LGBT gang members-turned-entrepreneurs appeal for support

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of National Gay Media Association
Comments: 0

Share this story:

Nearly 10 years ago, when they had the distinction of being members of the nation’s only known LGBT youth gang called Check It, most members never imagined the group could evolve into a budding fashion clothing business.

But members and supporters say that’s exactly what happened after several of them began organizing an effort about five years ago to produce and sell T-shirts and other clothing items and put together several runway shows.

Continue Reading >>

Panasonic a pioneer for LGBT rights in Japan

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

TOKYO (AP) – For decades, Panasonic Corp. has shaped Japanese corporate tradition – be it morning exercise routines or lifetime employment. But don’t hold your breath waiting for other Asian businesses to emulate its latest policy announcement: Recognizing same-sex partnerships.

Much of Asia remains far behind the West in such attitudes. Panasonic’s move is rare, although bold, and seems unlikely to herald a sea change.

Continue Reading >>

Will Gulfport elect an openly gay mayor or a straight, gay-friendly mayor?

By : Greg Stemm
Comments: 0

In an election year fraught with unusual circumstances and candidates, one local Tampa Bay area election has put a difficult decision to the voters of Gulfport on whom to elect as their new mayor. One candidate, the incumbent, is a well-liked progressive straight mayor with undeniably strong support for LGBT issues and the challenger who is an openly gay woman and a respected business owner in the community.

According to the latest census about a third of the residents of this small Tampa Bay area city of about 12,500 residents identify themselves as LGBT. Gulfport has long prided itself in taking lead roles in the fight for LGBT rights and equality. It was the fourth and smallest city in the state to pass a Human Rights Ordinance, the first in Pinellas County to do so, and it is to date the most comprehensive in the state. It was the first city in Pinellas County to pass a domestic partner registry and it has taken strong official positions in support of marriage equality and ending workplace discrimination. The city’s library hosts the state’s only publically supported LGBT resource center. Many Gulfport residents take pride in being a role model to other communities on how gays and straights can work effectively and even joyfully together.

Continue Reading >>

Out & About night returns to Central Florida Fair for second year

By : Adam Manno
Comments: 0

central florida fairThe 104th annual Central Florida Fair runs through March 13, but LGBT families might want to save the date for March 2, the second annual Out & About Night from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.

“Last year was our first year hosting Out & About and we found an increase in attendance of about 1000 people,” says Central Florida Fair Sponsorship Coordinator Frances Rivera.

Continue Reading >>

Georgia Senate approves LGBT service-refusal bill

By : Wire Report
Comments: 1

Atlanta (AP) – Georgia’s state Senate approved a bill allowing faith-based organizations to refuse services to same-sex couples without government penalties, including loss of grants or other taxpayer funding.

Senators voted 38 to 14 on party lines Feb. 19, despite fear about damage to the state’s economy expressed by the state’s influential business community and opposition from gay-rights advocates.

Continue Reading >>

Majority of Floridians support laws protecting LGBTs from discrimination

By : Jamie Hyman
Comments: 0

Share this story:

Most Floridians support LGBT nondiscrimination laws and don’t think businesses should be allowed to refuse to serve LGBTs based on religious beliefs.

That’s according to a new poll by the non-partisan Public Religion Research Institute, based on 42,000 interviews to explore attitudes in all 50 states ahead of legislative battles in 2016.

Continue Reading >>

Round-up of questions potential Supreme Court Justices have been asked

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

(AP) – White House lawyers are scouring a life’s worth of information about President Barack Obama’s potential picks to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court – and not all of it is about the law.

Prospective justices are put through the nation’s most thorough background check, an invasive process in which nothing is off-limits. After all, a surprise dredged up later could scuttle confirmation. So candidates’ taxes, writings, childhood, business dealings, medical history and yes, love lives, are all scrutinized for potential red flags.

Continue Reading >>

Georgia’s version of “Pastor Protection Act” headed to their Senate

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

Atlanta (AP) – A bill headed toward a vote in the Georgia Senate would allow faith-based organizations to refuse services to same-sex couples without government penalties, including loss of taxpayer funding.

The powerful Senate Rules committee Feb. 16 added that language to a bill unanimously approved by the House last week allowing religious officials to decline performing same-sex marriage ceremonies. The move combines two of the eight bills introduced this year seeking legal exemptions for opponents of same-sex marriage after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling effectively legalized the unions.

Continue Reading >>

Jacksonville Councilman plans to withdraw LGBT-friendly Human Rights Ordinance

By : Jamie Hyman
Comments: 0

Looks like it’s game over for adding LGBT protections to Jacksonville’s Human Rights Ordinance.

Councilman Tommy Hazouri, who introduced the proposal, released a statement announcing he plans to withdraw the bill at this week’s council meeting. Read Hazouri’s full statement after the jump: 

Continue Reading >>

Oscar Predictions and Watermark’s 2016 Oscars Pool!

By : Stephen Miller
Comments: 14

It’s our annual Oscar column – and it’s a doozy! In the comments, you can submit you predictions. We’ll draw a prizewinner from the correct or most correct. You will win SOMETHING!

The 88th Oscar season is all about diversity…or lack thereof. This year, scads of people are viably upset that there was not a single nomination of a minority in actor or director categories.

Is Hollywood the new Great White Way?

Continue Reading >>

Washington Senate upholds bathroom protections for transgender people

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

Olympia, Wash. (AP) – Urged by lawmakers who said the Legislature must protect civil rights, Washington’s full Senate narrowly rejected a bill that would have repealed a new state rule allowing transgender people to use bathrooms and locker rooms in public buildings consistent with their gender identity.

Three Republicans, the chamber’s majority party, joined many Democrats in rejecting the measure on a 25-24 vote.

Continue Reading >>

Clearwater’s Tech Data establishes LGBT employee resource group

By : Billy Manes
Comments: 0

tech data gay lgbt workforce inclusiveEven as we mourn the loss of a common-sense protection bill, the Competitive Workforce Act, earlier this week in the legislature, some companies are keeping up the compassion and moving forward with the shifting economic playing field. Yesterday, the Tampa Bay Business Journal reported on Tech Data’s new in-house initiative called Spectrum, “an employee resource group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers and allies,” the Journal reports. It is reportedly the 14th Florida business to do so,  basically because modern businesses need to court modern talent, and much of that is LGBT if not just LGBT-friendly.

Equality Florida CEO Nadine Smith was in attendance as the keynote speaker for the meeting and offered her own wisdom on the issue.

Continue Reading >>