Cuban bars use right of admission to throw out LGBTQ people

By : Maykel González Vivero of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the Natioan LGBT Media Association
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HAVANA — Recently private bars in Havana have used the “right of admission reserved” to keep the doors closed on LGBTI+ people. Recent incidents expose the lack of Cuban legislation to prevent discrimination and protect victims.

At midnight on July 8, while Brian Canelles and Arian Abreu were having a drink at the Efe Bar in El Vedado, Havana, they decided to take a selfie of themselves giving each other a kiss. The bouncer told them they were not allowed to take the photo and the couple was eventually kicked out because “the bar didn’t want to have a gay image.” The bouncer argued, “We’re not interested in that type of publicity, and we don’t want to get that reputation.”

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Christian groups using “Jesus & Beer” to get LGBT people to talk religion

By : Wire Report
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WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — Angela Caddell started struggling with her Christianity 14 years ago when she came out as gay. But a gathering at a bar to talk faith over a cold beer once a month is helping her feel more connected to her religion.

“If you’re an atheist you are welcome. …. I’m a lesbian, I’m totally welcome,” said the 32-year-old from nearby Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, at a recent gathering.

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1st Thursdays: Rock!

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“Orlando’s original art party”

Presented by the Associates of the Orlando Museum of Art

The Associates is a volunteer support group committed to expanding Museum membership and encouraging the appreciation of the visual arts. From 6-9 pm on the first Thursday of each month, Central Florida has an opportunity to discover local artists, listen to live music and mingle with an eclectic mix of people. There are cash bars serving wine, beer, soft drinks and water, and café offerings from area restaurants.

Visually display your love for the creativity of rock music and the performer. Art in this show can be portraits, symbolic art, sculpture, music embedded through digital art, and more. Let us come together and highlight the influence of ROCK!

Watermark Year in Review: September 2015

By : Jamie Hyman, Billy Manes and Jeremy Williams
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Finally, finally, Kentucky Clerk of Courts Kim Davis ends her 15 minutes of fame. She went out by apparently exaggerating her “meeting” with Pope Francis. Davis’ anti-gay attorney says it was a cozy one-on-one, the Pope’s camp said, nuh-uh! Just a meet-and-greet.

Former Exodus International pariah Alan Chambers releases his autobiography My Exodus, a curiously self-congratulatory collection of memories of not really being honest. Atonement is cute.

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Watermark Reader Comments: Do we still need gay bars?

By : Jamie Hyman
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Watermark readers have a lot to say about “Raising the Bar,” our in-depth piece from our latest issue discussing the role and relevancy of gay bars now that LGBTs are arguably mainstream.

Read a sample of reader comments from WatermarkOnline.com and Watermark’s Facebook page after the jump: 

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St. Pete has a new gay watering hole

By : Aaron Drake
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St. Pete has a new face in town. From the looks of it, she’s sassy, wacky and eager for her guests to enjoy a night out. Punky’s Bar & Grill, 3063 Central Ave. at 31st St. N, is the city’s newest gay bar, set for a soft opening before Thanksgiving and a larger celebration in December.

“We’re excited to be in the Grand Central District,” says co-owner Brian Longstreth, owner of Gay St. Pete House and a longtime activist in St. Pete’s LGBT community. “In addition to several bars and restaurants, there are realtors, CPAs, attorneys, home décor, antiques – it’s still one of the largest concentrations of LGBT-owned businesses in the country.” He joins co-owners Lynn Deibert and John Burt, who are also local residents and proud members of the LGBT community, in starting Punky’s. The 3,200-square-foot, 150-person maximum capacity establishment was formerly home to Jimbo’s Joint.

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Arkansas bars expanding local protections for LGBTs

By : Wire Report
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas on Feb. 23 banned local governments from expanding anti-discrimination protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity, a move criticized by retail giant Wal-Mart and gay rights groups who said the prohibition damaged the state’s image.

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson allowed legislation to go into law without his signature that bars cities and counties from expanding anti-discrimination ordinances beyond what the state already prohibits, making Arkansas the second state to approve such a prohibition. Arkansas’ anti-discrimination protections don’t include sexual orientation or gender identity. Feb. 23 marked the end of the five-day window for Hutchinson to take action on the bill or allow it to become law.

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US Supreme Court rejects challenge to gay therapy ban

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to California’s law that bars mental counseling aimed at turning gay minors straight.

The justices on June 30 let stand an appeals court ruling that said the state’s ban on so-called conversion therapy for minors doesn’t violate the free speech rights of licensed counselors and patients seeking treatment.

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