22nd Annual Garrison/Reed Thanksgiving Food Drive

By : Mark Cady
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Volunteers gathered Nov. 24 at Joy Metropolitan Community Church in Orlando for the 22nd Annual Garrison/Reed Thanksgiving Food Drive. They packed food bags for 353 families from 8 Central Florida agencies.

Last year they filled 376 bags and in 2004, the drive had its biggest year ever with 1300 families fed.

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Guest Column: Our community suffered major losses

By : Bob Poe
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Bob Poe

Bob Poe

We lost.And that sucks.

Not only did we lose the all-important races for governor and attorney general on a statewide basis, butlocally we lost LGBT family member Joe Saunders and staunch allies Linda Stewart, Karen Castor Dentel and Mike Clelland in the state legislature.

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2014 Transgender Day of Remembrance events round up

By : Watermark Staff
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Transgender Day of Remembrance is a day to commemorate and reflect upon transgender individuals who have passed away due to transgender-related violence.

The day began after a transgender woman named Rita Hester was brutally stabbed in her Massachusetts apartment in 1998. Graphic designer and advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith held a candlelight vigil in memory of Hester. Every year, there are services and candlelight vigils held across the nation to commemorate the death of Hest and all transgender people lost to violence.

See a full listing of 2014 events: 

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City of Orlando postpones final approval for The Center renovations

By : Dylan Drobet
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Orlando – The GLBT Center of Central Florida is facing a small speed bump in the road to their renovations, but the project is still on schedule.

At an Orlando City Commission meeting Nov. 18, the Commissioners were scheduled to sign off on the final contract for the renovation, according to The Center’s executive director, Terry DeCarlo.

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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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