Sen. Murray comes out against Trump’s anti-LGBT pick for NASA

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee has come out against President Trump’s pick to head NASA over the nominee’s anti-LGBT views, becoming the first U.S. senator to oppose the selection.

In a letter dated Oct. 26 to Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) urges senators “to vote against” the nomination of Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) as administrator of the National Aeronautics & Space Administration.

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We look at St. Petersburg’s (partisan) non-partisan primary mayoral race between Baker and Kriseman

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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On August 29, St. Petersburg could choose its next mayor. According to the Pinellas County supervisor of elections, 169,770 residents of the city will be eligible to vote in the upcoming primary election, meaning that 169,770 residents of the Sunshine City will have one of three choices that day.

First, to elect the next mayor. Second, to send two candidates to a run-off election in November, should no one receive 50 percent plus one of the vote. Or third, to stay home and let every other eligible voter decide on their behalf.

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In his first-ever interview with the LGBT press, Charlie Crist explains why he switched parties, supports same-sex marriage, and wants to be governor again.

By : Tom Dyer
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Orlando –  A union hall was an unlikely venue for Charlie Crist’s first interview with the LGBT press. But the former Republican governor, now Democratic candidate for the same office, has a busy schedule these days. After meeting with the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades on Saturday, Dec. 14, he made himself available for an exclusive conversation.

To the union members, Crist described his ambitious agenda if elected: creating jobs, boosting education, protecting the environment, expanding health care and voting rights, and even resurrecting high speed rail. And he acknowledged the tough race ahead against Republican incumbent multi-millionaire Rick Scott.

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Top 5 Florida news stories of 2013

By : Staff Report
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Free Kate: maybe?
It wasn’t the story with the biggest impact. It didn’t really advance or repress LGBT rights and many readers argued that it shouldn’t be new at all. But that doesn’t change the fact that Katlyn Hunt’s arrest, visits to jail and eventual plea deal captivated the nation and sparked debate about statutory law. Hunt was in trouble for having sex with a 14-year-old schoolmate when she was 18. The younger girl’s parents turned Hunt in, and Hunt’s father alleged that their motivations were anti-gay. An initial plea deal was withdrawn when it turned out Hunt and the girl continued to contact each other after Hunt’s arrest. In the end, Hunt pleaded no contest to battery, interference with child custody and contributing to the dependency of a child. Her attorney stated that Hunt’s goal is to change the law so that teens attending the same school can’t be prosecuted for having sexual relationships, regardless of sexual orientation.

Statewide domestic partner registry fails
The Family First Bill survived about five months before it died in committee. The bill was filed in January by Sen. Eleanor Sobel (D-Hollywood), and cleared the Florida Senate Committee on Children, Families and Elder Affairs by a 5 to 4 vote on April 1.  Before it died in the Judiciary Committee in May, it survived a rewrite, a key supporting Senator unable to vote because she was taken to the hospital (she’s ok), and a long, strange speech by notorious anti-gay pundit John Stemberger, who warned the bill would set a precedent for marriage equality and claimed that marriage rates fall in areas with domestic partner registries, but was unable to summon any proof when pressed on his claim. Maybe the idea will have better luck in 2014.

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Sen. Bill Nelson co-sponsors ENDA

By : Staff Report
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Washington – A Florida senator has signed on as a co-sponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) 2013.

Sen. Bill Nelson’s (D-FL) support means there are now just two Democratic Senators who are not co-sponsoring the legislation: Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Mark Pryor (D-AR). Right now, ENDA is just three votes shy of the 60 votes needed to clear the Senate.

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General Election 2012: Sarasota Results

By : Watermark
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Sarasota stayed mostly red on election night, and it elected two Republicans to its county commission.

Christine Robinson took the District 3 seat of the Sarasota County Commission with 55% of the vote, handily defeating Democrat Jennifer Cohen. Charles Hines, who ran unopposed, easily sailed into the District 5 seat.

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