Couple fights to keep licenses issued with married name

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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Melbourne – A same-sex Central Florida couple may have both their drivers’ licenses cancelled because they legally changed their names with their out-of-state marriage licenses.

“Florida is a federal REAL ID compliant state, which means the Department can only accept specific documentation as proof of identity and legal name when issuing a driver license,” said Fla. DMV Press Secretary John Lucas in a statement. “While marriage certificates are acceptable documents, same-sex marriages are not recognized by the state and, therefore, a same-sex marriage certificate is not considered as a legal basis for a name change on a Florida driver license.”

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Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts grand opening

By : Scottie Campbell
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Hundreds of people gathered in the Seneff Arts Plaza for the grand opening of the $514 million Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. In a ceremony emceed by Disney performer Mary Thompson Hunt, several dignitaries and donors gave speeches before a brilliant orange-colored banner with the center’s curvy logo. Speakers included both Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Dr. Phillips Center chairman Jim Pugh and president Kathy Ramsberger, in addition to representatives from major contributors including Orlando Magic, Walt Disney World, University of Central Florida, and CNL Financial Group.

Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martens echoed the Dr. Phillips Centers inclusive philosophies saying the Magic shared the vision of creating a “structure that is accessible to everyone.”

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11.6.14 Editor’s Desk

By : Steve Blanchard
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SteveBlanchardHeadshot_137x185Sitting in the Watermark newsroom on election night was exciting, sickening, disheartening and enlightening.

Once the polls closed at 7 p.m., it was an all-hands-on-deck situation with members of our editorial team monitoring different races in the different counties Watermark covers. We were streaming live television on the newsroom’s flat screen while refreshing the websites for an array of supervisors of elections offices.

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Watermark’s 2014 General Election Results

By : Staff Report
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This is Watermark’s portal for complete 2014 General Election Results.

Find links to Central Florida, Tampa Bay and statewide election results after the jump: 

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Watermark’s 2014 General Election Results: Central Florida

By : Staff Report
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U.S. REPRESENTATIVE
District 5
CORRINE BROWN (D) 72%
Glo Smith (R) 28%

District 7
JOHN MICA (R) 60%
Wes Neuman (D) 36%

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Key players battle for control of Orlando Pride

By : Jamie Hyman
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Orlando – There’s a shakeup underway at Come Out With Pride. COWP chiefs and leaders of its parent organization, the Metropolitan Business Association, are locking horns.

At odds? Control of Orlando Pride, as key players reveal an alleged secrecy campaign, mismanaged finances and one man’s claim that a group of advisors called “The Elders” are pulling all the strings.

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Orlando Mayor, Zebra Coalition ‘Stand Up’ to bullying

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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Orlando – Orlando is putting a spotlight on fighting bullying.

The city, with Mayor Buddy Dyer, launched “Stand Up Orlando,” a campaign to support organizations with anti-bullying programs. Zebra Coalition, which provides services to LGBT youth in Central Florida, is one of the organizations slated to benefit from Stand Up Orlando’s efforts to raise awareness.

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J. Hyde Crawford exhibit at the Orlando Museum of Art is valued at $8.3 million

By : Chris Muscardin
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Orlando – Two weeks ago the Orlando Museum of Art opened what museum director Glen Gentele calls “the single most important collection of art to come to the Museum in its history.” He was speaking of the new J. Hyde Crawford and Anthony Tortora Gallery.

Named for the late fashion illustrator, the gallery opened with its first exhibit at the 30th Anniversary Gala of OMA’s collecting group on Oct. 9.

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Watermark’s 2014 General Election Recommendations

By : Watermark Staff
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In a year of changes surrounding equality, Floridians have some interesting choices before them as the Nov. 4 general election approaches. Amid the negative campaign ads, the ludicrous debate scenarios and ongoing battle over same-sex marriage in the Sunshine State, it can be difficult to see through the muck and distorted truths to find a candidates suitable for your vote.

At the request of many Watermark readers—and a responsibility to tradition—we offer our 2014 general election recommendations.

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Watermark’s 2014 General Election recommendations for Central Florida

By : Staff Report
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Governor: Charlie Crist (D)

Attorney General: George Sheldon (D)

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Cowboys release Michael Sam from practice squad

By : Wire Report
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IRVING, Texas (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys released defensive end Michael Sam from the practice squad Oct. 21, another setback as the NFL’s first openly gay player tries to make an active roster during the regular season for the first time.

Sam spent seven weeks with the Cowboys after signing to their practice squad on Sept. 3, four days after he was among the final cuts by the St. Louis Rams at the end of the preseason.

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Florida ranks No. 3 on HRC’s 2014 ‘Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality’ survey

By : Staff Report
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The Human Rights Campaign Foundation released its Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) 2014 report, showing Florida as No. 3 in the number of recognized HEI 2014 “Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality.”

26 Florida healthcare systems were recognized as “Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality,” tying with Ohio and coming behind California and New York. The following healthcare systems in Central Florida and the Tampa Bay area were recognized:

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