Local LGBTQ leaders to gather at Orlando Youth Empowerment Summit

By : Christen Kelley
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ORLANDO | LGBTQ youth, organizations and allies will engage in a full day of interactive workshops at the fifth annual Orlando Youth Empowerment Summit, or OYES, at Valencia College’s West Campus in Orlando Nov. 3.

The free event is presented by the City of Orlando with one goal in mind—to empower LGBTQ youth. Guests can attend a variety of workshops dedicated to a range of topics such as career building, poetry, healthy relationships and LGBTQ history.

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PHOTOS: Pride Rally at Lake Eola brought the love

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Come Out With Pride held a Pride Rally at the Walt Disney Amphitheater during Saturday’s celebration at Lake Eola.

The crowd heard from Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan, State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith and more.

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HRC gives a perfect score to Orlando, Tampa, St. Petersburg in annual ratings

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced Oct. 8 that Orlando, St. Petersburg and Tampa each received a perfect score of 100 in the organization’s seventh annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI).

The report examines how inclusive municipal laws, policies and services are for LGBTQ people who live and work in each city rated by the organization. The score is based on non-discrimination laws, the municipality as an employer, municipal services, law enforcement and the city leadership’s public position on equality.

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Orlando mayor announces Florida’s first multi-stall, all-user government building restroom

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced Aug. 7 that City Hall will be the first government building to house a multi-stall, all-user restroom in the state of Florida.

The announcement was made during Dyer’s 2018 State of the City where he laid out “60 reasons we love Orlando and are excited about our future.” The theme is meant to coincide with the mayor’s 60th birthday.

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Central Florida Overheard: A Powerful Community

By : Anonymous
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It’s always good to have friends in high places, and based on Orlando Magazine’s 2018 list, the LGBTQ community not only has some good friends, they also have some pretty powerful ones too.

Orlando Magazine’s “50 Most Powerful of 2018” issue was released recently and it was no surprise one of the community’s best buds, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer topped the list in Government and Politics.

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PHOTOS: Mayors Dyer and Jacobs declare June 12 Orlando United Day at Pulse ceremony

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Hundreds gathered at the Pulse memorial June 12 to honor and remember the 49 lives lost just two years ago within the nightclub at the memorial’s location.

The crowd watched performances from the Orlando Gay Chorus, Blue Star, the Orlando Philharmonic and more.

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Community leaders take to social media to remember the victims after Pulse gunman’s wife found not guilty

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Noor Salmon, the wife of the Pulse gunman, was acquitted March 30 of charges that linked her to the nightclub shooting.

Salmon was charged with obstruction of justice and providing material support to a foreign terrorism organization.

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Widow of Pulse gunman acquitted

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A jury on Friday acquitted Noor Salman of charges that she helped her husband carry out the 2016 massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

Federal prosecutors charged Salman with obstruction of justice and providing material support to a foreign terrorism organization in connection with the June 12, 2016, shooting that left 49 people dead and 53 others injured. Salman’s trial began earlier this month at a federal courthouse in downtown Orlando that is roughly two miles from the Pulse nightclub.

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2018 WAVE AWARD WINNERS – CENTRAL FLORIDA

By : Watermark Staff
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FAVORITE LOCAL POLITICIAN/ACTIVIST

First: Patty Sheehan, Orlando City Commissioner – District 4

Second: Buddy Dyer, Orlando Mayor

Third: Carlos Guillermo Smith, Florida House Representative – District 49

GREATEST STRAIGHT ALLY TO THE LOCAL LGBTQ COMMUNITY

First: Buddy Dyer, Orlando Mayor

Second: Anna Eskamani, Florida House candidate – District 47

Third: Darren Soto, U.S. House of Representatives – Florida’s 9th District

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2018 WAVE Awards Spotlight: Orlando Pride soccer

By : Jeremy Williams
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CENTRAL FLORIDA’S FAVORITE LOCAL LGBTQ SPORTS LEAGUE/ORGANIZATION

If you want to know how many members of the LGBTQ community support Orlando Pride soccer all you need do is check out the backs of our cars. Affixed to our bumpers— next to our yellow and blue HRC equal sign— you will see the Orlando Pride magnet.

The purple and light blue logo featuring the famous Lake Eola fountain can be found throughout the city. Sure, it is usually side-by-side with Orlando City Soccer’s purple and yellow lion shield, but when the ballots were counted it was the women’s team that had our readers busting with pride–maybe next year, boys.

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PHOTOS: Dedication of the Pulse Memorial Labyrinth

By : Maia Monet
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Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Commissioner Patty Sheehan, Pulse owner Barbara Poma, Pulse survivors, and members of law enforcement joined with LGBTQ citizens and allies for the dedication of the Pulse Memorial Labyrinth at Colonialtown Square Park on Dec 21.

The Orlando United rainbow heart at the center of the memorial is surrounded by the labyrinth outlined in brick. The outer edge is made up of 49 equal pieces of granite inscribed in gold with the names of each Pulse victim. After the dedication and a request to hold hands for a group prayer, those gathered were invited to walk the labyrinth in memory of those lost in the tragedy.

More photos of the proceedings after the jump and video clips have been posted to the Watermark Instagram page.

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Orlando mayor honors Transgender Awareness Week

By : Jeremy Williams
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Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer honored Transgender Awareness Week by displaying the Orlando city flag in the trans flag colors.

Dyer posted the picture on Twitter Nov. 17, writing “It’s #TransWeek and I am proud to support our Transgender community because everyone deserves to be treated equally.”

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