Woman Files Suit Against All Homosexuals

By : Staff Report
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A Nebraska woman filed a lawsuit on behalf of God and His son, Jesus Christ, against “Homosexuals,” also listing “Gay” as their alias.

Sylvia Driskell, 66, addressing herself as the “ambassador” for the plaintiffs, filed a suit suing the entire gay community. She is asking an Omaha federal judge to decide whether homosexuality is a sin.

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