Central Florida Out & Equal Summit brings thousands to town

By : Billy Manes
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Orlando – In a year that has seen huge tragedy, immense recovery, a hurricane, an election that blew much harder than that hurricane, and all of the piecing of our rights back together, it’s been easy to lose sight of our victories, notably in the corporate world. The Out & Equal Summit, which took place on Oct. 4 at Disney’s Swan & Dolphin resorts, is part think tank, part party. Even Lance Bass was a keynote speaker.

At the event, the largest of its kind, nearly 5,000 corporate leaders from the world over stepped forward to find ways to protect workplace rights for the LGBTQ community. This year, the Orlando affiliate took home the prize for Affiliate of the Year. It was no sympathy award for a city in the spotlight, but an award more for the cooperation between several of our larger companies and their respective staffs.

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Equality Florida’s Great Orlando Gala at the Orlando Museum of Art

By : Jeremy Williams
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Equality Florida held the Greater Orlando Gala at the Orlando Museum of Art Nov. 4.

Check out the photos from the event.

Photos by Jake Stevens.

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Gay novel wins literary award for diversity and anti-racism

By : Wire Report
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gay revolutionNew York (AP) – Books about LGBT rights, the Jazz Age and tap dancing are among the winners of the 81st annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, given for literature that confronts racism and examines diversity.

Five honorees were announced by the Cleveland Foundation, which presents the awards. The winners include Mary Morris’ novel The Jazz Palace, Rowan Ricardo Phillips’ poetry collection “Heaven” and two works of nonfiction, Lillian Faderman’s The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle and Brian Siebert’s What the Eye Hears: A History of Tap Dancing.

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You are invited: 2016 WAVE Award parties

By : Jamie Hyman
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Watermark is celebrating the 2016 WAVE Award winners with two great events, and YOU are invited!

Find out the details after the jump: 

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Orange County DEC Legacy of Action awards reception

By : Jamie Hyman
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At their Legacy of Action Awards reception, the Orange County Democratic Executive Committee celebrated the lives and legacies of local grassroots activists Feb. 19 at Elixer in downtown Orlando.

The DEC presented the Harris-Namey-Waxman Lifetime Legacy Award, Cannon-Porta Woman of Action Award and The Bill Nelson Activist in Government Award in honor and celebration of exemplary service, patriotism and dedication to the values of the Democratic Party and the people of Central Florida.

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Equality Florida shines at Tampa Gala

By : Jeremy Williams
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Equality Florida came out in style for the 10th Annual Tampa Gala at TPepin’s Hospitality Centre Feb. 20.

After a tour around the food stations provided by Puff ‘n Stuff catering and hitting the  open bars, guests began to settle in as the live band played through the evening.

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Boy Scout performs gay community service for Eagle Scout project

By : Wire Report
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Chicago (AP) – David Fite had already earned the 21 Boy Scout merit badges needed to earn the coveted rank of Eagle. But he still had to complete a community service project.

Now 16, he’d always been a gung-ho scout, dutiful, polite and committed. But he’d also been disappointed with the organization’s longstanding ban on openly gay scouts and leaders, so much so that he’d considered quitting. “I knew it wasn’t right,” said Fite, who has many family friends who are gay or lesbian – some of them honorary “aunts” and “uncles” who’ve given him money for camp and other scouting projects over the years.

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New York moves toward conversion therapy ban

By : Wire Report
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New York (AP) – New York is taking steps to stop therapists from trying to change young people’s sexual orientation, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Feb. 6, joining a number of states that have acted against what’s known as gay conversion therapy.

The Democratic governor’s move comes as gay rights advocates have campaigned state by state with mixed results to try to ban a practice that major mental health organizations have repudiated.

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Carol, The Danish Girl nominated for 2016 GLAAD Media Awards

By : Wire Report
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Los Angeles (AP) – “The Danish Girl” is up for a GLAAD Media Award in a year where a record number of nominees feature transgender characters and subject matter.

The gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocacy group has announced the 101 nominees for its 27th annual honors. The awards honor outstanding images of the LGBT community in film, TV, music and journalism.

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Petition calls for Ginger Minj as the next Edna in NBC’s “Hairspray”

By : Jeremy Williams
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NBC has turned live musical productions into a television event and after the success of The Sound of Music and The Wiz (Peter Pan was a bit of a letdown commercially), they have announced that the next musical to get the peacock network’s stage will be Hairspray.

Hairspray originated as a film by John Waters in 1988 starring Divine and Ricki Lake and became a Tony Award winning Broadway musical in 2003. The musical was turned into a 2007 film starring John Travolta and Michelle Pfeiffer.

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Judge awards KY attorneys $1 million for Supreme Court win

By : Wire Report
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Louisville, Ky. (AP) – A federal judge awarded a team of Kentucky attorneys more than $1 million for their role in the landmark United States Supreme Court case that struck down bans on same-sex marriage.

The state will have to pick up the $1.1 million tab.

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Road to Tampa Pride begins with grand marshals announcement, Miss Tampa Pride pageant

By : Jeremy Williams
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In the midst of preparing for the 2016 Miss Tampa Pride pageant, festival organizers issued a press release announcing the names of the parade’s grand marshals Jan. 13.

Lorraine Langlois, CEO at Metro Wellness and Community Centers, and Russell Rhodes, FOX TV 13 Morning Anchor for “Good Day Tampa Bay,” will be the grand marshals for Tampa Pride 2016.

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